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Cancer Awareness

Department of Physics & Applied Mathematics, PIEAS Nilore, Islamabad 45650, Pakistan

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start. For example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins in basal cells of the skin is called basal cell carcinoma.

Introduction (conti)
The main categories of cancer include: Carcinoma - cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma - cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Leukemia - cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood. Lymphoma and myeloma - cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.

Origins of Cancer
All cancers begin in cells What happens when normal cells become cancer cells. The body is made up of many types of cells. These cells grow and divide in a controlled way to produce more cells as they are needed to keep the body healthy. When cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced with new cells.

Origins of Cancer (conti)

Sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. The genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them. The extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor.

Symptoms of Cancer
Persistent Fatigue, Unintentional Weight Loss, Bowel Changes, Fever with pain Change in bowel habits or bladder functions Sores that do not heal Unusual bleeding or discharge Lumps or thickening of breast or other parts of the body Indigestion or difficulty swallowing Recent change in wart or mole Persistent coughing or hoarseness

Most Common Cancers

Bladder Cancer Breast Cancer Colon and Rectal Cancer Endometrial Cancer Kidney Cancer Leukemia Lung Cancer Melanoma Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Pancreatic Cancer Prostate Cancer Thyroid Cancer

Just four cancer sites lung, breast, colorectum and stomach are two-fifths (41%) of the worlds total cancer diagnoses in 2008

The 20 Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancers Worldwide

Percentage of all Deaths Due to Cancer in the World (2008 Estimates)

Region of the World Percentage of All Deaths Due to Cancer

Western Pacific 21.1 Europe 19.8

Americas 19.7 World 13.8 South-East Asia 9.3 Eastern Mediterranean

Africa 5


Asia Population Measures and Cancer Incidence and Mortality (Estimates Between 2005-2010)
Population Life Expectancy Number of New Cancer Cases* Number of Cancer Deaths*

2008 Estimates [Total] 2010 Estimates [by Age]

2005-2010 estimates

2008 estimates

2008 estimates

Total (1000's) Asia Eastern Asia 4,075,309 1,546,825

% Under 15

% Over 60



% of World Total 48 29


% of World Total 54 32

26% 19%

10% 14%

69 74

6,092,359 3,720,658

4,072,332 2,440,351

SouthCentral Asia









SouthEastern Asia Western Asia













What Causes Cancer?

External Factors chemicals, radiation, viruses, and lifestyle Internal Factors hormones, immune conditions, and inherited mutations Theories
Cellular change/mutation theories Carcinogens Oncogenes/ proto-oncogenes

Factors Believed to Contribute to Global Causes of Cancer

Radiation Dose to Human

Cancers Commonly Associated with Radiation

Acute and chronic myeloid more in adults Acute lymphatic more in childhood (NOT chronic lymphocytic)

Data tend to support linearity

Common in Radon exposure

Bone surface short half life materials; 224Ra (T 1/2 3.6d) Bone volume long half life materials; 226Ra, 228Ra

Children in particular


Cancer treatment
Local therapy:
Surgery. Radiation therapy.

Systemic treatment:
Chemotherapy. Hormonal therapy. Monoclonal antibodies.

Supportive care. Non-conventional therapy.

Surgery was the first modality used successfully in the treatment of cancer. It is the only curative therapy for many common solid tumors. The most important determinant of a successful surgical therapy are the absence of distant metastases and no local infiltration. Surgery may be used for palliation in patients for whom cure is not possible

Systemic chemotherapy is the main treatment available for disseminated malignant diseases. Progress in chemotherapy resulted in cure for several tumors. Chemotherapy usually require multiple cycles.

Radiation Therapy