10 different types of cancer in India.

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cancer patient, pain and death.

Breast cancer

According to the WHO, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Although the chances of breast cancer increases after the age of 40 years, several factors like poor lifestyle, high stress levels, poor eating habits, irregular sleeping hours, early onset of menarche (periods), late menopause and increasing maternal age (pregnancy beyond 30s) increase the risk of the early onset of the disease. India has seen a major age shift in women diagnosed with breast cancer. According to Breast cancer, breast cancer accounts for 25% to 32% of all female cancers in major cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.

Cervical cancer

Another leading cause for cancer deaths in women is cervical cancer and it kills as many women as breast cancer does. As per the WHO statistics, cervical cancer kills over 33,000 women in India annually and about one fourth of the world’s cervical cancer patients reside in India. Unlike other cancers, it is mainly caused by a virus called Human Papilloma virus (HPV) that is transmitted through sexual contact and originates in the cervix, a part of the female reproductive system and also involves the uterus opening into the vagina. Also, it is more common in women who become sexual active at a very young age.

Uterine and ovarian cancer

Followed by cervical cancer, uterine and ovarian cancer are common cancers affecting the female reproductive system. While ovarian cancer originates in the ovaries responsible for producing eggs, uterine cancer originates in cells lining the uterine wall.

Prostate cancer

Among all the reproductive cancers affecting men, prostate cancer is the most common one. It is also the 2nd most common form of cancer in men in the world and accounts for about 240,000 global deaths every year

Although its prevalence in India is low, poor lifestyle has increased the number of cases detected in recent years. Prostate cancer originates in the tissues of the prostate gland that mainly produces fluid for sperms to travel freely through the vagina after ejaculation. It takes years to progress and gradually interferes with the urinary system and its functions.

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Colon cancer

Among all cancers affecting the digestive system, colon cancer/colorectal cancer/bowel cancer is the most common form. It generally affects individuals above the age of 50 years. It is the 6th most common cause of cancer deaths in India

It develops due to overgrowth of cells lining the colon and the rectum. Factors like smoking, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease have shown to increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Lung cancer

Considered to be the deadliest of all cancers, lung cancer alone accounts for over 1.6 million global deaths every year, as per American Cancer Society estimates. Increasing environmental pollution, smoking, chewing tobacco and other harmful carcinogenic compounds are a few things that trigger lung cancer.

Blood cancer

Cancers that originate in the bone marrow or that arise from the blood and lymphatic system are called blood cancers

There are 3 types of blood cancers:
  1. Leukemia:
    It is the most common form of blood cancer. It is caused due to proliferation of immature white blood cells (disease fighting cells) in the bone marrow. Soon these cancerous cells spread throughout the body. In such forms of cancer, the bone marrow generates faulty white blood cells that lacks normal function.
  2. Lymphoma:
    Cancer that originates in the lymphatic system (a system involving network of vessels that return fluid from the blood stream). It is classified into two types:
    • Hodgkin’s lymphoma — is characterised by the presence of a specific type of cell called Reed-Sternberg cell in the blood.
    • Hodgkin lymphoma – Characterised by the presence of abnormal levels of T and B cells that boost the immune response of the body.
  3. Myeloma:
    It affects the plasma cells of the blood. Cancerous plasma cells can settle at various sites in the body. Hence, it is referred as multiple myeloma.
Bone cancer

It is the most common type of cancer that occurs in children. It originates in the bone tissues of the arms and legs. It also involves cartilage, fibrous tissue, nerve tissue of the musculoskeletal system. It has the ability to attack the body within the first 20 years of life when maximum growth in the musculoskeletal system takes place.

Oral cancer

Millions of people in India chew tobacco and smoke, which increases their susceptibility to oral cancer. In fact, about 90% of people diagnosed with oral cancer cases are either smokers or tobacco or gutka chewers. A report from the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), revealed that oral cancer is among the top 3 cancers in India and accounts for 30 % of the country’s cancer burden

Oral cancer originates in the oral cavity (usually the base of the tongue and mouth) and gradually spreads to or involves the cheeks, lips, hard and soft palate, sinus spaces, pharynx and the throat.

Stomach cancer

Surprisingly, stomach cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide. In India, it is the fifth most common cancer found in men and seventh most common cancer in women

Various factors like Helicbacter pylori infection, changing lifestyle, tobacco use, alcohol consumption are linked to increased susceptibility to the disease. Stomach cancer originates in the gastric lining of the stomach and may also spread to the intestine.

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