Cancer Risk Assessment, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Cancer?

Cancer is a disease which is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of the cells in a part of the body. Cancerous cells do not go through the natural stages of division, growth, and dying which normal cells do. The unchecked multiplication occurs and one or more masses of cells are formed (tumor). Tumors damage the healthy tissues and interfere with the body function by growing large. It is not necessary that all the tumors form cancer (e.g., leukemia). All the tumors might not be malignant some can be benign (non-spreading and non-cancerous).
Cancer has the capacity to spread (metastasize) beyond the origin site into nearby lymph nodes, organs, and tissues. There are several types of cancer and named on the basis of their location and origin. In screening, management, diagnosis, and risk assessment, various lab tests are used. Examples of these types of tests are listed below:

Risk assessment of Cancer:

Risk assessment Detecting whether an individual contains a risk for a specific type of cancer, for example, BRCA mutation for ovarian and breast cancer and HPV for cervical cancer.

Screening of cancer:

Screening determining cancer before its appearance, for example, the Pap test for cervical cancer.

Diagnosis of Cancer:

Diagnosis of cancer examples are BCR/ABL mutation to diagnose chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and JAK2 to diagnose myeloproliferative neoplasm.

Treatment  of Cancer:

Treatment provides guidance in the selection of drugs to monitor the effectiveness of treatment or to treat cancer, for example, HER1/neu to detect whether a woman’s breast cancer responds to the drugs trastuzumab and BCR/ABL to observe the treatment of leukemia