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The South Asian Times | সাউথ এশিয়ান টাইমস

Self-awareness is Essential to Prevent Cancer

Md. Arafat Rahman

Published: 09:13, 5 February 2024

Self-awareness is Essential to Prevent Cancer

The body of an animal is made up of countless small cells. These cells die one after the other over a period of time. These old cells are replaced by new ones. Cells normally divide in a controlled and regular way to give birth to new cells. When these cells continue to grow uncontrollably for any reason, a lump or lump of flesh can be seen under the skin. This is called a tumor. These tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant tumors are called cancers.
Cancer is the sum of uncontrolled cell division in the human body. So far the death rate from this disease is much higher. If cancer is not detected in the early stages, it is not possible to give any good treatment in the last stage. In fact, no cure for cancer has yet been discovered. Different types of treatment methods are used to cure cancer. However, if caught early, the chances of curing the disease are greatly increased. 
There are more than 200 types of cancer. Every cancer is different and their treatment is also different. World Cancer Day is celebrated internationally on February 4 every year. A tissue that divides and grows uncontrollably is called a neoplasia, and a cell with a similar function is called a neoplastic cell. When neoplastic cells cannot penetrate the surrounding tissue, it is called benign tumor. Benign tumors are not cancers. When neoplasia is able to penetrate, it is called malignant tumor or cancer, and the cells with its uncontrolled divisions are called cancer cells.
Many cancers first start as benign tumors, then some of the cells in them change and become malignant. However, there is no guarantee that benign tumors will turn into cancer. Benign means innocuous but benign tumors can also damage the surrounding tissue. Metastasis is a stage of cancer in which the cancer cells penetrate other tissues and spread to distant tissues through the blood, lymphatic system, etc. Exactly what causes cancer is not yet certain. However, some common causes have been found.
1. Age: In general, the risk of getting cancer increases with age. Because at this time, body's resistance to disease has gradually decreases. It is estimated that 70% of people diagnosed with cancer are over 60 years of age. 
2. Diet and lifestyle: Researchers have found a deep connection between cancer and diet and lifestyle. For example, smoking or drinking has been linked to cancer of the lungs, mouth and throat, and liver. Similarly, betel nut, jorda, meat, extra salt, sugar, etc. are associated with cancer. Those who generally do less physical activity are also more prone to cancer.
3. Family history: Evidence has also been found that there is a genetic link with cancer. Because of this, if one member of the family is diagnosed with cancer, the risk of others getting cancer is greatly increased. 
4. Environmental and occupational factors: There is a big link between chemicals and cancer. For example, a rare type of cancer called mesothelioma involves cells around the lungs and in the abdomen. Nine out of 10 patients have been diagnosed with this cancer due to exposure to asbestos metal. In general, those involved in the shipbuilding industry are more likely to come in contact with the metal. Similarly, those who work in paint, rubber or gas factories are exposed to bladder cancer due to exposure to certain chemicals. One of the environmental factors is the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of skin cancer. There is also a risk of various cancers due to radioactivity.
4 types of cancer according to the origin of the tissue: 
a) Carcinoma: It is a very common type of cancer. These include cancers of the lungs, rectum, breast and ovaries. 
b) Sarcoma: Usually cancer of bone, vertebrae and muscle is called sarcoma. 
c) Lymphoma: Lymph nodes are spread all over our body. The body's immune system is involved with these lymph nodes. Cancer of the lymph nodes is called lymphoma. 
d) Leukemia: Leukemia is the cancer of blood cells. These blood cells are born from the bone marrow.
Different methods are used to treat cancer. 
1. Surgery: The cancerous cells of the affected area and the surrounding cells are surgically removed. This type of treatment is given if the cancer is spread over a small area and is in the early stages. 
2. Radiotherapy: Cells are destroyed in a controlled manner by applying radioactive rays to certain parts of the body. 
3. Chemotherapy: In this system anti-cancer drugs are used to destroy the cancer cells. There are more than 50 types of chemotherapy drugs. Some of these are taken as tablets or capsules. But in most cases these drugs are given directly to the blood with saline or in some other way. When mixed with blood, these drugs try to destroy the cancer cells wherever they are in the body.
4. Hormone therapy: This treatment is done by changing the levels of certain hormones in the body. Hormones have a relationship with body growth. Some cancers are affected by this hormone. As a result, hormone therapy is used to control cancer by reducing the growth of cancer cells. 
5. Supportive treatment: Physicians are now emphasizing on the physical treatment of cancer as well as the mental treatment of patients. Patients go through a lot of emotional distress after being diagnosed with cancer. As a result, doctors advise them to provide different types of services. Various organizations are also working to provide such services in developed countries. One of these is to form a group of cancer patients, where they can share their experiences among themselves. Apart from this, patients are also taught to control their stress through yoga, meditation etc. In addition, they are encouraged to engage in religious or social activities for emotional relief. 
6. Other treatments: Research is underway to develop such drugs that strengthen the body's immune system. Efforts are also being made to develop a cancer vaccine. But these are still in the initial stage.
Studies have shown that regular adherence to certain things can greatly reduce the risk of cancer. Such as: 
1. Exercise: Doing some regular exercise every day such as running, cycling, and walking, doing heavy exercise at least 2 days a week. 
2. Eating habits: Quitting smoking or drinking, stopping eating tobacco, eating less fatty foods, and eating lots of vegetables, fruits and fiber. 
3. Awareness: When going out, applying sunscreen and consulting doctor regularly. If that is not possible, visiting doctor if there is any abnormality in the body. If anyone is over 50 years of age, must go to the doctor and get their body examined regularly.
Md. Arafat Rahman, Columnist Official of Southeast University, Dhaka E-mail: arafatrahman373@gmail.com        

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