Cancer is the most feared disease on the planet. The word can strike terror in a person diagnosed with it. The reality is that medical science has made great strides in the treatment of various types of cancers and while it is undoubtedly a very serious and possibly life-threatening condition, it is no longer a death sentence to a patient.
While the USA and China are currently dealing with a maximum number of cancer cases, India is third. Approximately 1 million cancer cases are found in Indian healthcare every year.
According to the National Cancer Registry Programme report, Indians suffer from various types of cancer every year. The rise in urban pollution has led to an increased rate of obesity, tobacco and alcohol consumption. As a result, the rate of cancer is growing in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) studies predict a possible 12% rise in cancer rate in India by the next five years. The following list discusses the most common types of cancer found in India.
- Breast Cancer: Breast cancer occurs when the cells in the breast multiply rapidly in an abnormal fashion. Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of death in women over the age of 50.
The signs of breast cancer include change in the shape and size of the breast, a mass or lump on breasts, inflammation on skin near or on the breast, as well as blood leaking from nipples.
Several factors like smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity, and hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of incurring breast cancer.
Breast cancer is diagnosed through mammography, ultrasonography, PET scans, or MRI.
- Oral Cancer: This is another very common type of cancer. It usually affects people who are over the age of 60. Cancer cells mainly start developing from the mouth or throat tissues in oral cancer. This type of cancer primarily grows in the squamous cells. Oral cancer includes cancer development in body parts, including lips, tongue, cheeks, hard and soft palate, mouth, sinuses, and pharynx.
Some of the common symptoms of oral cancer are as follows. The symptoms of oral cancer include patches in mouth or throat, mouth sores that heal, bleeding mouth, etc. Excessive smoking, use of alcohol, or too much time in the sun can cause mouth cancer. It can also run in the family.
- Cervical Cancer: This type of cancer occurs in the cells of the cervix. It is the lower part of the uterus connecting to the vagina. Human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, is often responsible for causing this cancer. Due to the low awareness, this is a very common cancer in India.
Some of the symptoms of this cancer include vaginal pain or bleeding after intercourse, watery or bloody vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, trouble while urinating, weight loss and fatigue, etc.
Pap smear done by a gynecologist can help diagnose cervical cancer.
- Gastric Cancer: In this condition, cancer cells start forming in the stomach lining. As the stomach is responsible for processing food and digestion, this type of cancer can be painful and life-threatening. Although the stomach contains five layers of tissues, gastric cancer begins in the mucosa, the uppermost layer.
The symptoms of gastric cancer include loss of appetite, trouble swallowing, constant vomiting, bloody stool, etc. The symptoms are similar to other stomach infections.
People having diets rich in salty and smoked food are most likely to develop this cancer. Lack of eating fruits, vegetables and properly processed food can also cause it. Older males and chain smokers are more at risk of getting gastric cancer.
- Lungs Cancer: This type of cancer begins in your lungs. Lungs are two organs in your chest, essential for helping you inhale oxygen and release carbon dioxide. Lung cancer is often the leading cause of global cancer deaths. Additionally, the two types of lung cancer include small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.
Some of the significant symptoms of this cancer include persistent cough, bleeding while coughing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, chest pain, etc.
Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer in India. People addicted to smoking are at the highest risk of developing this cancer. Furthermore, even people exposed to excessive passive smoking can develop this condition. Apart from that, if your workplace exposes you to asbestos or radon gas, you might be at high risk.
It is generally diagnosed by CT scan or chest X-ray. Sometimes the doctor can suggest a biopsy or removal of cells or tissues from the affected part of the body.