How does cancer start?

How does cancer start?

Why does the cell go haywire in the first place? More important, how do we hold cancer at arm's length (or farther)? Let's take a closer view of how this disease can develop and see where diet can intervene. One way that food can affect cancer risk is by contributing carcinogens--that is, cancer causing chemicals. They are found in tobacco, of course, and the same is true of some foods. Grilled, broiled, or fried meats contain heterocyclic amines, which form from certain compounds in the meat as it is cooked. Other troubling chemicals are N-nitroso compounds found in bacon, and aflatoxin found in moldy peanuts. The trouble starts when carcinogen manages to damage the DNA in one of your cells. The damaged cell can begin multiplying out of control. Uncontrolled cell growth leads to a clump of cancer cells, called a tumor, which can spread to nearby tissues or to the bloodstream, passing on to other organs in the body (metastasis). The world "cancer" is derived from the Latin word for crab and denotes a crablike growth that spreads throughout the body.

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