Top 3 Cancers In India
The most common cancers in India are breast cancer, oral cancer, and cervical cancer. According to the recently published report of the National cancer registry programme 2021, the highest proportion of cancer from all parts were reported in the age group 45 – 64 years, except for prostate cancer. The tobacco-related cancers comprised 48.7% of cancers among men and 16% among women. After tobacco, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, obesity, and air pollution are major risk factors. Let’s discuss in detail about the 3 most common types of cancers in India.
Most Common Cancers In India
A. Breast Cancer:
Breast cancer is the leading cancer in India and worldwide and is commonly seen in women above the age of 50 and who have been through menopause. Breast cancer was seen in a higher proportion in the age group 45 – 49 years, according to the report of the National Cancer Registry Programme 2021. A lump in the breast is often the initial symptom of breast cancer, but it is important to remember that more than ninety percent of breast lumps are caused by less serious conditions.
A mammogram (breast x-ray) is the screening test for breast cancer. It checks for cancers before there are symptoms of the disease, and when cancers are found in early stages, they are most treatable. Women above 40 and above should get an annual mammogram, and the screening recommendations may vary if you have any risk factors like obesity, family history of breast cancer, have had previous radiation therapy, etc. It is very vital to let your doctor know if you see any signs of breast cancer like changes in shape, color, appearance, or size.
Among the cancers associated with tobacco use, the highest among both males and females is mouth cancer. Cancers that occur in any part that constitutes the oral cavity, including the floor or roof of the mouth, lips, tongue, cheek linings, and gums, are called mouth cancers, and if the cancer is present inside of the mouth, it can be referred as oral cancers or oral cavity cancers. Tobacco and alcohol consumption are the primary risk factors for mouth cancers.
The most common symptoms include unexplained and persistent lumps in the mouth or lymph glands in the neck and sore mouth ulcers that do not get better after several weeks. The problem is symptoms may not occur in the initial stages, and the symptoms can also be caused by less serious diseases such as infection. There are no standard or routine screening tests for oral cancer, Hence, having a regular dental check-up is crucial for finding mouth cancers early.
C. Cervical Cancer:
Like breast cancer, cervical cancer was seen in a higher proportion in the age group 45 – 49 years. Cervix is the part of the uterus that connects it to the vagina, and cervical cancer occurs when cells in the cervix begin to grow uncontrollably. Almost all cervical cancer cases are due to human papillomavirus infection. This virus can spread through any skin-to-skin contact of the genital area. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is often the initial symptom of cervical cancer. Check with the physician if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during intercourse, or pelvic pain. Cervical cancer is slow-growing cancer, and screening and HPV vaccination can help find cancer at early stages and reduce the risk of cancer growth. Pap tests, also called pap smear tests, and HPV tests, are the screening tests for women. If you are a woman aged 21 or above, talk with your doctor about getting a Pap test.
A Healthy Lifestyle Can Help Prevent Cancer
Around 50 percent of cancers can be prevented by eliminating the risk factors. Tobacco can cause cancers almost everywhere in the body, and the first thing you can do to reduce your cancer risk is quitting tobacco and alcohol consumption. Include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your daily diet.
Maintain a healthy weight and reduce or limit processed foods and red meat intake. Aim for moderate physical activity of 150 minutes or intense physical activity of 70 minutes per week. When you need to go outside, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Get recommended vaccinations and screening tests.