Know All About Cancer

Unchecked cell division results in cancer. Cancer has the ability to spread from its original site to another area of the body. The main tumour is the initial cancer. Metastatic, or secondary, cancer is the term for cancer that has spread to another area of the body. The cancer cells in metastatic cancer are identical to those in original cancer. Typically, solid tumours that have metastasized to another area of the body are the only types of cancer that are referred to as metastatic.


Early stages are stages 1 and 2: The cancer tumour is tiny and hasn't penetrated far into the surrounding tissues at this stage.
Stage 3 cancer is locally progressed, has a sizable tumour, and the ability to disseminate. Stage 4 is advanced or late stage. The fourth stage of cancer is when it has progressed from the original organ to nearby additional bodily organs or to distant organs. It can also be referred to as metastatic or advanced cancer.


Cancer cells have the ability to spread from their original location to other parts of the body as they multiply and proliferate. Cancer can spread in three different ways. Direct extension, also known as local invasion, occurs when the initial tumour spreads into nearby tissues or structures. For instance, bladder cancer can spread from the prostate or vice versa. Lymphatic system spread refers to when cancer cells separate from the primary tumour and move through the lymphatic system to another area of the body usually one or multiple lymph nodes. A collection of organs and tissues known as the lymphatic system produces and stores immune system cells.

Hematogenous spread, also known as bloodstream spread, occurs when cancer cells separate from the initial tumour, enter the circulation, and then move to a new location in the body far from the tissue of origin. Normally, cancer cells that circulate in the bloodstream or lymphatic system are attacked and eliminated by the immune system. However, cancer cells can occasionally persist and find a new home in another part of the body, where they grow a new tumour (metastasis>meta-distan, stasis – to stay)


The symptoms of cancer depend on the organ that is being affected and have the potential to spread to other organs as well. The most typical signs of cancer, regardless of the location of the tumour, include weight loss, fever, appetite loss, bone pain, persistent coughing, change in voice or hoarseness of voice, bleeding from any arteries of the body, difficulty or pain during swallowing food, change in bowel habit, headache with vomiting and fits, a non-healing sore or ulcer, a lump anywhere in the body rapidly increasing in size. It is crucial to emphasise that anyone suffering these symptoms should see a doctor right away. Whether or not it is cancer, awareness & prevention is always preferable to treatment.


The three most prevalent cancers in India—oral, breast, and uterine cervical cancer—account for 60% of the total cancer burden. Even though they are easily detectable and treatable at an early stage, people typically receive the diagnosis much later. Regular self examination can help prevent delayed diagnosis. One must be conscious of both the anatomical and functional aspects of their own body. Any modification to the structure or function should be noted, and the necessary search should be conducted. Clinical evaluations and investigations are carried out when needed.

Internal organ tumours, such those of the lungs, oesophagus, pancreas, liver, and ovaries, are frequently discovered in the wee hours of the morning. Clinical examinations and investigations are carried out in these situations as needed.


India currently offers similar medical choices to the west, including hormone therapy, target therapy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. The grade, quantity, and location of the metastases are the main determinants of survival chances. However, one factor that can alter the outcome is self-confidence. If cancer is detected early and treated, it is not fatal. When one is joyful, hopeful, and has the love and support of family and friends, cancer treatment responds effectively.


Treatment for metastatic cancer is typically more challenging than for early stage cancer that hasn't spread. Treatment for metastatic cancer often aims to increase survival time and preserve quality of life. Metastases are typically not completely removed by treatments, but they can be controlled and their growth slowed. Treatments are also utilised to control or stop issues brought on by metastatic cancer (called supportive and or palliative therapies). The types of treatments available for metastatic cancer depend on a number of variables, including the primary site of the cancer, symptoms, the number and location of metastases, the types of treatments used to treat the primary cancer, the intended outcome of the treatment, your general health, and your personal preferences.


The most prevalent malignancies in India include breast, oral, cervical, lungs, and prostate cancer. Any structural or functional changes in the body should raise a red flag. It is advised to live a healthy lifestyle, consume home-cooked meals, and engage in brief daily physical activity. The leading causes of oral cancer-related mortality in India include smoking and chewing tobacco. As a result, it is advised to abstain from tobacco use and smoking if one wants to have a healthy life.

Dr. Sudarsan De
Department of Radiation Oncology
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