Cancer is a malignant (a medical condition to become progressively worse) form of a tumor, causing abnormal cell growth which can cause spreading of the tumor to other parts of the body. Possible signs and symptoms include a new lump, abnormal bleeding, a prolonged cough, unexplained weight, and a change in bowel movements etc.
Not all cancers are dangerous. The benign form of tumor or the starting stage of a tumor is not harmful and with a proper treatment can be diagnosed and treated. And till date, there are 100 different cancers identified.
Most of the cancers are caused by tobacco, drinking alcohol, environmental pollutions. Other factors which are less likely might include obesity, poor diet, an absence of physical activity, infections, exposure to ionizing radiation, etc.
Cancers can be treated or avoided very easily by active life, good physical activities, eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, avoiding too much exposure to sunlight and getting vaccinated beforehand for genetic infections.
While men and women both suffer from cancers, it is women twice in number suffer mostly. There are around 7 – 10 cancers that are commonly seen in women. Most of them are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, skin cancer, and ovarian cancer. The Cervical, Endometrial, and Ovarian cancers are also known as gynecological cancers
Women’s body is ever changing and hormones play a critical role in them. Also, the women’s body is delicate and not much resistant to the outer factors that can harm their body. Hence, women are much prone to suffer from cancers than men are.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women. There are two types of breast cancers: ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma. A ductal carcinoma is a form of cancer that is found in milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from the glands to the nipple) and lobular carcinoma is found in lobules or the milk glands of the breast.
Invasive breast cancer is the form of cancer that spreads from the point where it begins either in the breast ducts or lobules to surrounding normal tissue. Breast cancer occurs in both men and women, but the occurrence of a male breast cancer is very rarely seen.
A mammogram or a biopsy is the best way to diagnose breast cancer but symptoms like Skin dimpling or puckering, Nipples that turn inward, Nipple discharge, Redness or scaling of your nipple or breast skin should also be taken into consideration.
The second common cancer found in women is ovarian cancer. Generally, bloating is a common condition found in women. But along with time (within one to two weeks) if the bloating doesn’t go away and happens along with weight loss and bleeding can be a symptom of ovarian cancer. Pelvic exam, ultrasound scan, and some blood tests are the ways to detect ovarian cancers.
Ovarian cancer, though its cause is unknown, is usually seen in women of age above 50 but it can affect younger women also. It causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system and is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancer.
If the symptoms such as abdominal (belly) swelling, Digestive problems (including gas, loss of appetite, and bloating), Abdominal pain, a feeling of the need to urinate all the time, Pelvic pain, Back pain, Leg pain, then one should see the doctor right away.
Endometrial cancer is a form of uterine cancer that forms in the tissue lining the uterus. The intake of estrogen without progesterone or tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment or to lower breast cancer risk might give way for the occurrence of this disease. Also, an early onset of menstrual cycles or late menopause increases the risk of endometrial cancer even more.
Unusual bleeding which is not part of the menstrual cycle or bleeding after the start of menopause may be taken into consideration for endometrial cancer.
Cervical Cancer is another type of cancer that can be seen in younger women mostly, as this cancer is seen in those who are sexually active. This cancer is caused by several viruses called as HPV (human papillomaviruses) which are transmitted during sexual contact.
Though the symptoms of this cancer is not readily seen as it takes years to recognize it, pelvic pain or bleeding from the vagina can be taken as symptoms of cervical cancer. The causes generally for cervical cancer are smoking, giving birth to too many children, having many sex partners, longer usage of birth control pills, or HIV infection.
Uterine cancers are the next type of cancers seen only in women. These are of many types of endometrial cancer, fallopian tube cancer, uterine sarcoma, vaginal and vulvar cancers. These all come under the uterine cancer category. Of all, uterine sarcoma is generally seen, where the tumor is found in the walls or tissues or muscles of the uterus (small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis in which a fetus develops). It usually occurs after menopause. The two main types are leiomyosarcoma (cancer that begins in smooth muscle cells) and endometrial stromal sarcoma (cancer that begins in connective tissue cells).
The most common type of vaginal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the thin, flat cells lining the vagina. Another type of vaginal cancer is adenocarcinoma, cancer that begins in glandular cells in the lining of the vagina.
Vulvar cancer is a tumor found in the vulva, the external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina.
Colorectal cancer (cancers of the colon and rectum), is a general type of cancer, seen in both men and women, is commonly found in people with a personal or family history of this type of cancer, or who have polyps in their colon or rectum, or those with inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to have colorectal cancer. Also, people who have high-fat diets, obesity, and smoking have the risk of exposure to this cancer.
Other cancers seen in women are lung cancer, because of active smoking or passive smoking, Skin cancer, due to longer exposure to harmful radiations through sunlight, or due to the absence of a pigment in the skin called melanin.