Cancer is a term used to describe a group of diseases that involve the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body. This disease can affect any part of the body, and it is characterized by the presence of abnormal cells that divide and grow uncontrollably. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and organs and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Cancer is a serious and life-threatening disease, but early detection and treatment can greatly improve the chances of survival.
Incidence rate in India:
The incidence rate of cancer in India is on the rise, with an estimated 13.9 lakh new cancer cases reported in 2020 alone. According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, the incidence of cancer is expected to increase to 15.7 lakhs by 2025.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in India, with an estimated 7.36 lakh deaths in 2020. The most common types of cancer in India are breast cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, oral cancer, and colorectal cancer.
The incidence rate of cancer varies across different regions of India, with higher rates reported in the North-Eastern region and lower rates reported in the South. This variation is thought to be due to differences in lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors.
It is important to note that the incidence rate of cancer in India is likely underestimated due to underreporting and inadequate cancer surveillance systems in many parts of the country.
Types of Cancer: There are many types of cancer, each with its unique set of symptoms and treatment options. Some of the most common types of cancer include:
- Breast cancer: This type of cancer affects the cells in the breast tissue and can be detected through self-examination or mammography.
- Lung cancer: This cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow and multiply in the lungs, leading to difficulty in breathing and chest pain.
- Prostate cancer: This type of cancer affects the prostate gland, which is located in the male reproductive system.
- Colorectal cancer: This type of cancer affects the colon or rectum and is characterized by changes in bowel movements, rectal bleeding, and abdominal pain.
- Skin cancer: This type of cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin and can be detected through regular skin checks.
- Leukemia: This type of cancer affects the blood cells and bone marrow, leading to fatigue, weakness, and anemia.
Causes of Cancer:
Cancer is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. While some cancers can be attributed to inherited genetic mutations, many are the result of changes that occur during a person’s lifetime. These changes can be caused by exposure to environmental toxins or radiation, lifestyle choices such as tobacco use and poor diet, or viral infections.
- Environmental factors: Such as pollution, exposure to chemicals, and radiation can damage DNA in cells, leading to mutations that can promote cancer growth. For example, exposure to asbestos can increase the risk of developing lung cancer, while exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer.
- Inherited genetic mutations: can also increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer. For example, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increase the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
- Lifestyle factors: Such as smoking, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to the development of cancer. Smoking is a major risk factor for several types of cancer, including lung cancer. A diet high in processed foods and red meat is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
- Viral Infections: Certain viral infections can also increase the risk of developing cancer. For example, infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to cervical cancer, while infection with hepatitis B or C virus can cause liver cancer.
It is important to note that not all cases of cancer can be attributed to known risk factors. In some cases, the cause of cancer is unknown.
Symptoms of Cancer:
The symptoms of cancer can vary depending on the type of cancer and its location in the body. However, there are some general symptoms that may indicate the presence of cancer:
- Fatigue: Persistent fatigue is a common symptom of cancer, even in the early stages.
- Unexplained weight loss: Losing weight without trying could be a sign of cancer, especially if the weight loss is significant.
- Pain: Pain in any part of the body that persists and is not relieved with regular treatment could be a symptom of cancer.
- Changes in skin: Changes in the skin, such as darkening or yellowing, can be a symptom of cancer.
- Changes in bowel or bladder habits: Changes in bowel or bladder habits, such as diarrhoea, constipation, or frequent urination, can be a symptom of cancer.
- Unusual bleeding or discharge: Unusual bleeding or discharge from any part of the body can be a symptom of cancer.
- Difficulty swallowing: Difficulty swallowing, especially if it is painful, can be a symptom of cancer of the oesophagus or throat.
- Persistent cough: A persistent cough that does not go away after treatment can be a symptom of lung cancer.
- Hoarseness: Hoarseness or a change in the voice that persists for more than two weeks can be a symptom of cancer of the larynx or thyroid.
It is important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other health conditions, but if they persist, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation. Early detection and treatment of cancer can increase the chances of a successful outcome.
Complications of Cancer:
Cancer can have a range of complications, some of which may be life-threatening. Here are some of the potential complications of cancer:
- Spread of cancer: Cancer can spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. This can make treatment more difficult and increase the risk of complications.
- Complications of cancer treatment: Cancer treatment can have various side effects, depending on the type of treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, for example, can damage healthy cells in addition to cancer cells, leading to side effects like fatigue, nausea, and hair loss.
- Infections: Cancer and its treatment can weaken the immune system, making individuals more vulnerable to infections. Infections can be particularly dangerous in people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as their immune system may not be able to fight off infections as effectively.
- Pain: Cancer can cause pain due to the cancer itself, as well as treatment-related side effects like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Managing pain is an important part of cancer treatment.
- Emotional and psychological effects: Cancer can take a toll on mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, and other emotional and psychological effects. This can be particularly challenging for individuals undergoing treatment, as it can impact their ability to cope with the physical effects of cancer.
- Physical disabilities: Cancer and its treatment can lead to physical disabilities, such as loss of mobility or disfigurement, which can have a significant impact on quality of life.
- Financial difficulties: Cancer treatment can be expensive, and the costs can add up quickly. This can lead to financial difficulties for individuals and their families, especially if they are unable to work due to their illness.
- Recurrence: Even after successful treatment, cancer can sometimes come back (recur). This can be particularly difficult for individuals who have already undergone treatment and may have to face another round of treatment.
- Second cancers: Some cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, can increase the risk of developing a second cancer later in life. This underscores the importance of ongoing cancer screenings and follow-up care.
Carcinoma is a type of cancer that originates from cells of epithelial tissue, which is found in the skin, the lining of organs, and glands. Carcinomas are the most common type of cancer, accounting for around 80-90% of all cancer cases. They are known for their tendency to invade and spread to other parts of the body.
In India, the incidence rate of carcinoma varies depending on the specific type of carcinoma and the region of the country.
Some of the most common types of carcinomas in India include breast carcinoma, lung carcinoma, and oral carcinoma. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), breast carcinoma is the most common cancer among women in India, with an estimated incidence rate of 25.8 per 100,000 women per year. Lung carcinoma is the most common cancer among men in India, with an estimated incidence rate of 21.4 per 100,000 men per year. Oral carcinoma, which includes cancers of the mouth, tongue, and throat, is also common in India, with an estimated incidence rate of 12.6 per 100,000 people per year.
It is important to note that the incidence rate of carcinoma in India may be underestimated due to under-reporting of cases and limited access to healthcare in some regions. Additionally, the incidence rate of carcinoma is expected to rise in India due to factors such as aging of the population, changes in lifestyle and diet, and increased exposure to risk factors such as tobacco and pollution.
Despite the high incidence rate of carcinoma in India, there are initiatives underway to improve early detection and treatment of the disease. The Indian government has launched several programs to increase cancer awareness and improve access to screening and treatment services. Additionally, there are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community groups working to raise awareness about cancer and provide support to cancer patients and their families.
Types of Carcinoma:
There are several different types of carcinoma, which are classified based on their location and the type of cells involved. Some of the most common types include:
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This type of carcinoma is characterized by the presence of abnormal cells in the outer layer of skin and the linings of organs, such as the lungs, throat, and digestive tract. It is most commonly caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
- Adenocarcinoma: This type of carcinoma develops from cells that produce mucus and other fluids in organs such as the lungs, colon, prostate, and breast. It is often associated with exposure to environmental toxins, such as tobacco smoke and industrial chemicals.
- Basal cell carcinoma: This type of carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and develops from the basal cells that line the bottom of the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin. It is most caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
- Renal cell carcinoma: This type of carcinoma develops in the cells that line the small tubes in the kidneys that filter waste from the blood. It is often associated with smoking and exposure to certain chemicals, such as trichloroethylene.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma: This type of carcinoma develops in the cells of the liver, and is often associated with chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis B or C infection, or excessive alcohol consumption.
- Ovarian carcinoma: This type of carcinoma develops in the cells of the ovaries and is often difficult to detect in its early stages.
Causes of carcinoma: The causes of carcinoma are similar to those of cancer in general, and can be broadly categorized into genetic and environmental factors.
- Inherited mutations: Some people may inherit genetic mutations that increase their risk of developing carcinoma. Examples include mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
- Somatic mutations: Somatic mutations are changes in the DNA of normal cells that can lead to the development of cancer. These mutations can be caused by exposure to carcinogens, errors in DNA replication, or other factors.
- Carcinogens: Carcinogens are substances that can cause cancer. Examples include tobacco smoke, alcohol, asbestos, certain chemicals, and radiation.
- Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors, such as a poor diet, lack of exercise, and obesity, can increase the risk of developing carcinoma.
- Viral infections: Some viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B and C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), can increase the risk of developing certain types of carcinoma.
- Age: The risk of developing carcinoma increases with age, as the body’s ability to repair DNA damage decreases.
Types of Carcinoma:
Symptoms of Carcinoma: The symptoms of carcinoma depend on the location of the cancer, but some common symptoms include:
- Skin changes: In the case of skin carcinoma, there may be changes in the color or texture of the skin. The skin may become reddened, thickened, or scaly.
- Changes in bowel or bladder habits: Carcinoma in the colon, bladder, or rectum may cause changes in bowel or bladder habits. You may experience diarrhea, constipation, or blood in your urine or stool.
- Unexplained weight loss: If you are losing weight without trying, it could be a sign of carcinoma. This can be a common symptom of gastrointestinal carcinoma.
- Persistent cough: If you have a persistent cough that lasts more than a few weeks, it could be a sign of carcinoma in the lungs.
- Difficulty swallowing: Carcinoma in the oesophagus can make swallowing difficult. You may experience pain or discomfort when eating or drinking.
- Lumps or bumps: If you notice any lumps or bumps on your body, it is important to get them checked out. They could be a sign of carcinoma or another type of cancer.
- Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak all the time can be a symptom of carcinoma. This is because cancer cells use up a lot of the body’s energy.
Complications of Carcinoma:
Carcinoma can lead to a range of complications depending on its location, stage, and treatment. Here are some of the common complications associated with carcinoma:
- Metastasis: Carcinoma cells can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, leading to the formation of secondary tumours. Metastasis can make the cancer more difficult to treat and reduce the chances of survival.
- Infection: Cancer can weaken the immune system, making it more susceptible to infections. Patients with carcinoma may be at a higher risk of developing infections during and after treatment.
- Pain: As the tumour grows and spreads, it can put pressure on surrounding organs, nerves, and tissues, leading to pain. Pain can also result from cancer treatment, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
- Digestive problems: Carcinoma of the digestive system can cause a range of digestive problems, such as difficulty swallowing, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and constipation.
- Breathing difficulties: Carcinoma of the lungs or airways can cause breathing difficulties, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
- Neurological complications: Carcinoma that affects the brain or spinal cord can cause a range of neurological complications, such as seizures, headaches, weakness, and numbness.
- Hormonal imbalances: Some types of carcinoma can affect the production of hormones in the body, leading to hormonal imbalances and associated complications.
- Blood clotting disorders: Carcinoma can increase the risk of blood clotting disorders, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
- Treatment-related complications: Treatment for carcinoma can lead to a range of complications, such as fatigue, hair loss, skin problems, infections, bleeding, and organ damage.
Role of Neurotherapy:
Pancreas produces a hormone called somatostatin, which plays a critical role in regulating the production of hormones in the body, including those produced by cancer cells. Somatostatin is a naturally occurring hormone that inhibits the production and release of hormones that can contribute to the growth and spread of cancer.
In cancer patients, somatostatin is able to block the production of hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. By interfering with the production of these hormones, somatostatin can help slow or even stop the growth of cancer cells.
Somatostatin works by binding to receptors on the surface of cancer cells, preventing the cells from responding to signals that promote growth and proliferation. By blocking these signals, somatostatin effectively disrupts the process by which cancer cells divide and grow.
Furthermore, somatostatin is also able to disrupt the blood supply to cancer cells by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels that would otherwise supply nutrients and oxygen to the cancerous tissue. By inhibiting angiogenesis, somatostatin can effectively starve cancer cells of the resources they need to grow and survive. Neurotherapy believes in the stimulation of functioning of pancreas which can leads to the damage of cancer cells.
Also, stimulating the pancreas can lead to the cessation of trophoblasts which later in stage forms abnormal protein with oestrogen.
During radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the patient’s immunity gets depleted, which we restore by stimulating the thymus with the help of neurotherapy.