World Cancer Day is observed on 4th February to promote awareness of cancer and for better detection, treatment and prevention. Today, cancer is the second main cause of death cases in the world. It occurs due to the abnormal growth of cells in tissue or organ of the body. Healthy changes in lifestyle and diet can help in reducing the overall risk of cancer. But in India, cancer cases are on a rise, especially in women.
As per World Health Organisation report, cancer is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Another health report published by ICMR which states that 11.57 lakh new cases of cancer patients are detected in India and new cancer cases are supposed to grow by 25% in the year 2020.
There are 5 major cancers types which have severely affected the population of India which are Breast Cancer, Oral Cancer, Lung Cancer, Cervical Cancer and Stomach Cancer. Today in our health blog we will briefly discuss these cancer types and their signs and symptoms.
1. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cause of women’s death worldwide. Breast cancer is a fatal tumour that rises in the cells of the breast. It occurs both in men and women but majorly detected in women. The main cause of Breast Cancer in women is due to the formation of lobules in the milk ducts of breasts. Thus, it is beneficial to conduct regular self-examinations to check for lumps and bumps that may become cancerous.
Some symptoms of breast cancer include:
- Lump found on the surface of the breast.
- Any change in the shape, size and appearance of a breast or nipple.
- Growth or swelling of the breast, notably on one side only.
- Clear or bloody discharge other than breast milk.
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
- A newly inverted nipple.
- Redness of the skin over breast or nipple
Also Read: Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
2. Oral Cancer
As per cancer stats, out of 3 lakh global cases of oral cancer, 86% of cases are from India. Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the tissue of the mouth or throat, such as lips, tongue or inner cheeks and extends backwards to the front part of the tonsils. Excessive use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol, cigarette smoking and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection are the main causes of Oral Cancer. Oral cancer is dangerous because early stages may not be noticed by the patient and it increases without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize. Which means there is a high risk of producing a second & primary tumour.
Some symptoms of Oral Cancer include:
- Difficulty in opening the mouth.
- Development of white, red or mixed patches on tongue, gums or inner linings of the mouth.
- A lump or hard mass in the neck
- Chronic pain in the mouth, jaw and tongue
- Difficulty in chewing or gulping.
- Bleeding in the mouth.
3. Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer found among Indian women. Cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus ( HPV) which aids abnormal growth of cells on the cervix of a woman. With developments in diagnosis and treatment methods, cervical cancer at early stages is curable. Women who are prone to the risk of Cervical cancer include those who are having many sexual partners or having first sexual intercourse at a young age, giving birth to many children, smoking or having other diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Some symptoms of Cervical Cancer include:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding.
- Unusually longer or heavier periods, bleeding after menopause.
- Excessive vaginal discharge with the foul smell.
- Vaginal bleeding after having sexual intercourse.
- Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic pain.
4. Lung Cancer
Lung cancer has originated from the tissues of the lung, usually from cells lining the air tracks. When healthy cells grow out of control, they develop a mass called tumour or nodule. There are no specific signs of the early stage of this cancer. The two main types are small-cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. More than 80% of all lung cancers belong to the non-small cell type. Majority causes of lung cancer can be attributed to excessive smoking, symptoms of which show in the form of breathing difficulties. A number of factors may increase your risk of lung cancer such as.
- Smoking: Your risk of lung cancer rises with the number of cigarettes you smoke each day and the number of years you have smoked. Quitting at any age can lower your risk of developing lung cancer.
- Exposure to secondhand smoke: Even if you don’t smoke, your risk of lung cancer increases if you’re exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Family history of lung cancer: People with a parent, sibling or child with lung cancer have a risk of this disease.
Some symptoms of Lung Cancer include:
There are no specific signs and symptoms that occur in the initial stages. The patients may just have general symptoms of not feeling well. In most people with lung cancer, the symptoms arise only when the disease is advanced. The common symptoms include:
- Cough gets worse despite the usual treatment.
- Shortness of breath.
- Coughing up mucus with traces of blood in it.
- Wheezing or feeling asthmatic.
- An ache or pain in the chest or shoulder.
- Loss of appetite & unexplained weight loss.
- Feeling extreme tiredness.
5. Gastric Cancer
Stomach or Gastric Cancer can occur anywhere inside the stomach or affects cells connected with the wall of the stomach. In most cases, symptoms for it don’t show up until the later stages, and therefore it is much more difficult to treat. Risk factors include reduced intake of fruits & vegetables, eating a lot of salty or processed food, consuming excessive alcohol and tobacco or eating too much meat and exercise very little.
Some symptoms of Gastric Cancer include:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Feeling bloated or full after consuming small amounts of food.
- Slight pain and discomfort in the abdomen
- Severe heartburn or indigestion
- Vomiting or feeling nausea
- Swelling in the abdomen
Sources: NICPR, ICMR, WHO