Don’t be afraid of the big “C”
Cancer Facts for Indian Women
Cancer cases are increasing rapidly in Indian women due to low awareness and late diagnosis. India accounts for the third-highest number of cancer cases among women after China and the US. Cancer is an ailment that sees no age, caste, status, or class. It can happen to anyone and everyone.
Among women, many Indian pretty faces have gone through the painful journey- Nargis Dutt, Manisha.
Koirala, Lisa Ray, Mumtaz and Sonali Bendre, to name a few.
Know the Basics of Cancer
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in a body. Genetic mutations cause cancer in body cells, which can be inherited or forcing agents like smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation, and a lack of exercise.
Cancer symptoms and signs depend on the specific type and grade of cancer. A few of the symptoms and signs of disease are fatigue, weight loss, pain, skin changes, change in bowel or bladder function, unusual bleeding, persistent cough or voice change, fever, lumps, or tissue masses affected body parts.
Common Cancers in Indian Women
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in India and accounts for 27% of all cancers in women. Monthly Self-examination of breasts is the best way to feel the breast for lumps or other abnormalities. Mammography at the regular interval after 40 years can help in early detection.
Cervical cancer is caused by several strains of a virus called human papillomaviruses (HPV). You’re at a higher risk of cervical cancer if you smoke, have many children, have many sex partners, or have HIV infection. The simple cervical cancer screening test, commonly known as a Pap test, can timely find pre-
cancerous changes in the cervix that can be treated before they become an advanced stage of cancer.
Cervical cancer screening should be started at a regular interval, ideally after 21 years or as soon as the
sexual exposure is started.
Chances of ovarian cancer increase from 35 years of age and reach a peak between 55-64 years. Although the exact cause of endometrial(lining of the uterus) cancer is unknown, increased estrogen levels appear to have a role. A pelvic exam and ultrasonography should be part of a woman’s regular health exam after 40 years to detect these cancers at the earliest.
Cancers can be prevented by early screening and detection and treatment at an early stage, which reduces the death rate of these cancers and improves the quality of life post-cancer treatment.