What Is Cancer?
Fundraising efforts for a cure and the prevalence of the disease keep cancer in the public eye. Despite this publicity, the exact causes and precise treatments of cancer seem evasive. It is important to understand what cancer is in order to understand how foods can help prevent it.
Cancer is a general term used when abnormal cells grow and divide uncontrollably, invade neighboring tissue, and sometimes spread (or metastasize) to other locations. These cells take over healthy tissue and can spread through the blood and lymph system. There are over 100 types of cancer and each affects a different area or tissue of the body. Breast, lung and colorectal cancer are most prevalent among adults; leukemia and cancers of the brain or nervous system are most prevalent in children.
Cancer is caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of cells. These abnormalities can be caused by external influences — for example, tobacco smoke, chemicals, radiation, and pollutants. The abnormalities can also be present in a person's body from birth, either by being inherited or from damage to the DNA.