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Updated February 7th, 2024 at 10:36 IST

Understanding Cancer: Treatment And Most Common Types In India

Cancer and its treatment needs more awareness so that the conversations around it are not scary, but informative.

Understanding Cancer: Treatment And Most Common Types In India
Understanding Cancer: Treatment And Most Common Types In India | Image:Unsplash
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King Charles’ cancer diagnosis has been making headlines all over the world with people wishing for his health. Some days ago, Poonam Pandey’s ‘fake death’ started a conversation around cervical cancer. According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there were an estimated 18.1 million cancer cases around the world in 2020. Of these, 9.3 million cases were in men and 8.8 million in women. So, we need to have more open and informative conversations about the disease.

What is Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, “You are made up of trillions of cells that over your lifetime normally grow and divide as needed. When cells are abnormal or get old, they usually die. Cancer starts when something goes wrong in this process and your cells keep making new cells and the old or abnormal ones don't die when they should. As the cancer cells grow out of control, they can crowd out normal cells. This makes it hard for your body to work the way it should.”

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Can cancer be treated?

“Whether a person’s cancer can be cured depends on the type and stage of the cancer, the type of treatment they can get, and other factors. Some cancers are more likely to be cured than others. But each cancer needs to be treated differently. There isn’t one cure for cancer.”, the American Cancer Society writes. The most common treatments of cancer according to ACC are

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  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Stem Cell or Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Hormone Therapy

How is India affected by Cancer?

Breast cancer is very common in India | Representative image: Unsplash

According to information produced in an operational framework by the Ministry Of Health & Family Welfare, “The International Agency for Research on Cancer, the GLOBOCAN project has predicted that the cancer burden in India will rise from nearly one million new cases in 2012 to over 1.5 million i e., 1,569,196 by 2035. These projections also indicate that the absolute numbers of cancer deaths will also rise from about 680,000 to about 1.2 million in the same period. Estimates from the data of the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP), Indian Council of Medical Research indicate that there are about 14 lakh incident cases, 38 lakh prevalent cases and 7 lakh cancer related deaths per year.”
They also mention that The three most commonly occurring cancers in India are those of the breast, uterine cervix and oral cavity. Together they account for approximately 34% of all cancers, and hence are a public health priority in India. However, if detected early, Survival rates for all three cancers are good.

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Published February 7th, 2024 at 10:36 IST

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