In medicine, cancer refers to a malignant tissue neoplasm, a so-called neoplasia or a malignancy. The tumor cells in a cancerous tumor multiply uncontrollably, they grow into neighboring tissues, destroy healthy tissue and form daughter tumors, so-called metastases. They no longer respond to signals that control growth in healthy tissues, and also evade control by the immune system. No tumor, no form of cancer is like the other. However, what all cancers have in common is that without treatment, it can progress in most of those affected and lead to death. Spontaneous healing is extremely rare.
Cancer is the name for a disease characterized by unrestrained cell multiplication, malignant tissue formation and spread in the organism. The development of cancer is a complex process, which is based on a variety of (“multifactorial”) causes. Cancer is considered a disease of the hereditary material of cells.
Carcinogenic substances (carcinogens), if the body’s “repair mechanisms” are turned off or ineffective, can cause permanent damage to the hereditary material. This creates cells with genetic changes (mutations), which are then passed on to daughter cells during cell division. These changes cause an activation of cancer genes (oncogenes) and at the same time a switching off of the “suppressor genes”. The result is uncontrolled cell growth and proliferation.
The time factor plays an essential role in the development of cancer. The fact that cancers occur more frequently with increasing age can be explained by the fact that it often takes years for the numerous mutations to lead to degeneration of cells and eventually to cancer.
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