The Six Most Common Cancers In India

Cancer is a disorder in which a few of the body's cells grow out of control and spread to other bodily parts.

The human body, which contains trillions of cells, is almost anywhere where cancer can begin. Human cells typically divide to create new cells as needed by the body. Cell proliferation and multiplication are the terms used to describe this process. Cells die and are replaced by new ones when they are harmed or grow old.

This methodical procedure can occasionally go wrong, resulting in damaged or aberrant cells proliferating when they shouldn't. Tumors—tissue growths—can develop from these cells. Cancerous or benign tumors are both types of tumors.

Cancerous tumors can metastasize, which is the process by which they spread to other parts of the body to form new tumors, and they can also invade nearby tissues. Cancerous growths can also be referred to as "malignant tumours”.

Noncancerous tumors do not invade or spread to nearby tissues. Benign tumors typically don't come back after removal, whereas cancerous tumors can. However, benign tumours can occasionally get extremely large. Some can have severe negative effects or can even be fatal, such as benign brain tumours.

  • Head and neck cancer: Head and neck cancer including oral cancer are the commonest among Indian gentlemen. Smoking, chewing tobacco, betel leaves and frequent alcohol intake are known causative agents in addition to poor orodental hygiene.

  • Breast cancer: It is the commonest cancer among the Indian ladies. Late marriage, less childbirth, absence of breast feeding, change in dietary habits and lifestyles are some of the factors associated with increased incidences of breast cancers in Indian women. Mammography can identify breast cancer even before a breast lump is noticeable. For women over the age of 40, we recommend a mammogram once every two years or yearly. In cases of strong family history, apart from mammography, monthly self-breast examination is helpful in detecting early breast cancer lesions resulting in high cure rates. To identify risk factors for this cancer, some genetic tests are also available.

  • Lung cancer: High resolution CT scans are now accessible and they can be completed in just five minutes. Patients who are at high risk, like smokers, are strongly encouraged to get scanned. Even a small lung nodule may be detected by the scans; an oncologist can then examine it for further analysis.

  • Oral cancer: By checking one's mouth in the reflection of a mirror, oral cancer can be quickly identified or suspected. An indication to see a doctor for a biopsy is any small lesion, white patch, red patch, or wound that is not healing. However, the majority of people are aware of the problem but delay seeing a doctor. A device from Thiruvananthapuram start-up Oral Scan can now be used to take a picture of the inside of a mouth and determine whether anything is suspicious. Although the device is not widely used yet, it might be able to help people distinguish between normal and abnormal situations.

  • Cervical cancer: Cervical cancer is now the second most common cancer in Indian women after breast cancer.This might be as a result of increasing HPV vaccination. In addition, we now combine the pap smear test with the HPV test rather than just using it alone. The results of both tests are more reliable because the human papillomavirus (HPV) is almost always the cause of cervical cancer.

  • Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is basically a disease in the elderly Indian population and more and more of prostate cancer cases are being diagnosed every year. A simple history of frequent micturition especially at night or decrease in urinary flow needs to be examined to rule out prostate cancer. A simple clinical (digital per rectal) examination, backed by pelvic ultrasound examination and serum – PSA blood test can go a long way in detecting prostate cancer cases in early, curable and curable stages.