Name: B Meisner
How does cancer hurt the human body?
Whew!! You really know how to pick a hard question... Before I even TRY
to answer this, perhaps a fair to middlin' definition of cancer itself may be in order.
In very very basic terms, cancer is a condition of uncontrolled cellular growth,
caused by any variety of factors (smoking, chemicals in the environment, radiation,
certain diseases, etc) The reason that this growth harms to body is because the mutation
or defect in the cancerous cells usually has a simultaneous effect on the actual
performance of each individual cell in its specific duty within the body. This may not
seem so bad in the case of cancers of the skin, for instance, but it is the long-term
effects of the growth which cause the greatest concern -- if the tumor or cancerous
cell mass spreads into the lymph system (sort of the immune highway of the body), the
cells can then travel through the body to infect other organ systems... So a skin
cancer can become liver cancer, and so forth.
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Update: June 2012