Cancer Awareness Camp

About Cancer

Cancer scenario in India

Over 800,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed every year in India. Over 500,000 patients die every year from cancer. Number of deaths from cancer is more than combined death rate of Malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS. Majority of cancers are diagnosed late. Majority of patients are unable to undergo standard treatment (lack of awareness, lack of nearby treatment facilities, inability to pay for treatment).

Unfortunately, most of the cancers in India are highly preventable. 50% of cancer cases in men are directly related to tobacco use. Alcohol adds to this by promoting injury due to tobacco and increasing cancer rate by manifold. Also, most common cancers in women i.e. cervix and breast are primarily related to hygiene, sexual practices and lifestyle changes. Developed nations have been able to reduce rates of new tobacco related cancers due to extensive public awareness, and laws to curb smoking in public places and other measures. In India, on the other hand, there is very little being done in this area with resultant marked increase in rates of tobacco related cancers and likely to grow a lot more in coming decade.

Early signs of cancer

Please consult a doctor, if you have any of the following symptoms on a continuous basis:

  • Pain

Back pain can be a symptom of cancer of the colon, rectum, ovary, multiple myeloma, and others. Abdominal pain or chest pain may be a symptom in many cancers. Pain may be an early symptom with some cancers like bone cancers or testicular cancer. A headache that does not go away or get better with treatment may be a symptom of a brain tumor.

  • Change in bowel habits or bladder function

A new constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the size of the stool, lasting for few weeks or more, may be a sign of colon cancer. Pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change in bladder function (such as needing to pass urine more or less often than usual) could be related to kidney, prostate or bladder cancer.

  • Sores that do not heal

A long-lasting sore in the mouth could be an oral cancer. This should be dealt with right away, especially in people who smoke, chew tobacco, or often drink alcohol. Skin cancers may bleed and look like sores that don’t heal. Sores on the penis or vagina may either be signs of infection or an early cancer, and should be seen by a health professional.

  • White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue

White patches inside the mouth and white spots on the tongue may be leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous area. It’s often caused by smoking or other tobacco use. People who chew tobacco are at high risk for leukoplakia. If it’s not treated, leukoplakia can become mouth cancer. Any long-lasting mouth changes should be checked by a doctor or dentist right away.

Unusual bleeding can happen in early or advanced cancer. Coughing up blood in the sputum (phlegm) may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium (lining of the uterus) can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding after menopause OR bleeding after intercourse. Blood in the urine may be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer.

Many cancers can be felt through the skin. These cancers occur mostly in the breast, lymph nodes (glands), and the soft tissues of the body. A lump or thickening may be an early or late sign of cancer and should be reported to a doctor, especially if you’ve just found it or notice it has grown in size. Keep in mind that some breast cancers show up as red or thickened skin rather than the expected lump.

Difficulty swallowing that does not go away for few weeks or more may be signs of cancer of the esophagus (the swallowing tube that goes to the stomach), stomach, or pharynx (throat).

Any wart, mole, or freckle that changes color, size, or shape, or that loses its sharp border should be seen by a doctor right away. Any other skin changes should be reported, too. A skin change may be a melanoma which, if found early, can be treated successfully.

A cough that does not go away may be a sign of lung cancer. Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer of the voice box (larynx) or thyroid gland.

When you lose weight for no known reason, it’s called an unexplained weight loss. An unexplained weight loss of 5-10 kg or more may be the first sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus (swallowing tube), or lung.

Fever may be an early sign of cancer, such as liver cancer, blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma. It may also be seen in other cancers, due to chemicals released by cancer. Low grade fever is also common.

Fatigue is extreme tiredness that does not get better with rest. It may be an important symptom as cancer grows. It may happen early, though, in some cancers, like leukemia. Some colon or stomach cancers can cause blood loss that’s not obvious. This is another way cancer can cause fatigue, by causing low hemoglobin.

The signs and symptoms listed above are the more common ones seen with cancer, but there are many others that are not listed here. If you notice any major changes in the way your body works or the way you feel – especially if it lasts for a long time or gets worse – let a doctor know. If it has nothing to do with cancer, the doctor can find out more about what’s going on and, if needed, treat it. If it is cancer, you’ll give yourself the chance to have it treated early, when treatment works best.

Facts and myths

Some beliefs

Some Facts

Some Information


Cancer is curable.

Most cancers, if detected early, can be cured in vast majority of cases. Not only that, many cancers can be cured even if detected in advance stages in majority of cases, such as blood cancers. Every year many cancer patients are cured. If we look around, we definitely find at least few such patients within family, friends, colleagues. Most recently, Yuvraj Singh is one of the most known celebrity who has been cured of cancer. He is a cricket icon. Not only has he been cured, but is back to playing cricket very actively and successfully. So, yes cancer can be cured and life after cancer can be very productive as well. There are many such examples if one looks around. Another famous person is pop singer Kylie Minogue, who sang a song in Hindi film “Blue” with Akshay Kumar. She was treated for breast cancer several years ago.

Around the nation and abroad, lot of research is being carried out on cancer and its treatment. Various organizations execute programmes that focus on patient care, medical education and research. There are doctors in the oncology department that are specialists in this field and focus on offering coordinated and holistic care that is focused on the treatment of cancer patients.

Right from cancer screening, early detection, multi-disciplinary treatment, rehabilitation to complete cancer care to patient; medical world is offering cancer care worldwide.

Important information regarding cancer can be found on following links: