Cancer is a term used to describe a group of diseases characterized by

  1. Rapid and abnormal growth of cells
  2. Cells have ability to invade adjacent tissues and even distant organs and
  3. It causes death of the patient if it has progressed beyond the stage when it can be removed.

Cancer can occur at ANY site in the body. Cancer forms the second highest cause of death in western countries and third highest in India. Among Indian women cancers of the cervix and breast account for nearly 60% of all cancers. Several studies have revealed a close association between cervical cancer and poor genital hygiene, early consummation of marriage, multiple pregnancies and multiple sexual partners. Increased incidence of breast cancer in certain metropolitan areas of India is probably related to late marriage, birth of first child at a later age, fewer children and shorter period of breast feeding.

In the light of present knowledge, early detection and prompt treatment of early cancer and precancerous conditions provide the best possible protection against cancer. Thus major thrust@JE for prevention of cancer.

Following the 8 commonest cancers in women, ranked in decreasing order:

  1. Breast
  2. Cervix
  3. Colon/ rectum
  4. Stomach
  5. Lung
  6. Mouth
  7. Ovary
  8. Body of uterus
  9. Vagina
Early warning signs Cancer - General Aspects
Non-Cancer or Benign Tumors