Brain cancer is a very serious form of cancer. Recently, Sen. John McCain revealed he has been diagnosed with a primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive type of brain tumor. GBMs originate in the brain; it does not spread there from another part of the body. The cause is not known. This tumor has no relation to melanoma, the skin cancer for which McCain was treated in the past.



Chemotherapy is a standard treatment for cancer. It kills healthy cells along with cancer cells, inflicting damage on the body and seriously compromising the immune system. Chemotherapy also kills most rapidly dividing healthy and cancer cells, but not all the cells are fast growing. Cancer stem cells (CSCs), a small population of cancer cells that are slow growing and thus resistant to treatment, do not die. Chemotherapy makes these cells even more numerous as the ratio of highly malignant cells….



For many women facing cancer, the most devastating aspect is learning they may lose their hair due to chemotherapy.  “Most women tell me that as soon as they hear the oncologist say, ‘You’re going to lose your hair,’ that’s the last thing they remember hearing,” said Eric Johnson, co-owner, with his wife, Jeletta, of Hair Institute in Lexington. “They can deal with the sickness; they can deal with the treatments; but it’s the hair loss that gets them the most.


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Sun Exposure:

Too much sunburn and sun exposure (radiation from UVA and UVB rays) can increase the risk of developing skin cancer.


Certain germs such as bacteria and viruses are linked to certain cancers. For example, there is a link between human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. People infected with the hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus have an increased risk of developing liver cancer.

Genetic Make-up:

Some cancers have a strong genetic link. For example, in some childhood cancers, the abnormal gene or genes that trigger a cell to become cancerous are inherited. Common examples are inherited breast cancer and ovarian cancer genes. People with Down’s syndrome may develop malignancies such as testicular cancer and leukemia.

Weak Immune System:

People who have a poor immune system are at a higher risk of developing certain cancers, especially people with AIDS or those on immunosuppressive therapy.

Lifestyle Factors:

These, along with your diet, can increase or decrease your risk of developing cancer. Fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins and contain antioxidants, so eating plenty of them will reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. The recommendation is to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. If you eat a lot of red meat or too much fatty food, if you drink too much alcohol, if you do not exercise regularly and are obese, your chances of developing certain cancers increases.

Most cancers occur due to a combination of the factors mentioned above. Cancers that are linked to certain behaviors can be prevented. Choosing to quit smoking or drinking alcohol reduces the risk of several types of cancer, especially of the lung, liver, mouth and throat. Skin cancer can be prevented by staying in the shade and protecting yourself with a hat, wearing a full-sleeved shirt when in the sun and using sunscreen.

Sources and Resources:


The body is made of billions of tiny cells, and cancer is caused by changes (mutations) to the DNA within the cells. Cancer starts when cells grow out of control and crowd out normal cells, making it hard for the body to function optimally. It can start anywhere in the body and can spread to other parts of the body. Each cancer is different according to its biology and pathophysiology.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States. The number of new cancer cases is expected to rise by about 7 percent in the next 20 years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Doctors don’t know for sure what causes cancer. However, each cancer is thought to start initially from one abnormal cell. Perhaps certain vital genes that control how cells divide and multiply are altered or damaged and make the cell abnormal. If the abnormal cell survives, it may multiply out of control into a malignant or cancerous tumor.

Certain risk factors that may increase the chances of one or more cells becoming abnormal and leading to cancer include:


The older you are, the more likely you are to develop cancer,


which could be due to an accumulation of damage to cells over time. Also, the body’s defense system for fighting abnormal cells may weaken as you become older.

Chemical Carcinogens:

A carcinogen, such as radiation, can damage a cell and may make it cancerous. The more exposure to a carcinogen, the greater the risk in most cases. Workplace chemicals such benzene, asbestos and formaldehyde could lead to the development of certain cancers if you worked with them without protection. Exposure to nuclear fallout and radioactive materials can increase the risk of leukemia and other cancers.


Smoking causes nearly one in four of all cancers; about one in 10 smokers die from lung cancer. If you smoke, you are likely to develop cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, pancreas, esophagus and lung.


Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

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