Shreya Cancer Foundation
 

LEARN ABOUT CANCER

What is Cancer?:

In simple terms, cancer is an abnormal growth of body cells. Each one of us is born with a potential for cancer. One cannot "Catch" it as one would an infection or a cold. When the programming of a cell or a group of cells is affected, growth may become uncontrolled. Some of the factors that can alter the code are chronic irritation, tobacco, smoke and dust, radioactive substances, age, sex, race and heredity. While one cannot control many of these factors , we need to be aware of the ones we can control of. Prevention is definitely better than treatment of cancer. No one yet talks of cure, treatment:

What is the difference between normal and malignant cells?

Normal cells grow in a well regulated pattern. When cancer sets in, a group of cells suddenly starts multiplying in a haphazard and uncontrolled way, forming lumps or tumors. a malignant tumor never stops growing and can spread to other parts of the body.

Broadly, There are 19 cancers that can be generally related to life style.They are:

Cancer of the Bladder

This is a slow growing cancer, and responds well to treatment. Tobacco and chronic irritation are prime causes. House Painters, hair dressers, truck drivers, textile workers and printers are at a risk due to the chemicals they are constantly in touch. Blood in urine and painful passing of urine are symptoms to beware.

Breast Cancer

Women who have menstruated early, with late or no pregnancies, late menopause, which have not breast fed their babies, are particularly at risk. If there is a family history of cancer - your mother, sister, massi or naani - please treat it as an early warning sign. Learn and practice Breast Self-Examination, and have Mammograms as recommended by your gynecologist. Evaluate diet too, too much of fat in your diet is a certain culprit. Selenium found in the soft bones of the fish, as well as whole grain protect against breast cancer. Exercise on regular basis.

Cervical Cancer

The most common of women's cancer in India.This is a slow growing cancer that can easily be detected by a Pap smear. Not all Dysplasia become cancerous, women who menstruate early, marry early, with many sex partners, many children and poor anti natal care, as well as poor genital hygiene are likely to get this cancer. Intake of vitamin A and C and B folate are good as preventives. Intake of tobacco increases the chances of getting this cancer by 50%.

Colorectal Cancer

This is linked to high fat and low fiber diet. It is a rich mans' disease, and prevalent in the richer countries. Diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, lower back or bladder, or a change in bowel habits are symptoms of this cancer.

Esophageal Cancer

Tobacco and alcohol predispose you to this cancer. Also pickled foods and too much spice. Symptoms are trouble in swallowing, choking, pain and spasms in the throat. Vitamin A and C are recommended as retardants.

Cancer In the Eyes

It can be of several types. Intense exposure to U/V rays of the sun may cause it. Light eyed persons are at greater risk of melanoma.

Kidney Cancer

It affects most men than women. Blood in the urine, backache, fullness or lumps in the upper abdomen, loss of appetite, are signs of Renal Cell Cancer. Renal pelvic cancers affect people over age of 60 years. Battery makers, electroplaters, and rubber workers are at particular risk. Tobacco, cadmium, high protein and saccharine are prime suspects.

Laryngeal Cancers

Hoarseness and discomfort in the throat are symptoms to look out for . Tobacco, alcohol, asbestos and nickel are suspected causes.

Liver Cancers

They may be primary or secondary. Symptoms are loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal swelling, pain, fever and jaundice. Cirrhosis is closely linked with cancer of the liver. Avoid alcohol, vinyl chloride (plastics), drug abuse, aflatoxins from fungus on peanuts.

Lung Cancers

90% of these can be attributed to smoking. Women are catching up on men smokers. Pollution in the cities has increased chances lung cancer. To counter the toxicity of pollution, increase intake of green leafy vegetables and yellow and orange fruit. Symptoms may include persistent cough, weight loss and loss of appetite.

Oral Cancers

They are the most common cancers in India . They include cancers of the mouth, tongue and oral cavity. This is definitely a life style induced cancer. Smoking, chewing of tobacco, and alcohol intake, coupled with inadequate Vitamin A and B complex are causes.

Ovarian Cancers

They affect mostly post-menopausal women. It affects women with few or no children, with a history of menses problems or other cancers. Symptoms are constipation, flatulence, water retention, a need to urinate, pain , swelling or nausea.

Cancer of the Pancreas

There is no known cure for this cancer. Symptoms are abdominal pain, jaundice, loss of appetite or weight loss. It is recommended that you abstain from tobacco use, follow a low fat diet, eat fruit and vegetables, moderately fried or grilled foods. Margarine not butter is a suspect

Prostrate Cancer

The Silent Killer. Men over 50 years should include PSA (Prostrate Sensitive Antigen) test in their annual medical routine.

Skin Cancers

They are more common in white skinned people. People with light eyes and hair are at risk. Look out for moles that grow dark and uneven, itch or change color and out line.

Stomach Cancer

They are slow growing and hard to treat. People with Blood group A and who have pernicious anemia are at risk. Eat plenty of raw veg-cruciform, or dark green and yellow vegetables with vitamin A and C are best. Avoid highly salted or smoked or pickled foods.

Testicular Cancer

Men with undescended testicals are at risk. Enlargement of one testicle, dragging ache in the lower abdomen are signs to beware of. Regular Self Examination is strongly recommended.

Thyroid Cancers

They are common in women of child bearing age. Survivors of nuclear holocausts at Bikini Atoll, Nagasaki and Hiroshima suffered these cancers due to exposure to radiation.

Uterine Cancer

It affects women over 50 years. Hormone treatment, high fat diets, smoking and drinking, obesity, diabetes and high BP are risk factors. The Pap smear is again an early warning tool.

Danger Signals:

A PERSISTENT SORE

especially if it is in the mouth, on the lip or on tongue. Long standing sores due to smoking, sharp edge of teeth, or dental plates that do not fit, can develop into cancer if not taken care of .Common 'Cold Sore' disappears after a few days - Cancer does not. If any such sore persists more than a few days, see your doctor.

LUMPS OR MASSES

which appear where none were present previously should arouse suspicion of cancer. This is especially true in the case of women and is the most readily cured if treated early.

UNEXPLAINED OR ABNORMAL BLEEDING FROM ANY BODY OPENING

should be quickly investigated by a physician. Coughing up or vomiting blood, passing blood in the urine and rectal bleeding are common symptoms of cancer. In women the first sign of cancer of the uterus is often a bloody discharge occurring between menstrual periods or after menopause.

PERSISTENT INDIGESTION OR CHANGE IN BOWEL HABITS

while usually due to other causes, are often caused in the intestinal tract and should be reported.

PERSISTENT HOARSENESS OR COUGH

of abnormal duration deserves a careful examination by your doctor. Cancer of the larynx (voice box) or respiratory passages or lung may be the cause.

UNEXPLAINED LOSS OF WEIGHT

may be due to many things but may also be due to hidden cancer

If you note any of the danger signals, especially if you are beyond middle life, it is advisable to bring them to the attention of your doctor.
But if you learn to recognize them in the earliest stages, and seek a doctor's help you may save yourself untold suffering.
Even better, if you go for an annual examination to recognized Detection Centre of the INDIAN CANCER SOCIETY, cancer may be discovered by the specialists, even before it gives rise to any symptom’s

Prevent cancer
Recommended life style modifications

 

  • Do not use tobacco
  • Take up regular exercise
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption
  • Cervical smear tests for women every 3-5 years
  • Cut down on high calorie / fatty foods such as butter, ghee
  • Breast examination for signs of lumps, dimples or puckering
  • Eat healthy foods - fresh fruits & vegetables, fibrous food, lean meat

Common symptoms of cancer

 

  • A Sore that does not Heal
  • Thickening / lump in the body
  • Nagging cough or Hoarseness
  • Obvious change in Wart / Mole
  • Unusual bleeding or Discharge
  • Change in Bowel & Bladder Habits
  • Indigestion / Difficulty in Swallowing
 
 
  Activities   For Volunteer   For Donation  
  The Shreya Cancer Foundation therefore engages in cancer awareness generation events regularly. The staff extend their realm of work and reach out to different populations with the message of Cancer prevention and awareness.   In return, this activity can produce a feeling of self-worth and respect. There is no financial gain involved for the individual. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development, socialization, and fun.   We believe that it is the synergy created by the tireless efforts and the collective wisdom of everyone involved which ensures the success of a project such as this. Our efforts have been made possible by the support that we have received so far.