What are the different types of cancer?
By: Jasmine Marfatia
Published On: October 25, 2018
Here’s a detailed list of 9 of the most common types of cancer. Read on...
Over the last few decades, our lifestyles have changed - right from the food we eat, to the products we use, our physical activity, and the things we are exposed to. While these changes may have made our lives significantly easier, they have also affected our overall health and immunity.
In India, nearly 8.8 lakh cancer related deaths are expected by the year 2020. All of these cases cannot be attributed to our lifestyle change, but factors like increased exposure to pollution, smoking, and artificial foods, may be the causes of cancer in some cases.
While there are over 100 types of cancers that people can be affected by, some types of cancers in men are more common, such as lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and bladder cancer. On the other hand, some types of cancers in women are more common, such as cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer (men too, can develop breast cancer).
Cancer is claiming more and more lives each year, and therefore it is important to understand the different types of cancer that are becoming increasingly common, the different stages of it, and how it should be treated. Here we’ve listed out some of the common types of cancer seen in many patients.
Cancer of the lungs is of two types - small cell lung cancer, and non small cell lung cancer. When healthy cells grow out of control, they develop a mass called tumor or nodule. Majority causes of lung cancer can be attributed to excessive smoking, symptoms of which show in the form of breathing difficulties.
According to the National Institute of cancer prevention and rehabilitation, 86% of the 3 lakh global cases of oral cancer are from India. Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the tissue of the mouth or throat, such as lips, tongue, palate, or inner cheeks. Excessive use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol, and cigarette smoking have been attributed as the main causes of this type of cancer.
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV, which facilitates abnormal growth of cells on the cervix of a woman. With developments in diagnosis and treatment methods, cervical cancer at early stages is curable.
For that, a woman has to first learn to recognize certain symptoms of symptoms such as - abnormal bleeding or bleeding between periods, unusual or foul smelling vaginal discharge, or pain during or after sexual intercourse. These symptoms don’t necessarily indicate cervical cancer, but they do surely call for medical assistance.
Liver cancer can be primary or secondary. When the cancer begins from cells in the liver itself, it is categorized as primary. When the cancer is carried from another organ or vessel, it is called secondary, or liver metastasis. Hepatocellular is the most common type of liver cancer, affecting 30,000 out of one lakh people every year. Symptoms of liver cancer include unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, or even jaundice.
The colon and the rectum are parts of the gastrointestinal digestive system. Colorectal cancers usually begin with the formation of a polyp on the lining of the colon of rectum. These polyps may or may not become cancerous over time. Treatment for it depends on the size and behaviour of the polyp, but surgery is the most common method of treating it.
The occurrence of stomach cancer is due to the growth of cancerous cells in the lining of the stomach. In most cases, symptoms for it don’t show up until the later stages, and therefore it is much more difficult to treat. It is common among those who eat a lot of salty or processed food, consume excessive alcohol, or eat too much meat and exercise very little.
Breast cancer is the most common cause of death among women worldwide - 18.2 % cancer related deaths. It has been found that breast cancer is a much higher occurrence in developed countries. It is the formation of lobules in the milk ducts of a woman's breasts. The symptoms are formation of lumps in the breasts. It is beneficial to conduct regular self examinations to check for lumps and bumps that may become cancerous.
Kidney cancer is also known as renal cancer, and is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in a person’s kidneys. The good news is that kidney cancer is usually diagnosed in its earlier stages, which makes it easier to treat. In severe cases, a patient many require a kidney transplant to survive.
There are many types of blood cancer such as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma. Leukemia is the growth of cancer cells usually in the bone marrow, which affects the ability to produce blood. Cancer that develops in the lymphs (a type of white blood cells that maintains immunity) is called lymphoma.
Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that begins in the plasma cells. The symptoms present themselves in the form of extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, or nausea, among others.
Aside from taking precautions in our daily lifestyle habits, improving dietary habits and exercising regularly, it is also important to recognize certain signs and symptoms that our bodies present when there is a risk of cancer. This is extremely crucial because early diagnosis would allow for treatment in the early stages, before it gets too late/ incurable.
That said, should such a case arise, there are ways to overcome the financial struggles that you may face when getting cancer treatment. Aside from loans and insurances, crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular for the fact that one can raise funds quickly and easily, without having to repay at high interest rates, or risking personal assets.
All you’d have to do is start a cancer crowdfunding campaign with Impact Guru, write an appeal sharing your story and requesting for funds. You’d then share your story with the world through Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and encourage people to help you pool in funds for cancer treatment for yourself or a loved one. Moreover, you’d find that communities of cancer sufferers, victims, who’ve shared the same struggle, will be able to provide emotional support as well.
Should you know someone who requires financial assistance for cancer treatment, let them know that help is only a campaign away!
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