Bengaluru: On National Cancer Awareness Day, we tell you about the various stages of cancer and how it all begins. 

Cancer can begin in any cell in the body. The human body comprises millions of cells and each cell is directed by genes – instructing how it should grow and divide. 

A normal gene would tell the cell to grow in a controlled manner according to the requirements of the body. A mutation or an error in the gene can give the cell wrong instructions, thereby causing it to grow and multiply abnormally and uncontrollably. 

The mutation can be caused when there’s a change or damage in the DNA. Uncontrollable growth of the cell results in the formation of a cancerous tumour, which can put pressure on nearby organs and tissues.

Unlike their regular counterparts, cancer cells don’t go through the normal maturation process. 

Cancerous tumors have their own veins supplying oxygen and nutrients to them, which gives them a crab-like appearance. 

Some cancer cells can get into the bloodstream or lymphatic system and go to other parts of the body in a process known as metastasis. From its original place, it can spread to the bones, lungs, liver or brain. According to the growth and extent of the cancer, it is staged as I, II, III or IV.

Cancer can be treated by various methods such as Immunotherapy, Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy, Hormone Therapy, Targeted Therapy, Stem Cell Transplant, Surgery, Precision, Medicine. 

Cancer can be prevented if it is detected at an early stage. Healthy weight and healthy diet play a crucial role in handling cancer. Abstinence from tobacco and protection from sun also have been proved beneficial.