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After heart diseases, cancer is the second most common cause of death in women. Out of the six to seven types of cancer prevalent in women, breast cancer is the most dangerous. Lung cancer affects more than 10,000 women each year, following which women battle colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer. Uterus cancer is common with Asian and Pacific women, causing more than 2000 deaths each year .
As studies point out, one out of every three women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during her lifetime . Certain types of cancer are common among women, and Boldsky will help you understand these conditions, including prevention and early detection strategies, which may potentially save your life.
Types Of Cancer That Affect Women
1. Cervical Cancer
In India, more than one-third of women are reported to have cervical cancer . The common symptoms of cervical cancer are vaginal bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, vaginal discharge, back pain, loss of appetite etc. As cervical cancer is highly curable, getting it diagnosed and treated in the early stages is advised. A cervical cancer screening test, such as a Pap smear, can detect cellular changes in the cervix, potentially leading to cancer.
2. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common type of non-skin cancer. In India alone, more than 1 million cases of breast cancer are reported every year. The most common breast cancer symptoms include a new lump in the breast, changes in the skin of the breast, nipple discharge, swelling under the arm and neck etc. While the condition can occur at any age, the risk level generally increases as a woman gets older. Breast cancer screening tests, such as mammograms and ultrasounds, can help detect precancerous and cancerous cells in women who have no symptoms .
3. Uterine (Endometrial) Cancer
Endometrial or uterine cancer is the rapid growth of cells in the endometrium (uterus lining) . The main risk factors associated with uterine cancer are menopause, obesity, diabetes, unopposed oestrogen, and hypertension. There are no routine screening tests available to detect uterine cancer in women who do not have symptoms.
4. Ovarian Cancer
This type of cancer affects women after the age of 55 years . Because no screening method has proven reliable enough at detecting ovarian cancer, the best way to detect ovarian cancer is by understanding the risk factors such as family history and high risk inherited genes, low birth rate, early first menstruation, late menopause, etc.
5. Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is the cancer of the thyroid gland. According to the National Cancer Institute, in women, thyroid cancer chances are three times more than in men. Thyroid cancer mainly occurs when there is a genetic mutation in the thyroid cells. The exact cause of mutation or change in the DNA factor is still unknown . Carrying out a 'neck check' performed by a medical professional can help increase the likelihood of early detection.
6. Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine and is also called colorectal cancer. A malignant tumour, colon cancer or bowel cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in men and women . Colon cancer is usually reported in older adults, though it can happen at any age. It usually begins as small, noncancerous clumps of cells on the inside of the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can become colon cancer. Timely treatment can help manage and prevent the elevation of cancer through surgery, radiation therapy and drug treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy .
On A Final Note...
Lifestyle improvements such as changes to your diet and exercise habits can help improve your overall health and reduce the risk of developing risk cancers common to women. Most importantly, getting regular medical care is crucial for early detection and timely treatment.