Cancer is without any doubt one of the most dreaded disease today. Even a HIV positive person can lead a very normal life thanks to modern medicines, which was not possible a few years back as HIV positive meant sure shot death within a very short time. Plus we know what causes and spreads AIDS, and we can easily abstain from these causes hence protecting ourselves 100% . Unfortunately we haven’t progressed so much in case of cancer. Still we are researching and debating on what causes this disease and the treatment is not always successful. Going by statistics the survival rate of cancer patients across all type of cancers is only 60%. Doctors will never be sure that the patient is 100% cure as undetected numbers of cancerous cell may always remain in the body and reoccurrence or relapse of disease is very high in the first 5 years.
Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.
When cancer develops, however, this orderly process breaks down. As cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors.
Cancerous tumors are malignant, which means they can spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. In addition, as these tumors grow, some cancer cells can break off and travel to distant places in the body through the blood or the lymph system and form new tumors far from the original tumor.
Unlike malignant tumors, benign tumors do not spread into, or invade, nearby tissues. Benign tumors can sometimes be quite large, however. When removed, they usually don’t grow back, whereas malignant tumors sometimes do. Unlike most benign tumors elsewhere in the body, benign brain tumors can be life threatening.
Cancer is a genetic disease—that is, it is caused by changes to genes that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide.
Genetic changes that cause cancer can be inherited from our parents. They can also arise during a person’s lifetime as a result of errors that occur as cells divide or because of damage to DNA caused by certain environmental exposures.
We are corrupting our own environment by polluting our water, air , land and food which is actually triggering an increase in all type of cancer throughout the world. The kind of chemical and pesticidal residues found in our foods is scary. Though individually we can hardly contribute to purify our environment, but we can take charges of what food we consume and considerably reducing the chances of getting cancer.
One of the main contributor to this disease is something which has become a part and parcel of our lives, which is processed foods.
Researchers in France may have found just that. After studying more than 100,000 adults for years, their results showed that eating processed food is more closely linked with cancer risk than one’s age, sex, body mass index, height, level of physical activity, smoking and drinking habits, calories consumed, or family history.
The researchers estimate this junk food accounts for 25%-50% of the total daily energy intake of people who live in rich, developed and some of the developing countries like the US, France, Canada, India, China, etc.
A new study measured eating habits in nearly 105000 adults for 5 years, their regular diet consisted of 3300 different food items and. More than 2200 cases of cancer were diagnosed in the group the study showed that on an average 18% of people’s diet was ultra processed. There were 79 new cases of cancer every year per 10000 people. Scientists concluded that for every 10% increase of ultra processed foods in diets there is a 12% higher risk of developing cancer, further analysis revealed 11% increase in the risk of breast cancer. Ultra processed foods in the study included mass produced packaged breads and buns soda and sugary drinks, instant noodles, sweet or Savoury packaged snacks, chocolate bars, sweets and frozen or shelf life ready meals such as meat balls poultry and fish nuggets and other meat products transformed with the addition of preservatives other than salt, it also included food made mostly or entirely from sugar , oils and fat. Hydrogenated oils and modified starches are also specified as ultra processed foods. Ultra processed foods have higher content of fats, sugar and salt but lower amount of fibers and vitamins, also because of contact with packaging materials food may become contaminated with potentially harmful substances. Theses foods contain additives that although approved for food use are controversial as some animal and cell studies suggest that they can’t cause cancer. Research also found that less processed foods did not raise cancer risks.
Ultra processed foods can cause obesity which has been linked to increased cancer risks. 14.1. Million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2012 and this number is expected to climb to 24 million by 2035.
Though further studies are needed to understand the link between ultra processed foods and cancer.