World Cancer Day: Prostate, Breast & Colon Most Common In India; Know Causes, Symptoms

Fight Cancer With Hope

Fight Cancer With Hope

Among various diseases prevalent in the country, cancer is known as one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the country. As per Indian population census data, the rate of mortality due to cancer in India is high and alarming in people below the age of 70.

Cancer is the second most common disease in India responsible for maximum mortality with about 0.3 million deaths per year. This is owing to the lack of awareness on the types of cancer, need for early diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Of the types of cancer in India, breast, cervix, colon and prostate cancer are most common and hence knowing its signs and symptoms is key to the management.

Dr Bhavna Parikh, Consultant Medical Oncologist of Bombay Hospital shares details about each of these cancers.

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. While symptoms can be difficult to detect in the early stages, it is important for each one of us to know the signs and symptoms so a woman can identify the potential risk.

Early signs of breast cancer include:
- New lump in the breast or underarm
- Thickening or swelling in the part of breast
- Change in skin texture
- Change in the size or the shape of the breast

Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer happens when there is a mutation in a woman’s cervix, which connects her uterus with her vagina. This cancer can affect the deeper tissues of her cervix, and may spread to other parts of her body (metastasize), often the lungs, liver, bladder, vagina, and rectum.

Following are the symptoms:
- Bleeding between periods and after sexual intercourse
- Bleeding in post-menopausal women
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Vaginal discharge with a strong odour and tinged with blood

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, starts in the rectum or colon. Both organs are in the lower portion of your digestive system. The colon is also known as the large intestine and the rectum is at the end of the colon. Colorectal cancer may not present any symptoms, especially in the early stages.

If one does experience symptoms during the early stages, they may include:
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Changes in stool colour and shape, such as narrowed stool
- Blood in the stool
- Excessive gas

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is marked by an uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate gland. This type of cancer is the most common type of cancer found in men. However, they are more aggressive and can spread outside the prostate gland, which can be deadly.

Symptoms include:
- Dull pain in the lower pelvic area
- Frequent urinating
- Trouble urinating, pain, burning, or weak urine flow
- Blood in the urine (Hematuria)
- Painful ejaculation

Causes Of Cancer

Causes Of Cancer

The causes of such high incidence rates of these cancers may be both internal (genetic, mutations, hormonal, poor immune conditions) and external or environmental factors (food habits, industrialisation, over growth of population, social, among others).

Several factors affect an individual’s risk of developing cancer, some of which are modifiable and largely related to lifestyle, social, economic and environmental factors. Besides, attempts have been made to describe the main causes of cancer along with their preventive measures.

In addition to this, efforts have also been made to predict the effect of increasing number of cancer patients on the Indian economy. Our environment is constantly changing. There is no denying that. However, as our environment changes, so does the need to become increasingly aware of the problems that surround it. So, it is important to improve awareness about different types of cancer and a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment is essential.


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