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 Frequently Asked Questions

What is cancer?

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of body cells that invades surrounding normal tissue and can spread to distant organs if not examined in time.

What causes cancer?

Cancer is caused by damage to DNA (genetic material) within our cells. Damage to DNA occurs in all normal cells, but the majority of this damage is repaired by our own bodies. Sometimes this damage is not repaired properly, which can change the properties of the cell (as cells can gain the ability to grow and divide rapidly). Accumulated DNA damage can eventually lead to cancer.

Some cancers are caused by things that people do or expose themselves to. For example, consumption of tobacco can damage the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys and many other organs. Of course, not all people who use tobacco will have cancer, but it increases a person’s risk. This increases the chances of developing heart and blood vessel diseases also.

Can injuries Cause cancer?

It is a common myth that injuries can cause cancer. But the fact is that falls, injuries or bone fractures have not been linked to cancer. Sometimes a person may meet the doctor for what is thought to be an injury and cancer is detected on examination and then the person is sent to a cancer specialist. It is also sometimes that a person will remember an injury that occurred long ago in place of cancer.

Can stress cause cancer?

Researchers have conducted several studies to see if there is a relationship between personality, attitude, stress, and cancer. No scientific evidence has shown that a person’s personality or attitude or stress levels affect their cancer risk. There are several factors to look for in the relationship between stress and cancer. It is known that stress affects the immune system, but so do many other things. Despite numerous studies, the association between psychological stress and cancer has not been found.

Is cancer contagious?

In the past, people often stayed away from someone who had cancer. They feared that they might catch the disease. But cancer is not like flu or cold. You cannot catch cancer from someone who is suffering from cancer. You cannot get cancer from touching anyone. Don’t be afraid if you are caring for a cancer patient. They need the support and care of their family and friends.

Can cancer be cured?

Cure means that the treatment has eradicated cancer and there is no chance that it will return. It is rare that a doctor can ensure that cancer will never return. In most cases it takes time and the longer a person remains cancer-free, the better chance cancer will not return.

Do germs or bacteria cause cancer?

Cancer is not an infection. However, long-term infection with some pathogens can cause cancer. For example, infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections, which can lead to liver cancer, and persistent infection of gastric mucosa by Helicobacter can cause stomach cancer. Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is associated with lymphomas, nasopharyngeal cancer, and some stomach cancers. However, most people infected with these cancer-causing pathogens never develop cancer.

Does cancer develop in people with poor health?

Cancer can affect physically fit individuals as well as individuals of poor health. People who are immunocompromised (such as a person infected with HIV, or on immunosuppressive therapy) are at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. However, most cancers are caused by a combination of factors including tobacco use, alcohol use, your genetic makeup, poor diet, physical inactivity, being overweight, and exposure to chemicals.

Can smoking, chewing tobacco and betel nut cause cancer?

Yes, smoking cigarettes, bidis, hookahs, pipes or cigars increases your chances of cancer. Eating betel leaf with tobacco and chewing tobacco can cause head and neck (mouth, lips, nose and sinus, voice box, larynx), oesophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervical cancer. It may cause cancers of colon, rectum, ovary and acute myeloid leukaemia (blood cancer).

Can alcohol cause cancer?

Studies have shown that people who drink alcohol are more likely to have oral cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer and throat cancer, including pharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer, and oesophagal cancer (oesophagus). So Yes! alcohol can cause cancer.