Origin, types and new methods of diagnostics • HealthNews

Cancer is one of the most common diseases worldwide. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IACR), approximately 18 million people worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Many of them died from their illness or are still fighting it – only a few are considered cured. But what is cancer and why are more and more people getting it?

When it comes to cancer

Another name for cancer is the Greek translation “carcinoma”, which is used just as often. Cancer can have an infinite number of causes. However, the causes of some types of cancer are still unclear. We know a lot about the malignant cells, but some things have still not been sufficiently researched – so there are still many question marks when it comes to cancer.
We have known since the mid-19th century that cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells. The cells proliferate and in the worst case they attack healthy cells. In a healthy organism there is a balance between the formation of cells and the death of these cells. The growth of benign cells such as fatty tissue and moles is not called a tumor, carcinoma or cancer. Cancer can basically affect any organ in the body.

Different types of cancer

Cancer most commonly occurs in the breast, lung and prostate worldwide. However, the propagation of the cells is distinguished by three characteristics:

  1. metastasizing: so-called daughter tumors (metastases) develop there
  2. infiltrating: the malignant cells grow into neighboring tissue
  3. destructive: adjacent tissue is destroyed

The likelihood of being diagnosed with cancer increases with age. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Germany. The symptoms of the disease differ just as often as the type of tumor itself. Nevertheless, one can assume that observable changes in the body and in one’s own well-being can be warning signals and these should be clarified by a doctor in any case.

New technology for earlier diagnosis

With all types of spread, “the earlier you recognize the tumor, the better you can treat it”. A German-Danish team succeeded in developing a technology that can better understand cancer: the so-called “Deep Visual Proteomics”. If you can better understand the morphology and development of the bad cells, you can also treat them better, which could mean great progress in the fight against cancer. “Deep Visual Proteomics” combines four technologies to create a larger picture of the cells:

  • modern microscopy produces so-called tissue maps
  • Cells are grouped based on their shape, size or protein localization with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).
  • after assigning the cell groups, countless proteins are determined using ultra-sensitive mass spectrometry
  • these analyzes generate protein maps that develop spatial resolution of proteins
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Proteins are the key to cell formation and development because their correct function controls a cell’s ability to function. With this precise identification of the proteins in the cells, mechanisms of the tumor and its development can be unmasked within a short time and with little effort. As a result, new therapeutic and effective goals are derived, which contribute significantly to the healing of the patient.

Possibilities of prevention and therapy

Depending on the tumor, there are a wide variety of treatment options, such as radiation, chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation.
In addition, the entire lifestyle plays a major role in the fight against and prevention of tumors, which is why, for example, one should definitely avoid smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, as well as an unbalanced diet and too much stress.

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