Health

How fast you walk says a lot about your health

During a doctor's appointment, there's a few measures that quickly get a physician up to speed on our current health, such as measuring blood pressure and checking our BMI. But researchers say it could be helpful to add one ...

Oncology & Cancer

US, Japan duo win Nobel Medicine Prize for cancer therapy

Two immunologists, James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won the 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body's natural defences can fight cancer, the jury said on Monday.

Oncology & Cancer

Anti-cancer virus fits tumor receptor like a 'key in a lock'

Seneca Valley virus sounds like the last bug you'd want to catch, but it could be the next breakthrough cancer therapy. Now, scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and the University of Otago ...

Oncology & Cancer

Promising new pancreatic cancer treatment moves forward

Even among cancers, pancreatic cancer is an especially sinister form of disease. The one-year survival rate is extremely low, and treatment progress has lagged behind that of many other malignancies.

Oncology & Cancer

'Lock-'n'-block' drug may prevent cancer from metastasizing

"They got all of it" are the reassuring words people hope to hear following cancer surgery, but a growing understanding of the science of how cancer spreads, and metastasizes, is suggesting that not only is this almost never ...

Oncology & Cancer

Scientists test new cancer vaccine against melanoma

An experimental cancer vaccine that boosts the immune system's ability to fight cancers could work in tandem with other cancer therapies to fight aggressive tumors, scientists reported recently in the Proceedings of the National ...

Oncology & Cancer

Bacteria engineered as Trojan horse for cancer immunotherapy

The emerging field of synthetic biology—designing new biological components and systems—is revolutionizing medicine. Through the genetic programming of living cells, researchers are creating engineered systems that intelligently ...

Medications

Stress hormones promote breast cancer metastasis

It has long been thought that stress contributes to cancer progression. Scientists from the University of Basel and the University Hospital of Basel have deciphered the molecular mechanisms linking breast cancer metastasis ...

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Cancer

Cancer (medical term: malignant neoplasm) is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth (division beyond the normal limits), invasion (intrusion on and destruction of adjacent tissues), and sometimes metastasis (spread to other locations in the body via lymph or blood). These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which are self-limited, and do not invade or metastasize. Most cancers form a tumor but some, like leukemia, do not. The branch of medicine concerned with the study, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer is oncology.

Cancer may affect people at all ages, even fetuses, but the risk for most varieties increases with age. Cancer causes about 13% of all human deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, 7.6 million people died from cancer in the world during 2007. Cancers can affect all animals.

Nearly all cancers are caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of the transformed cells. These abnormalities may be due to the effects of carcinogens, such as tobacco smoke, radiation, chemicals, or infectious agents. Other cancer-promoting genetic abnormalities may be randomly acquired through errors in DNA replication, or are inherited, and thus present in all cells from birth. The heritability of cancers are usually affected by complex interactions between carcinogens and the host's genome. New aspects of the genetics of cancer pathogenesis, such as DNA methylation, and microRNAs are increasingly recognized as important.

Genetic abnormalities found in cancer typically affect two general classes of genes. Cancer-promoting oncogenes are typically activated in cancer cells, giving those cells new properties, such as hyperactive growth and division, protection against programmed cell death, loss of respect for normal tissue boundaries, and the ability to become established in diverse tissue environments. Tumor suppressor genes are then inactivated in cancer cells, resulting in the loss of normal functions in those cells, such as accurate DNA replication, control over the cell cycle, orientation and adhesion within tissues, and interaction with protective cells of the immune system.

Diagnosis usually requires the histologic examination of a tissue biopsy specimen by a pathologist, although the initial indication of malignancy can be symptoms or radiographic imaging abnormalities. Most cancers can be treated and some cured, depending on the specific type, location, and stage. Once diagnosed, cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. As research develops, treatments are becoming more specific for different varieties of cancer. There has been significant progress in the development of targeted therapy drugs that act specifically on detectable molecular abnormalities in certain tumors, and which minimize damage to normal cells. The prognosis of cancer patients is most influenced by the type of cancer, as well as the stage, or extent of the disease. In addition, histologic grading and the presence of specific molecular markers can also be useful in establishing prognosis, as well as in determining individual treatments.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA