Hate the Disease, But not the Diseased.

What is Cancer ?

Cancer starts in our cells. Cells are tiny building blocks that make up the organs and tissues of our body. Usually, these cells divide to make new cells in a controlled way. This is how our bodies grow, heal and repair. Sometimes, this goes wrong and the cell becomes abnormal. The abnormal cell keeps dividing and making more and more abnormal cells. These cells form a lump, which is called a tumour. Not all lumps are cancerous.
1)A lump that is not cancerous (benign) cannot spread to anywhere else in the body.
2) A lump that is cancer (malignant) can grow into surrounding tissue.
Cancer cells sometimes break away from the primary cancer and travel through the blood or lymphatic system to other parts of the body. Cancer cells that spread and develop into a tumour somewhere else in the body are called a secondary cancer.

Cancer and Cell Types

It’s important for doctors to know what type of cancer a person has. The type of cancer is generally based on the part of your body and the type of cell where the cancer first developed. The most common places for cancer to develop are the Oral, lungs, breasts, prostate, Cervix, colon and Esophugeal.
There are three main types of cell where cancer develops:
1)Epithelial cells. Cancers that develop in this type of cell are called carcinomas. About 80- 90% of cancers are this type.
2)Cells of the blood and lymphatic system. Cancers that develop in this type of cell are called leukaemias and lymphomas. About 7% of cancers are this type.
3)Connective tissue cells. Cancers that develop in this type of cell are called sarcomas. About 1% of cancers are this type.
Cancer can sometimes develop in other types of cell, but this is rare.

Types of cancer

It’s important for doctors to know what type of cancer you have because different types of cancer can behave very differently and respond to different treatments.
Cancers are grouped (classified) in two ways, according to:
There are three main types of cell where cancer develops:
1)site - the part of the body where the cancer first developed (the primary site)
2)cell type - the type of cell the cancer started from.
Most people are aware of cancer types when they are described according to where the cancer first started in the body (the primary site). For example, lung cancer or breast cancer.
The most common sites for cancer to develop include the:


Making treatment decisions

Your doctors may tell you there are different options for your treatment. Having the right information will help you make the right decision for you.
Surgery involves removing the cancer with an operation. It is an important treatment for many cancers.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to treat many different types of cancer. It is most commonly given as an injection into a vein or as tablets or capsules.
Radiotherapy is the use of high-energy rays, usually x-rays and similar rays (such as electrons) to treat cancer.
Targeted (biological) therapies
Targeted (biological) therapies can change cells to treat cancer.
After treatment
You have regular check-ups and necessaries test after treatment. Your Doctors will advise you on managing the different effects of treatment.

Why Do Cancers Come Back?

When you are first diagnosed with cancer, treatment is usually given to try to get rid of the cancer. Your doctor will decide which type of treatment you need. They will use a treatment or combination of treatments to help reduce the chances of any cancer cells remaining. Unfortunately, cancer cells are sometimes left behind after treatment. If this happens, the cancer may come back. This can happen years after your initial treatment. Cancer can come back in the same area of the body or somewhere else in the body. Cancer that returns:
1)In the same area of the body is known as a local recurrence
2)In a different part of the body is called a metastasis or secondary cancer.
Usually, treatment is used to control the cancer when it comes back. It is sometimes possible to use treatment to try and get rid of the cancer.

Preventing Cancer

Food & Nutrition

In general, eating a healthy, balanced diet reduces your risk of developing cancer, while a poor diet increases your cancer risk. Cancers associated with diet are most commonly found in the digestive tract, including the oesophagus, stomach and bowel.
Improving your diet can be as simple as trying to eat more:
  • vegetables, fruit and legumes
  • cereals (preferably wholegrain) – bread, rice, pasta and noodles contain fibre, and a diet high in fibre can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
There is evidence that suggests diets high in red meat (particularly processed meats such as salami or ham) can increase the risk of developing cancer. Try to avoid eating too much processed meat. If you eat red meat try to eat small serves of lean meat and limit it to 3-4 times a week. Incorporate chicken and fish into other meals or try vegetarian alternatives.
Diet can also influence body weight, which in turn can affect your risk of developing cancer. It is important to balance the amount of energy (kilojoules or calories) you take in with the amount of energy you expend each day.

Body Weight

Since the 1980s there has been a steady increase in the number of Indian who are classed as overweight or obese. There are many adults and children are now considered overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including common forms such as bowel and (post-menopausal) breast cancer, as well as cancers of the endometrium, kidney and oesophagus.To maintain a healthy body weight, eat a balanced diet that only contains as much energy (kilojoules or calories) as you use each day.

Physical Activity

Doing little or no physical activity is associated with a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer. Physical inactivity is responsible for 14% of colon cancers and 11% of post-menopausal breast cancers – and probably contributes to many other cancers.
Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It can decrease the risk of developing cancer as well as improving cardiovascular fitness, maintaining bone mineral density and reducing stress. Being more active can also reduce body weight, another factor that influences the risk of developing cancer.Just 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each day is good for your health and 60 minutes can reduce your risk of developing cancer. There is evidence to suggest that the more exercise you do, the lower your risk - especially if this is more vigorous physical activity.


Drinking any type of alcohol (beer, wine or spirits) increases the risk of developing cancer of the bowel, mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver and breast. The risk is even higher for some of these cancers in smokerswho consume alcohol.There is evidence to suggest that drinking small amounts of certain types of alcohol, such as red wine, can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Cancer risk, however, increases from the first alcoholic drink you have.
The more alcohol you consume, the greater your risk of developing cancer. If you choose to drink, we recommend you follow the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines and limit your intake to two standard drinks a day.
Alcohol is high in energy (kilojoules or calories) and can easily contribute to weight gain – being overweight or obese is also associated with a higher cancer risk.

General Advice

Treatment can be more effective when cancer is found early. Keep an eye out for any unusual changes to your body, such as:
  • lumpiness or a thickened area in your breasts, any changes in the shape or color of your breasts, unusual nipple discharge, a nipple that turns inwards (if it hasn't always been that way) or any unusual pain.
  • a lump in the neck, armpit or anywhere else in the body.
  • sores or ulcers that don't heal.
  • cough or hoarseness that won't go away or coughing up blood.
  • changes in toilet habits that last more than two weeks, blood in a bowel motion.
  • new moles or skin spots, or ones that have changed shape, size or colour, or that bleed.
  • unusual vaginal discharge or bleeding.
  • unexplained weight loss.
If you notice any changes, see your doctor immediately. For more information, Contact World Cancer Care 9888711774.
Remember there are free screening programs available for breast cancer, cervical cancer and Prostate cancer.