Cancer is one of the many diseases that affect humans. But this disease of cancer is very dreadful. Cancer is a disease in which a single normal body cell undergoes a genetic transformation into a cancer cell. This grows into a number of cells and forms into a tumour, and these tumours produce the symptoms of Cancer. Cancer can spread throughout a person’s body.
Cancer can affect anyone from children to women and men and at any age. Cancer can affect a person as he gets older, in people 45 and above. It’s because as years pass by cells turn faulty or mutate and grow into cancer. This means as we age, we are more exposed to sunlight, cigarette smoke, chemicals and other cancer-causing agents for a long time.
Types of Cancer in Women
Cancers that affect women are:
- BREAST CANCER
- COLORECTAL CANCER
- OVARIAN CANCERS.
To save the lives of women and help them lead a healthy life, the only way is diagnosing cancer as early as possible.
This cancer can start at any age, and the risk goes up as one grows older. Every woman should know about the dangers of breast cancer and what they can do to lower the risk of this cancer.
- The most trustworthy way to find out about breast cancer is to do the screening test regularly.
- MAMMOGRAM is a screening test done by taking the x-ray of the breast. From the age of 40 and above the mammogram test should be done at least once in two years.
- All the women should know what the mammogram test can and cannot do. Every woman should know how their breast looks and feels, and in case they find any changes must consult a doctor.
This cancer starts in the colon or rectum.
- Less of physical activity
- A diet high in red and processed meat
- Consumption of alcohol
- Personal or family history
To check colorectal cancer, one needs to :
- Regularly get a screening test of the colon.
- A small growth on the lining of the rectum is seen.
- Through screening, if the growth is small, it can be removed before it turns into cancer.
- From the age of 45 through 75 years, a regular screening test can be done.
- If there is a family history before 45 also a screening test can be done.
- It is the cancer of the inner lining of the uterus( endometrium ).
- The risk of getting this cancer increases with age.
- If the hormones are affected when a woman takes medicines for being treated for breast cancer, this cancer starts.
- If menstrual periods start early in age, menopause is late, history of infertility or not having children can increase the risk of getting this cancer.
- Personal or family history or being obese can also get this cancer.
- Women who must have had breast cancer or ovarian cancer can also get endometrial cancer.
There is no particular screening or symptoms of endometrial cancer. Any unusual discharge, spotting, or bleeding from the vagina during periods or after menopause should be reported.
Women who have had colorectal cancer at 35 years must go in for an endometrial biopsy every year. A regular pelvic exam can also help to diagnose endometrial cancer.
- Smoking or passive smoking can be the cause of this cancer
- Long duration of exposure to chemicals and other particles in the air.
- To escape from lung cancer- if a person is not a smoker do not start, avoid breathing the smoke if other people are smoking.
- Generally from 55 to 75 years of age are prone to lung cancer.
- A CT scan can help to diagnose lung cancer.
- HPV( human papillomavirus ) is the common risk factor of cervical cancer.
- HPV one can get through the skin to skin contact like having vaginal, anal or oral sex if that person has this virus.
- A woman can also get if she is a smoker, has a weak immune system, is obese or even if exposed to hormone treatments.
CAN AVOID CERVICAL CANCER BY:
- HPV vaccine can be taken by boys and girls from the age of 12 through 26.
- Avoid smoking.
- Use a condom to protect yourself
- People between 27 and 45 can take the advice of a doctor if the HPV vaccine is needed and every 5 years HPV tests can be taken
- Regular screening tests will help to find changes in the cervix and if treated early, can avoid getting cancer.
- People above 65 years of age and if they had a cervical cancer test in the past 10 years and were normal need not get any further tests.
- Women who have got their uterus and cervix removed through hysterectomy can stop the cervical cancer test.
- This cancer can occur at any age, but older women are more likely to get it.
- Childless women and who have children after 35 can get ovarian cancer.
- Women with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or breast cancer can get ovarian cancer.
- Women who did not have any other cancer can still get ovarian cancer
- No screening tests or pap test can detect ovarian cancer, but a pelvic test can help to diagnose ovarian cancer.
Symptoms for Ovarian Cancer
- Abdominal swelling and weight loss.
- loss of appetite, bloating of the stomach.
- pain in the pelvic or in the abdomen
- urge to urinate all the time.
Reduce the Risk by
- Stop smoking totally.
- Regular exercise
- Stay healthy
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains.
- Best for women is to stay away from alcohol or not take more than one peg per day.
Can a Women Have a Baby After Cancer Treatment
After cancer treatment, both husband and wife doubt if they can have a baby, a difficult decision to take.
Some may suggest waiting for six months after chemo as the damaged cells will leave the body.
Some times, the patient may be asked to wait for two to five years as there may be a chance for cancer to come back.
Children of cancer survivors do not have a risk of the disease, but a few cancers are passed from the genes.
It’s always safe to go according to the doctor’s advice, as the doctor needs to check certain organs and see that the pregnancy is safe. The patient might be referred to an obstetrician, who will take care.
During cancer treatment, if a woman gets pregnant, certain tests are a must like—x-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, biopsy, pap test and so on.
A team of doctors will carefully monitor the pregnancy and will look for a safe delivery.
Breastfeeding can also be done as cancer cells won’t pass from the patient mother to the baby. For some treatments like chemo, breastfeeding can be stopped.
Treatment for a pregnant woman and a non-pregnant woman is the same.
Awareness of Cancer in Women
Though most of the women are aware of breast cancer alone, they do not have much knowledge of other cancers and even about the symptoms of breast cancer.
So in a few companies, they discuss cancer by wearing coloured ribbons and request everyone to participate in the discussion.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Creating awareness of cancers among women will have a positive impact on people across the nation and the world.