CANCER is one of the most dreaded ailments, and from amongst the very manytypesofcancer, there are a few that Indian women are predisposed to.

47.2 percent of cancer in women is accounted for amongst the five types. Dr. Neena Singh, Associate Director, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fortis La Femme, Delhi sheds some light on this.

The following are top five types of cancer in women;

  1. Breast Cancer
  2. Cervical Cancer
  3. Uterine Cancer
  4. Ovarian Cancer
  5. Colorectal cancer

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is most commoncancerinwomeninIndia and accounts for 27 percent of all cases of cancer in women.

High risk factors:

● Family history of breast cancer

● Long period of OCP Screening test: Self-examination. If any abnormality found like lump, pain or change in shape, consult a doctor who would examine clinically if it is cancer.

Mammography is done whichcandetect small lesions. MRI Breast is done for staging the disease.

Treatment at early stages carries a good prognosis.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in India in women accounting 22.86 percent of all cancer cases in women.

Risk factors

  • Young age at first intercourse (less than 16 years)
  • Multiple partners Screening test: Any abnormal symptoms like vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge and contact bleeding report to a gynecologist who would do a clinical exam and do some test on cervix.
  • Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA)
  • Visualinspectionwithlegal Iodine (VILI)
  • Magnified VI! Under colposcopy
  • Exfoliative cytology (Pap smear)-is gold standard for screening.
  • HPV-DNA testing
  • Cervical biopsy. Early detection and treatment have good prognosis.
  • Prevention by prophylactic vaccinations in childhood.

Uterine cancer

Uterine cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus in its lining called the endometrium. Hence also named as endometrial carcinoma.

Risk factors

It is estrogen-dependent cancer. Persistent unopposed stimulation of endometrium with estrogen is the single most important factor for development of cancer endometrium:

● Polycystic ovaries

● Granulosa cell tumor of ovary which secret estrogen

● Hormone replacement therapy-unopposed estrogen therapy

● Early onset of periods & late menopause

● Nulliparity

● Tamoxifen therapy given in breast cancer

● Endometrial hyperplasia especially atypical

● Following radiation exposure to the pelvis

Screening test:

If any irregularity in menstrual cycle, post-menopausal bleeding,contactbleedingand unhealthy vaginal discharge report toagynecologist who would do

Clinical examination

● Transvaginal sonography (TVS) to know endometrial thickness or irregularity.

● MRI pelvis can be done for more details

● Fractional curettage of uterus for histopathology examinationorHysteroscopy & directed biopsy from suspicious area.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer constitutes 15-20% of all genital cancers. 85-90 percent of all cancers are epithelial in origin. Germ cell constitutes 5-7%.

Risk factors

Unfortunately, ovarian cancer doesn’t produce any specific symptoms. By the time symptoms appear it’s already in advanced stages. However, if patients have pain in the abdomen, backache, indigestion, bloating not responding to basic treatment and lasts for more than two weeks then consult a gynecologist. Screening test: No specific screening method is available. The doctor would do a pelvic examination to feel for an ovarian mass.

●Trans vaginal sonography (TVS)to confirm ovarian mass solid or cystic.

● Blood test like CA125 which is found raised in ovarian cancer.

● CT Scan /MRI to know spread of cancer Treatment: Early diagnosis and treatment carry good prognosis. COLORECTAL Cancer When a cancerous growth originates in the colon and then spreads to the rectum, it leads to colorectal cancer.

Risk Factors:

  • Smoking
  • Fat rich diet
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colitis
  • Family history of colorectal cancer or polyp

Screening test:

  • Frank blood in stools
  • Fecal occult blood test is positive
  • Double contrast barium enema (DCBE)
  • CT Scan
  • Colonoscopy
  • Stool DNA test

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