Learn Types Of Cancers And Symptoms
Did You Know?
Cancer can occur in almost any part of the body, and there are over 200 types of cancers. Cancer stays at the top among the leading causes of death globally, and the leading cancers in India and worldwide include breast cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer, cervix and uterus cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer. While we cannot talk much about symptoms or treatment before knowing what type of cancer someone has, knowing the common symptoms and types is helpful.
What Are The Types Of Cancers?
Cancer happens when cells of our body parts begin to grow uncontrollably, and these abnormal cells often have the capability to invade nearby tissues and distant organs. Cancers are named by the organs or systems and the type of cells in which they arise. When cancer starts spreading to other organs, it is still named by the organ where it began. i.e., cancer that begins in the bladder and spreads to the liver is still called bladder cancer.
Types Of Cancers Based On The Body Parts And Systems Affected Include
- Central nervous system cancers – brain cancer, spinal cord cancer
- Head and neck cancers – cancer of the lips and oral cavity, laryngeal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Respiratory cancers (lung cancer)
- Digestive system cancers – esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, pancreas cancer, anal cancer, colorectal cancer
- Urinary system cancers – prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer
- Reproductive system cancers – cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, uterus cancer
- Endocrine cancer – thyroid cancer
- Blood-related cancers – leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma
- Bone and soft tissue cancers – osteosarcoma
- Skin cancers
Main Types Of Cancers Based On The Cells Or Tissues They Arise From
- Carcinomas: Carcinomas are the most common types of cancer, accounting for around 90 percent of cancers. They begin in the cells that make up the skin or the tissues lining organs such as kidneys or lungs.
- Sarcomas: Sarcomas begin in the soft or connective tissues such as fat, cartilage, blood vessels, muscle, ligaments, fibrous tissue, nerves, blood vessels, and synovial tissues.
- Lymphomas & Myeloma: These cancers begin in the cells of the immune system called lymphocytes or plasma cells.
- Leukemias: Leukemias affect blood cells in the bone marrow.
- Melanoma: Melanoma begins in the cells that control the pigment in the skin.
- Mixed Types: This type of cancer develops from two different or multiple types of tissues.
General Symptoms And Signs That May Be Associated With Cancer
Different people experience different symptoms depending on the stage, type, size, location of cancer and its extent of spread in the body. They may also vary significantly for each individual. Here are the common symptoms and signs that may be associated with cancer:
- Tiredness that doesn’t get better even after rest
- Changes in body weight (unintentional weight loss or gain)
- Urinating problems (pain while urinating, needing to pass urine less or more often, blood in the urine)
- Changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or changes in how the stool look)
- Persistent cough or breathing troubles
- Difficulty in swallowing, discomfort, or indigestion after eating
- Loss of appetite, vomiting, or nausea, stomach pain
- Unexplained and persistent pain in the joints or muscles
- Sweating in the night or fever
- Hearing or vision problems
- Lumps or swelling in body parts
- Unexplained bruising or bleeding
- Sore, pain, numbness, or bleeding in the mouth
- New mole or change in mole, yellowing, redness, or darkening of the skin
The presence of any of these types of cancer symptoms or signs does not mean you have cancer, as they may also happen due to other conditions. When you experience these signs and symptoms, particularly if it lasts for a long time or gets worse, it is very important to check with the health care provider.
Pay Attention To Healthy Lifestyle And Stay Aware
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), around one-third of cancer-related deaths are due to tobacco use, obesity and overweight, alcohol drinking, less intake of vegetables and fruits, and lack of physical activity. Also, between thirty to fifty percent of cancers can be prevented by eliminating risk factors. These unhealthy habits can also make us prone to various chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Healthy lifestyle habits such as weight management, regular exercise, including a more plant-based diet, and reducing negative coping mechanisms such as alcohol and smoking can help us live healthy and disease-free.