Apoptosis, also referred to as “programmed cell death,” or “cell suicide,” originates from a combination of Greek words that can be loosely translated as “falling off.” Apoptosis is a physiological process essential for the development and function of the human body and other multicellular organisms. Millions of cells routinely die in the bone marrow and intestines every hour. It is estimated that approximately 50-70 billion cells die due to apoptosis every day in an average human adult.
Cancer of the urinary bladder is the fourth most common cause of cancer in men. Most bladder cancer patients tend to be older men over the age of 60. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015, approximately 74,000 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in the US.
Kidneys are a part of the urinary system. A pair of fist-sized kidneys is located in the flanks on either side of the vertebral column. The main function of the kidneys is to form urine by removing water and waste products from the body. Urine is then stored in the urinary bladder to be later excreted.
Skin cancer is the most common of all types of cancers. While melanoma is the most feared skin cancer, non-melanoma skin cancers are far more common. The American Cancer Society estimates 73,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2015; however, there will be 3.5 million new cases of non-melanoma cancers.
Cervical cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the fourth most common cause of death in women. The American Cancer Society estimates 12,900 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2015. Most women diagnosed with cervical cancer are between 30 to 60 years old. While the routine Pap test has reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries, it remains a major cause of deaths in women in developing countries. According to 2012 data, approximately 528,000 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed worldwide.
The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system and are located on each side of the uterus. They are responsible for the storage and release of an egg every month during a woman’s childbearing years, and the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone control the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and have protective effects on the heart, bones and multiple organ systems in women.
A primary brain tumor is a highly aggressive type of tumor originating from brain tissues. Secondary brain tumors are the tumors that spread to the brain from cancers originating in other parts of the body (such as melanoma, the lungs, breasts, kidneys, and colon). The US estimates 23,380 adults will be diagnosed with primary brain tumors in 2014 and approximately 14,320 adults will die from those tumors. European statistics reported 57,132 cases of malignant brain tumors according to a 2012 statistical report.
The pancreas, located directly behind the lower part of the stomach, is a vital organ secreting various digestive enzymes and hormones (e.g. insulin) that regulate blood sugar levels in the body.
Cancer of the pancreas is a serious and almost always fatal disease. It is the twelfth most common cancer in the world with 338,000 new cases diagnosed in 20121. However, it is projected that pancreatic cancer will be the second deadliest cancer by 2030. According to the American Cancer Society’s 2014 estimates, 46,420 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the US and 39,590 deaths are expected to be due to this disease. In Europe, there were approximately 103,845 cases of pancreatic cancer in 2012. Only 4-5% of the people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live beyond 5 years after their diagnosis. This is because pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed at a very late stage due to a lack of specific symptoms and, similarly to other cancers, no effective cure is available.
Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US, and about 1 in 8 women are likely to develop it during their lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, about 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and 62,570 of noninvasive (in-situ) breast cancers will be diagnosed in the US. Worldwide approximately 1.38 million new cases are diagnosed and 458 000 deaths occur from breast cancer each year.
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer frequently occurring in children and young adults between the ages of 10 and 30. People over 60 are also at an increased risk. In the US, almost 800 new cases of osteosarcoma are diagnosed every year and more than 400 are in children and teens younger than 20. Initial symptoms of osteosarcoma, such as pain, bone or joint swelling, and decreased joint motion can be misleading and frequently occur in children due to sports and other injuries. In older adults, the symptoms can be misdiagnosed as arthritis.