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What is Cancer?

Cancer is a group of diseases which involves abnormal cell growth, limitless cell division and starts destroying body tissues. This disorder encompasses more than 100 diseases affecting nearly every part of the body, and all are potentially life-threatening.

The global cancer burden is estimated to have risen to 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018. One in 5 men and one in 6 women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 8 men and one in 11 women die from the disease.

What are the Risk Factors of Cancer?

Cancer has many risk factors, some of them are non-modifiable like genetic factors. However, some lifestyle habits also contribute towards increasing the risk, which can be controlled. Some of them are

  • Poor hygiene
  • Malnutrition
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity

Types of Cancer

There are about 200 types of cancer, and all of them could be fatal if the required measures aren’t taken. Some of these are:

Breast Cancer

A cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.

  • Hereditary
  • Obesity
  • Late menopause
  • Late pregnancy
  • Hard lumps in breasts
  • Change in size of breasts
  • Nipple discharge

Prostate Cancer

A cancer in a man's prostate, a small walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid.

  • Genetic disorders
  • Increased risk with age
  • Pain in bones
  • Difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine
  • Excessive urination at night
  • Weak urinary stream


This cancer is the most serious type of skin cancer and occurs when the pigment-producing cells that give colour to the skin become cancerous.

  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and from tanning lamps
  • A change in an existing mole
  • The development of a new pigmented or unusual-looking growth on your skin
  • Bigger mole formation
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Skin mole with irregular border

Colon Cancer

A cancer of the colon or rectum located at the digestive tract's lower end.

  • Inherited syndromes that increase colon cancer risk
  • Inflammatory intestinal conditions
  • Low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Blood in stool
  • Anaemia or Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Lung Cancer

A cancer that begins in the lungs and most often occurs in people who smoke.

  • Pre-existing persistent COPD
  • Smoking
  • Occupational hazards and Pollutants
  • Pain in chest or ribs
  • Chronic coughing with blood or with phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue


Leukemia is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and can happen when there is a problem with the production of blood cells. It usually affects the white blood cells.

  • Genetic disorders
  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene
  • Smoking
  • Pain in bones or joints
  • Dizziness, Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent infections
  • Nosebleed
  • Weakness


A cancer of the lymphatic system that affects the ability to fight diseases. It includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland and bone marrow.

  • Developing certain infections of Epstein-Barr virus and Helicobacter pylori infection.
  • Having an impaired immune system.
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Sudden weight loss

Carcinoma Cancer

This cancer type starts in the cell that make up the skin or tissue lining organs, such as liver or kidney.

  • Chronic infection with HBV or HCV
  • Cirrhosis
  • Exposure to aflatoxins
  • Lower back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Lasting fever
  • Weight loss

Sarcomas Cancer

A sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer. Sarcomas grow in connective tissue, cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body. It could affect any part of the body. This leads to formation of lumps or abnormal growth of mass.

  • Exposure to industrial chemicals and herbicides.)
  • Exposure to viruses called human herpes virus 8)
  • Chronic swelling (lymphedema)
  • A new lump on the body
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in your stool or vomit
  • Black stools

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, can occur anywhere in the mouth. It could affect the surface of the tongue, the lips, inside the cheek, in the gums, in the roof and floor of the mouth, in the tonsils, and in the salivary glands.

Mouth cancer mostly happens after the age of 40, and the risk is more than twice as high in men as it is in women.

  • Chewing Tobacco and smoking
  • Exposure to HPV
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Mouth ulcers or sores that do not heal
  • A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of the mouth
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Sore throat
  • Sensation that something is stuck in the throat
  • Painful tongue
  • Hoarse voice

Stomach Cancer

Gastric Adenocarcinoma, also known as Stomach cancer, is a growth of cancerous cells within the lining of the stomach.

While stomach cancer is relatively rare compared to other types of cancer, diagnosing it is a difficult task. Stomach cancer usually doesn’t cause any early symptoms as it often goes undiagnosed until after it spreads to other parts of the body. This makes it more difficult to treat.

  • Helicobacter Pylori infections
  • Long standing pernicious anemia
  • Infection in the gut area or gastritis
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constant bloating
  • Bloody stools
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Stomach pain after meals

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix — the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer.

  • HPV infection
  • Multiple sexual contact
  • Hereditary
  • Post menopausal bleeding
  • Unusual vaginal discharge or abnormal bleeding between periods
  • Irregular menstruation or spotting

How can the risk factors be mitigated?

Although not every form of cancer can be treated, but measures can be taken if detected at an early stage. Some preventive ways include change in lifestyle.
  • Avoid the use of Tobacco
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Use regular exercise instead of Avoid Obesity
  • Limit the intake of packed meat
  • Get vaccinated against Hepatitis B and Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Get regular health check-ups

Given the lifestyle you lead, it is important to get detailed insights of your Inner Health parameters regularly in order to take corrective actions.

Get your insights from the Expert – Metropolis, Your Pathology Specialist having a global expertise of over 35 years and a trusted partner to millions of delighted customers.

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