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  • Understanding Cancers With High Incidence Rates For Males & Females

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    Cancer is on the rise in India at an alarming rate. India is currently the third largest country in the world, right after China and the United States, when it comes to the number of cancer cases. Cancer is a disease that results from the uncontrolled division of malignant cells in different parts of the body. Various reasons have been attributed to the onset and spread of cancer among individuals. While smoking is one of the major causes of cancer, other reasons like excessive exposure to UV rays, excessive consumption of red meat, etc., are also attributed to different forms of cancer.

    It may originate in any part of the body, and there are more than 200 varieties of cancers identified by researchers so far. Cancers are typically named after the part of the body in which they originate. Some of the common types of cancers in India are listed as follows:

    Oral cancer

    This is the most common form of cancer among men in India. Oral cancer is mostly a result of either smoking or chewing tobacco. It is estimated that more than 90% of the people diagnosed with oral cancer are tobacco users. India is a country with millions of tobacco users. Oral cancer originates from the oral cavity and spreads to other regions like cheeks, lips, throat, and pharynx. While active smokers and tobacco users are the most common victims of oral cancer, passive smokers are getting increasingly affected by the disease. One can avoid oral cancer by following a healthy lifestyle and quitting smoking.

    Breast cancer

    Cases of breast cancer are increasing at an alarming rate in India. Globally, breast cancer is the most common reason for cancer-related death in women. Women over the age of 40 years are the most common victims of breast cancer. However, it may also affect young women living in India. Breast cancer may be caused by various factors like poor food habits, high-stress levels, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of workout, late menopause, etc. If diagnosed at an early stage, it is possible to successfully treat breast cancer. Hence, oncologists recommend that women over the age of 30 years must do regular screening to detect the early onset of breast cancer.

    Lung cancer

    This is the second most common type of cancer among men in India next to oral cancer. While lung cancer is also directly attributed to smoking, other factors like pollution, regular ingestion of carcinogenic compounds, and poor lifestyle habits may also cause lung cancer. Even at the global level, lung cancer is considered to be one of the deadliest diseases with millions of deaths every year. Similar to other types of cancer, lung cancer can also be successfully treated if diagnosed at an early stage.

    Cervical cancer

    This is another most common form of cancer among women in India. Unlike other forms of cancer, cervical cancer is caused by a virus called Human Papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is sexually transmitted from one person to another. It originates from the cervical region which is located at the lower part of the uterus. In most cases of HPV transmission, it is possible to clear the infection at an early stage with proper treatment. This is the reason why HPV DNA testing is recommended for women over the age of 30 years. Preventive vaccines are also recommended for various strains of HPV.

    How to prevent cancer

    While the onset of cancer is extremely unpredictable, there are certain things that can be done to avoid cancer. It starts mostly with following a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you follow healthy dietary habits and exercise regularly. It is necessary to consume food items rich in antioxidants. Consumption of tobacco is attributed to some of the most dreadful forms of cancer, and it must be avoided at all cost. Even if you don’t smoke, exposure to passive smoking could trigger certain forms of cancer. Also, it is necessary to limit your exposure to environmental pollution and take necessary precautions. Getting regular medical examinations is also necessary to avoid cancer.

    Protect yourself with cancer insurance

    Though medical advancements have made it possible to successfully treat most forms of cancer, the cost of cancer treatment is extremely high in India. The best way to financially secure yourself against the threat of cancer is to purchase a cancer insurance policy. The cost of cancer insurance is significantly low compared to other health insurance plans. For instance, a healthy 30-year old, non-smoker male can purchase a cancer insurance cover worth Rs.25 lakh for just Rs.3,000 per year. Cancer-specific insurance is offered by most life and health insurance companies in India. You may check the benefits offered by these plans before subscribing to a specific cover.

    Treatment choices for cancer

    There are plenty of treatment options available for cancer. Some of the common treatment choices of oncology experts are listed as follows:

    • Chemotherapy: This is a treatment procedure that uses drugs to kill cancer cells in specific parts of the body.
    • Surgery: Surgical removal of cancer cells is practised in cases of certain advanced forms of cancer.
    • Radiation therapy: This procedure focuses on the use of radiation to kill cancer cells.
    • Immunotherapy: This method concerns boosting the immune system of the person to fight cancer cells.
    • Targeted therapy: This is one of the innovative procedures that battle cancers by targeting changes in the cancer cells.
    • Hormone therapy: This procedure focuses on blocking the body’s ability to grow hormones that assist in the growth of cancerous cells.
    • Stem cell treatment: It is a procedure that focuses on restoring stem cells which are required to produce blood cells.

    Conclusion

    Despite the prevalence of various treatment options, cancer is still a dreadful disease. The cost of cancer treatment is skyrocketing in India due to a significant increase in medical inflation. Considering this scenario, it is necessary for everyone to get adequate protection from cancer. In addition to life and health insurance covers, it is always better to have a cancer insurance policy that covers most varieties of cancer. It is also essential for everyone to follow cancer prevention tips and get regular medical examinations.

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