About cancer

Here we would like to give you more information about cancer, about the disease cancer and about the treatment of cancer, with special attention to hyperthermia as a treatment method.

Cancer is a collective term for diseases in which cells from an organ divide, grow and spread throughout the body.

Cancer is often combated with systemic treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy or hormone therapy and with local treatments such as surgery and radiation. Hyperthermia treatments can be used as topical and / or systemic treatments.

Cancer develops

Healthy adult cell division is controlled in such a way that only damaged / dead cells are replaced. There is a balance between dead cells and newly created cells. This balance is disrupted when the body loses “control” over cell division. The cause of this disturbance is a change (mutation) of one or more genes. A gene is the building block of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The DNA is the carrier of all hereditary information of the body and is estimated to contain about 25,000 genes. Due to the gene mutation, a cell produces an abnormal protein (s). This has consequences for the functioning of the cell. The cell escapes the cell division control mechanism and cells may proliferate.

Gene mutation factors

Gene mutations are created “at random” (random) or by “mutagens” (chemical and biological substances, or physical factors such as radiation). The cause of random mutations is often unknown. However, many mutagens (also known as carcinogens) are known. The most famous are X-rays, UV radiation and radioactive radiation, asbestos, heavy metals, tobacco, etc. For a complete list of mutagens, see: https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/stcrt-2018-21.html

Genetic factors can also play a role in gene mutation, as can bacteria, viruses and parasites.

It is estimated that everyone undergoes tens of thousands of gene mutations during their lifetime. Only a very small part of this causes a tumor to develop.

The tumors created by gene mutation can be benign and malignant. The main difference between benign and malignant tumors is that benign tumors only grow expansively (expanding), so they take up space, while malignant tumors grow invasively (ingrown, invading) in addition to expansively. Because cancer cells can grow into blood and lymph vessels, the cancer can spread further in the body (metastases, metastases).

The most common cancers are carcinoma (or carcinoma) and sarcoma (also called sarcoma).