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Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells (usually derived from a single abnormal cell).
The cells lose normal control mechanism and expand continuously, invade adjacent tissues and migrate to distant parts of the body.
Most common types of cancer in men are prostate, lung, colon and rectum, bladder and kidney cancer; and most common types of cancer in women are breast, lung, colon and rectum, uterus and thyroid gland cancer
India recorded around 3.9 million cancer cases in 2016
India accounts for third highest number of cancer cases among women after China and U.S.
Cancerous tissues can be divided into those of the blood and blood-forming tissues (leukemias and lymphomas) and “solid” tumors (a solid mass of cells), often termed cancer. Cancers can be carcinomas or sarcomas.
Cancer is caused by gene mutations (changes in the DNA sequence). A gene mutation can instruct a healthy cell to allow rapid growth, fail to stop uncontrolled cell growth, and make mistakes while repairing DNA errors.
Signs and symptoms usually vary by part of body affected by cancer. However, some common signs and symptoms associated with cancer includes:
Once diagnosed it is important to determine the extent (stage) of cancer. Cancer stage helps doctors in deciding treatment options and chances for a cure. Cancer stages are generally indicated by Roman numerals — I through IV, with higher numerals indicating more advanced cancer.
Symptoms like coughing-up blood, persistent headaches, unexplained loss of weight or appetite, chronic pain in bones, persistent fatigue, nausea and vomiting, persistent low grade fever and repeated instances of infection may also indicate presence of some form of cancer.
Complete blood count (CBC) can show cancer cells, proteins or other substances made by cancer. It also gives an idea to doctors how well the organs are functioning and if they have been affected by cancer.
Screening tests helps to find cancer at an early stage, before the symptoms appear. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat or cure. By the time symptoms appear, the cancer may have grown and spread. This can make the cancer harder to treat or cure. Screening tests are done when a person has no cancer symptoms.