Pollutants that cause cancer
Cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell division and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue (invasion) or by movement of cells to distant sites (metastasis). Pollutants cause cancer.
This unregulated growth is caused by damage to DNA, resulting in mutations to important genes that control cell division, among other functions.
One or more of these mutations, which can be inherited or acquired, can lead to uncontrolled cell division and tumor formation.
Tumor (which means "swelling" in Latin) refers to any abnormal mass of tissue, but may be either malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous).
Only malignant tumors can invade other tissues or metastasize.
Cancer can have many different symptoms, depending on the site and character of the malignancy and whether there is metastasis.
A reliable diagnosis generally requires the microscopic examination of tissue obtained by biopsy. Once diagnosed, cancer is typically treated with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.
If untreated, most cancers ultimately cause death; cancer is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries.
Most cancers can be successfully treated, especially if treatment begins early.
Many forms of cancer are associated with environmental carcinogenic pollutants, which may be avoidable.
Smoking tobacco leads to more cancers than any other environmental factor.
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