What is Cancer – Types, Symptoms, Stages, Diagnosis & Treatment

It is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells in the body grow and get out of control. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body, invade healthy tissue, and cause serious illness. 

There are many different types of cancer, each with its own symptoms and treatment options. Some cancers are more common than others, but all can be serious. The key to a successful outcome is often early detection and treatment. 

Cancer can develop in any part of the body, but some types are more common than others. The most common types include breast, lung, colorectal, skin, prostate, and ovarian cancer.

cancer

Definition

Cancer is a disease in which certain cells of the body grow uncontrollably and spread throughout the body.

Differences between cancer cells and normal cells

Cancer cells differ from normal cells in some important ways.

  1. First, cells grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells.
  2. Second, cells do not die when they should.
  3. Third, cells can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
  4. Fourth, cells do not respond to signals that normally stop cell growth.

These differences allow cancer cells to grow out of control and form tumors.

How does it develop?

Tumors develop when the cells of the body start dividing and growing uncontrollably. Cancer cells can invade and destroy nearby healthy tissue, including organs. Cancerous tumors are classified according to their origin. The most common types include:

  • Breast: It is produced in the breast tissue.
  • Lung: This occurs when cells in the lungs grow.
  • Prostate: It is produced in the prostate gland.
  • Skin: It can occur on any part of the skin.

Types

There are more than 200 types of cancer.

  • Breast 
  • Ovarian
  • Throat
  • Lung
  • Head and Neck
  • Bone 
  • Pancreas
  • Colon 
  • Liver 
  • Blood
  • Testicular
  • Thyroid
  • Prostate 
  • Gallbladder 
  • Skin 
  • Bladder 
  • Brain 
  • Stomach

It is many types but below are the three which are most common in India.

  • Breast

In India, it is the most common form of cancer. Although it most commonly affects women over 40, it can affect any woman at any age and at any time.

  • Cervical

According to the World Health Organization, it is the second most common type of cancer in India. It is caused by growth of abnormal cells in the part of the uterus that opens into the vagina, the cervix.

  • Oral 

Cancer is the third most common cause of oral cancer in India. More than 85% of the cases reported worldwide originate in the country. The main cause of this type of cancer is the use of tobacco and alcohol.

Top 5 Female Cancers

  1. Breast 
  2. Cervical 
  3. Stomach 
  4. Colon and rectal 
  5. Lip and oral cavity

Top 5 cancers in men

  1. Lungs
  2. Lips and Oral Cavity
  3. Pharynx and Nasopharynx
  4. Stomach 
  5. Leukemia

Symptoms

Often, cancer symptoms are caused by disease, injury, benign tumors, or other problems. Symptoms that do not improve after a few weeks should be seen by a doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated early.

  • Any lump in your body that is growing rapidly can be cancer; it is necessary to diagnose it with the advice of a doctor. Any wound in your body that is not healing has the potential to turn into cancer. It is critical to seek medical attention and advice.
  • Changes in your bowel, such as blood in your stools, and changes in your bowel habits, can also lead to cancer.
  • Changes in your bladder—that is, trouble urinating, pain when urinating, and blood in the urine—can also cause cancer.
  • Changes in your breast, especially in women, can be the cause of cancer. a lump or tightness in your breast or under your arm; nipple changes or discharge; skin that is itchy, red, scaly, dimpled, or puckered.
  • If there is a decrease in the voice of a person and there is a change in the voice, then there may be symptoms of lung cancer in the person.
  • Changes in your weight can also cause cancer. means sudden weight gain or loss.
  • difficulty swallowing. 
  • Persistent fever or night sweats are also one of the symptoms of cancer.
  • Pain in the muscles and joints is also one of the symptoms of cancer.

So these are some of the most common side effects of cancer.You really should take a look at the multitude of side effects. assuming that you are getting more fit without taking any kind of action.

If there is more than 5 to 10% weight loss in half a year, or on the other hand, if there is iron deficiency for no apparent reason (anemia), increasing hemoglobin, and decreasing bulk, then it is important to end the clinical evaluation because of the potential for malignant growth.

If you notice these side effects of the disease, you should get it checked out immediately. If the disease is detected at an early stage, its treatment is sure to bring real success.

What are the four stages of cancer?

Well, there are four stages of cancer. The specific stage is determined by a few different factors, including the size and location of the tumor.

  • Stage I: The cancer is localized and has not spread to other tissues or lymph nodes.
  • Stage II: It has grown, but not spread.
  • Stages II and III generally grow deeper into the surrounding tissue than Stage 2. The lymph nodes can also be affected, but not other parts of the body.
  • Stage IV: It has spread to other organs or parts of your body. This stage indicates that the cancer has spread to other organs or that it is an advanced cancer.

How is it diagnosed?

To treat your cancer, your oncologist doctor needs to know the location and stage of the tumor and whether you are strong enough to handle treatment. They will do a very thorough examination and may ask you about your symptoms. Some tests may also be ordered by them, such as:

  • Lab tests
  • Imaging tests
  • Biopsy
  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • MRI
  • Ultrasonography ( Ultrasonography)

After

You may need further tests to help your oncologist plan your treatment after a diagnosis is made. For example, your doctor will need to know the stage of your cancer.

For some cancers, knowing the grade of the tumor or the risk group you fall into is important for deciding on the best treatment. Your tumor may also be tested for other tumors or genetic markers.

Treatment

Cancer treatment can be complex and often involves a combination of different approaches. The type of treatment your medical team recommends will depend on the specific type of cancer you have, as well as its stage and location.

Common types of treatment include:

Surgery:

This is often the first line of treatment for many types of cancer. It is necessary to remove the tumor as well as the surrounding tissue during surgery.

Radiation therapy:

This uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. Combined with surgery or chemotherapy, radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

Chemotherapy:

This uses drugs to kill cancer cells. A patient can receive chemotherapy intravenously (by vein) or orally (by mouth).

Targeted therapy:

This uses drugs or other substances to target and kill cancer cells while sparing normal cells.

Immunotherapy:

This uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, talk with your medical team about your treatment options. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of each type of treatment and create a plan that’s right for you.

Bone marrow transplant:

Bone marrow transplantation, also called stem cell transplantation, is a treatment that replaces damaged stem cells with healthy ones. Before the transplant, you’ll undergo chemo to prepare your body for the procedure.

What are the side effects of treatment?

Cancer patients who undergo cancer treatment may have to experience many side effects. Depending on the type of cancer treatment you’re receiving, you may experience specific side effects. Below are some of the most common side effects of treatment:

  • If you have had chemotherapy, you may experience side effects such as hair loss, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
  • If you have had radiation therapy, you may experience side effects such as hair loss, fatigue, and skin problems.
  • If you have treated yourself through surgery, you may experience side effects such as pain, weakness, infection, blood clots, and allergies to anesthesia.

It also has other side effects, such as loss of appetite, anemia, burning and ulcers in the mouth, change in taste, loss of appetite, constipation, hormonal changes, etc. If you are facing any of the above-mentioned side effects, then you must consult an oncologist.

How can I prevent the side effects of cancer treatment?

If you’re going through cancer treatment, talking with your doctor can help you manage your side effects. Keeping a healthy diet helps many people feel better and stay stronger. Adding exercise to your daily routine may also be beneficial. Be sure to discuss any dietary changes and activities with a doctor first.

How should I ask my doctor about my condition?

  1. What are my treatment options?
  2. Which treatment would you recommend and why?
  3. What is the goal of my treatment?
  4. What are the side effects of this treatment?
  5. How should I prepare for treatment?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which is the most dangerous cancer?

Lung and bronchial cancer are considered the most dangerous. About 13 out of every 100 men and 16 out of every 100 women will get lung cancer at some point in their lives. Lung cancer is found in people 60 years of age and older.

  • How much does treatment cost?

The average cost of treatment in India is INR 5 Lakh, and the maximum charge for treatment in India is more than INR 25 Lakh. And this cost depends on which state of India you are in and in which hospital you are doing it.

By the way, you can also get free treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital. Tata Memorial Hospital is one of the best cancer treatment hospitals in the country; it provides free care to almost 70% of patients.

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