About Cancer

Cancer is defined as a complex group of diseases that is a result of abnormal or uncontrolled growth of cells of a specific part of the body.

Cancerous cells destroy the organ locally and then penetrate and destroy the adjoining healthy tissues and organs. Certain cancer cells split from the primary tumour and spread to distant organs or tissues either through circulatory or lymphatic systems and form secondary tumour- this is known as metastasis

Cancer is the second most common cause of death worldwide. Globally, 9.6 million deaths were reported in 2018.

In India in the year 2018, approximately 2.25 million people were living with cancer and around 11,57,294 new cases are added every year.

There are 7,84,821 cases of death from cancer reported in the year 2018 in India.

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Classifications of cancer

Based on the origin of cancer cells there are 5 types of cancer. They are


This cancer starts growing in the skin or tissues that line internal organs. This further includes adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and transitional cell carcinoma.


This cancer begins in the connective tissues such as bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, or blood vessels.


It begins in the tissues that make white blood cells such as bone marrow and then flow over to blood.

Lymphoma & Myeloma

This cancer starts growing in the cells of the immune system.

Brain & spinal cord cancer

Are also known as central nervous system cancers.



Cancer is caused due to inherited or acquired genetic mutations in DNA. Alteration of either of the three genes such as proto-oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes, and DNA repair gene can lead to cancer. Certain external agents are also responsible for cancer. These include:

  • Chemical carcinogens
  • Physical carcinogens
  • Biological carcinogens. Chemical carcinogens include arsenic, asbestos, aflatoxin, and tobacco smoke. Whereas physical carcinogens include ultraviolet radiation and biological carcinogens include bacterial, viral, or parasite infections

Risk Factors

Some of the risk factors associated with cancer are
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Alcohol Consumption

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Exposure to Cancer-causing Substances

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Ultraviolet Radiation

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Chronic Infections

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Infectious Agents

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Formation of lump in any part of the body

Unexplained weight loss

Discharge or bleeding

Weakness or tiredness

Difficulty in swallowing


Changes in bladder or bowel habits


Some of the tests performed to diagnose cancer are

Lab tests

Blood, urine, and body fluids are examined in the lab to examine the level of certain substances in the body. The lab tests include examination of blood or tissue samples for identification of tumour markers.

Imaging tests

There are a number of imaging tests performed to examine the part of the body where tumour exists through radiological procedures. These tests includes

  • CT scan: It utilizes x-ray machine for creating 3-D images of the organs of the body from different angles.

  • MRI scan: It utilizes a magnet and radio waves to create images of body in slices and these are further used to create a detailed image.

  • PET scan: It is a nuclear scan that creates images of that body parts which takes up glucose.

  • Ulltrasound: A high energy sound waves are used to create images of certain parts of the body



Biopsy is the ultimate test to establish cancer. It is a procedure done to diagnose cancer by removing a tissue sample from your body. This sample can either be obtained through a needle or endoscopy. The sample is examined by the pathologist in the lab and nature of tumour established.

Types of Cancer

Endometrial Cancer

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Bladder Cancer

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Bone Cancer

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Brain Cancer

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Breast Cancer

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Cervical Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

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Head and Neck Cancer

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Kidney Cancer

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Leukemia Cancer

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Liver Cancer

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Cholangiocarcinoma Cancer

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Lymphoma Cancer

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Lung Cancer

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Thyroid Cancer

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Multiple myeloma Cancer

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Ovarian Cancer

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Pancreatic Cancer

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Prostate Cancer

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Stomach Cancer

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Skin Cancer

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Testicular Cancer

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Sarcomas Cancer