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Cancer Causes and Treatment

​​​​​​​​​​​​Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the human body. 

Cancer cells do not grow and die in an orderly fashion. Rather, they continue to grow and divide, and replace normal, healthy cells.

Cancer causes

​​Abnormal cells are formed when Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is damaged and not repaired by the body. DNA can be damaged through:

  • Exposure to environmental factors such as ultraviolet light, chemicals or cigarette smoke
  • Genetic factors – some cancers appear to be inherited
  • Exposure to certain viruses – for example, some​ forms of cervical cancer have been linked to exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Types of cancer

Cancer is not one disease, but many different types of disease. Prostate cancer is not the same as breast cancer, which is not the same as bladder cancer. Therefore, each cancer may respond differently to various forms of treatment.

Not all cancers behave alike. Some cancers form solid masses, called tumors. ​Other cancers form in the blood and circulate to other organs. 

Some tumor-forming cancer cells can remain within one organ or body part, while others may "metastasize" and spread to other organs.

What will happen to me?

How cancer affects you depends on a number of factors. These factors can include:

  • Cancer type
  • Cancer location in your body
  • How far the cancer has spread
  • Your overall health at the time of diagnosis / treatment
  • How the cancer responds to treatment​

Contact us for care

If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Call: 1-866-520-2510

(Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

What Do You Know About Nutrition and Cancer?

A diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is important for good health. How does diet affect your risk for cancer? Find out by taking this quiz, based in part on information from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

1. Eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day may lower your cancer risk.
2. Eating red meat won't raise your cancer risk.
3. People who eat foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and carotenoids may have a lower cancer risk.
4. Limiting how much preserved meat you eat may lower your cancer risk.
5. Eating plenty of fiber is good for your heart, but it may not protect you against cancer.
6. Eating lots of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower may lower your cancer risk.
7. Using artificial sweeteners can raise your cancer risk.
8. Drinking red wine can lower your cancer risk.