Cancer is the name given to a group of diseases that are caused by sudden uncontrolled growth of different types of cells. This growth does not stop on its own and, with time, spreads to surrounding tissues/organs. The abnormal cells are called cancer or malignant cells. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the body. There are over 100 types of cancer.
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in India. Cancers of the breast, oral cavity, cervix, lungs and colon/rectum are the five most common in india. India had an estimated 1.16 million new cancer cases in 2018. In women, breast and cervical cancer are the most common, followed closely by colorectal cancer. Women may also develop ovarian, uterine or endometrial cancer.
Breast cancer accounts for 14% of all cancers in women. The average age for breast cancer in India is a decade lower than other countries, women in their early 30s till their 50s are at considerable risk. Overall, 1 in 28 women is likely to develop breast cancer. Cervical cancer accounts for 22.86% of all cancers in women. More women in India die from cervical cancer than in any other country.
Though cancer is nearly rampant in India, if it is detected early, most types of cancer can be treated effectively. Cancer treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, targetted drug therapy and bone marrow transplant. In most cases, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the traditional options. However, since the past half century, there has been a lot of continued research in the area of targetted drug therapy.