Saturday, 22 July 2017

Cancer Diagnosis : Early Detection for Better Care

Cancer is not just one, but of several types; in fact more than 100 types are observed, each one classified by the type of cell that is initially affected. It is a disease which is caused due to uncontrolled cellular division, leading to uncontrolled proliferation of cells. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, differentiation, division and death. When they are worn out or damaged and are replaced with new cells; but when this process halts or gets defected, cancerous cells; begin to form. Most normal cells remain in their area of origin where they belong to and do not spread through the body. It can start to grow in the breast, the lungs, stomach, bones or even in the blood. It arises from a single cell and transforms a normal cell to tumorous cell, termed as multistage process; wherein these tumors can be benign or malignant. Cancer can be classified as carcinomas (epithelial cells), sarcoma(tumor of the bone and soft tissue), lymphoma(cancer of lymphatic system) and leukemia(cancer of blood cells and bone marrow).
The initiation and progression of cancer depend on both environment/lifestyle factors (such as chemical exposure, radiation, tobacco, alcohol consumption, infectious organisms etc.). These factors can act together or in sequence, resulting in an abnormal cell behavior and excessive proliferation, due to which cell masses grow and expand, further affecting the surrounding normal tissue, and can also travel to other locations within the body. However, it is important to remember that most commonly observed cancers take months and years for those DNA mutations to accumulate and result as a detectable disease.Cancer has a major impact on society in India and accross the world. It is one of the biggest healthcare threats in developed as well as developing countries. The incidence and burden of cancer is so huge that it sets to increase at an alarming rate globally. It kills more people on a global scale than acquired (AIDS), Malaria and TB Combined. In 2012, there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths attributed to cancer worldwide. Also, the incidences of new cases are expected to rise by about 70% over the next 2 decades.
Cancer Statistics in INDIA :
In India, cancer, a devastating malady is playing a major role in increasing the rate of mortality and morbidity. The carcinogenic agents that people are exposed to eating, drinking and breathing in, contribute to the occurrence of the disease. It's not just these multiple causative factors but overtime the causative factors but overtime the disease's prognosis differs based on various aspects. Therefore, this occurrence can have a profound effect on social and economic factors, especially amongst the low and middle income classes. India's burden of cancer is increasing drastically, and the contributors for this exponential rise in incidences of cancer comprise mainly of an aging population, unhealthy lifestyle choices and lack of awareness on the disease and an access to cancer care institutions. Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) estimated that India's total burden of cancer for the year 2016 is approx. 14.5 Lac new cases and the figure is likely to reach nearly 17.3 Lac new cases in 2020.
In males, 50%, of cancer cases are associated with organs harmed by tobacco use. There is also a significant rise in incidence rate of colon and prostate cancer.
In 2016, lung cancer is predicted to strike nearly 1.14 lac patients.
Cervical cancer and breast cancer are the leading cancers affecting females.
1 in 28 women in India is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
It is found that in India, only 13 in 100 patients are diagnosed with cancer present in its early stages when it's curable.
Top 5 cancers in male and female patients in INDIA.
Male - Lip/Oral cavity, Lung, stomach, colorectum, pharynx.
Female - Breast, Cervix, Colorectum, Ovary, Lip/Oral Cavity.


Signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer can include:
a change in size or shape
a lump or area that feels thicker than the rest of the breast
a change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like the skin of an orange)
redness or rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
your nipple has become inverted (pulled in) or looks different (for example changed its position or shape)
liquid (sometimes called discharge) that comes from the nipple without squeezing
constant pain in your breast or your armpit
a swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.
Many symptoms of breast cancer, such as breast pain or a lump, may in fact be caused by normal breast changes or a benign (not cancer) breast condition. However, if you notice a change, it’s important to see your GP (local doctor) as soon as you can.
Some people think that having breast cancer will cause other symptoms apart from a breast change, such as feeling tired, having less energy or weight loss, but this is not the case. If you notice a change, even if you feel well, it’s important to visit your GP.
Tell your doctor as soon as you notice a change to your breasts :
Most breast changes will not be cancer. However, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK so it is important that you find out what’s causing the change.
If your GP is male and you don’t feel comfortable going to see him, you can ask if there’s a female doctor available. You can also ask for a female nurse or member of staff to be present during your examination, or you can take a friend or relative with you.
When your GP examines your breasts they may feel that there is no need for further investigation, they may ask to see you again after a short period of time or they may refer you to a breast clinic. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have breast cancer, just that further tests are needed to find out what is going on.


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