World Cancer Day 2023: 5 most common cancers in women

Published on:3 February 2023, 11:37am IST

Web summary: Cancer cases are increasing rapidly among women across the globe. On World Cancer Day 2023, Dr Sunny Garg, a medical oncologist, revealed the 5 most common types of cancer that women should be aware of.

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It is the most common cancer among women across the world, and its causes include, early menarche, late menopause, intake of hormone replacement therapy after menopause, exposure of chest walls to radiation, dietary and lifestyle causes, genetic factors, etc. Talking about early detection, preventive screening with regular mammograms after 40 to 45 years of age may help in detecting breast cancer early, also timely intervention increases the chances of better recovery and outcome. Today, there are various types of treatment options available including, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy customized to the patient’s needs. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

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Some factors that predispose to this disease are being overweight or obese, intake of diet rich in red or processed meats, heavy alcohol or smoking, physical inactivity, personal or family history of colorectal cancer, etc. Screening for this may be done with colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy and/or stool-based tests. If you notice any changes like red or black colored stools, prolonged constipation or diarrhoea, and/or significant weight loss, you should not ignore these symptoms and get yourself checked at the earliest. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

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This cancer starts in the lining of the uterus, called endometrium, and the risk increases with increasing age. Risk factors include early menarche, late menopause, not having children, tamoxifen intake, etc. The most common symptoms include irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, post-menopausal bleeding, lower abdominal or pelvic pain or discomfort, etc. Various treatment options are available in the form of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

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Risk factors for this include smoking tobacco or second-hand smoke, environmental pollution, exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens, family history, etc. Common symptoms of lung cancer are prolonged cough, blood in sputum, breathlessness, chest pain, weight loss, etc. Low-dose CT scans may help in detecting lung cancer early in a high-risk population group. Treatment depends on the type of lung cancer, stage of disease, genetic markers, patient condition along with other factors. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

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Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common risk factor of cervical cancer. It can be acquired through intimate contact like vaginal, anal or oral sex with an individual carryingthe infection. Other causes may include chlamydia infection, weak immune system, smoking, etc. Routine HPV vaccination and regular screening with HPV and PAP tests may help in preventing or early diagnosis in many cases. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock