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Cancer is a disease where cells grow out of control and invade, erode and destroy normal tissue.

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Introduction

Cancer Cancer is a disease where cells grow out of control and invade, erode and destroy normal tissue. The driving forces behind the development of cancer are damaged genes. The gene damage is often caused by environmental factors like smoking. There are over 200 different types of cancer that can occur anywhere in the body. They all have different causes, different symptoms and require different types of treatment. Cancers develop because of a complicated interaction between our genes, our environment and chance. In Britain, the lifetime risk of developing cancer is more than one in three. So it's likely that every family will come into contact with the disease in some way. Different cancers affect people at different ages, but the risk of getting the disease rises significantly as we get older. ...read more.

Middle

Malignant tumours Grow much faster than Benign tumours, they spread through and destroy surrounding tissues and also spread to other parts of the body. It is this ability to spread that make malignant tumours so dangerous. They can break away and are carried in the blood or lymphatic system to other parts of the body; there they can start to grow new tumours. Another difference from Benign tumours is that Malignant ones are made up not of ordinary sells, but of cancer cells. Normal cells have a number of important characteristics. They can reproduce themselves exactly, stop reproducing at the right time, stick together in the right place, self-destruct if they are damaged and become specialised. Cancer cells do not have these characteristics. Consequently, they continue to reproduce and double ignoring the signals from the body telling them to stop. ...read more.

Conclusion

Radiotherapy - Doctors may use radiotherapy before surgery to reduce the size of the cancer. More commonly, women will receive radiotherapy two to four weeks after breast conservation surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may still be present. Sometimes, women might also have radiotherapy after mastectomy (removal of the whole breast). If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, radiotherapy may be used to relieve symptoms such as bone pain. Chemotherapy - Doctors often treat breast cancer with a combination of chemotherapy drugs. Women may receive chemotherapy before or after breast surgery. The doctor can also use chemotherapy to treat cancer that has come back. Hormone therapy - The female hormone oestrogen is a major factor for the growth of many breast cancers. Hormone therapy lowers the amount of oestrogen in the blood, or blocks oestrogen from stimulating the cancer to grow. Tamoxifen is the most common hormone therapy used. ...read more.

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