chapter  1
48 Pages

- Cancer: A Worldwide Menace

There are more than a hundred different types of cancers. The names for cancers are derived from the organ or type of cell in which it starts; for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins in basal cells of the skin is called basal cell carcinoma. The Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.), who is considered the father of medicine, is credited with the origin of the word cancer. Hippocrates used the terms carcinos and carcinoma to describe non-ulcer-forming and ulcer-forming tumors. In Greek, these words refer to a crab, most likely applied to the disease because the finger-like spreading projections from cancer are structurally similar to the shape of a crab. After cardiovascular diseases, cancer is the second biggest cause of human death worldwide. Cardiovascular diseases and cancer together are responsible for over 80% of all deaths in industrialized countries. Global cancer incidence is an ever-increasing trend. Conventional therapies control cancer by acting upon effects (like proliferation, cell growth, etc.) rather than acting on the root cause of carcinogenesis. Because of this, there is no effective cancer therapy available, and cancer-related malignancies and deaths are increasing.