Rising cancer rates in Karnataka call for early detection

Researchers advocate people to go for treatment rather than resigning to the belief that a cancer diagnosis marks the onset of inevitable suffering. Investing in treatment is not futile, it offers hope and a possibility of improvement.
Illustration used for representation
Illustration used for representationExpress illustartion

BENGALURU : Amid escalating incidence of cancer in Karnataka, early diagnosis emerges as the only critical imperative. A report suggests an average annual increase of 1% in cancer cases among men and women in Karnataka. Still, despite the sombre statistics, it is essential to acknowledge that not all cancers are fatal.

Dr Niti Raizada, Senior Director of Medical Oncology and Hemato Oncology, Fortis Hospital, said, “It is crucial to dispel the myth that cancer is untreatable. Approximately, 50% of cancers are curable and all cancers are treatable to some extent.”

Treatment approaches differ from person to person, depending on the patient’s condition. While the primary focus is fighting cancer, in some cases, addressing the patient’s needs can alleviate half of the problem. For instance, assisting a person who struggles with independent restroom use or managing pain can significantly improve their quality of life.  

Researchers advocate people to go for treatment rather than resigning to the belief that a cancer diagnosis marks the onset of inevitable suffering. Investing in treatment is not futile, it offers hope and a possibility of improvement.

Also, a patient should avoid comparing their cancer symptoms with those of others because cancer manifests differently in different persons. It is a multifactorial complex disease influenced by age, gender, and personal history.Even individuals of the same age can exhibit varying results due to differences in their screening protocols and treatment plans, which are done based on numerous factors.

Understanding the difference between screening and prevention is crucial, Dr Niti said and explained that prevention involves safeguarding oneself entirely from a disease. For instance, in cervical and breast cancers, which are most prevalent, prevention is achievable through receiving the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer and hepatitis B vaccine to lower the risk of liver cancer. These vaccines are effective in significantly reducing the chances of developing these cancers and provide comprehensive protection against their onset.

Screening, on the other hand, aids in the early detection of diseases and enhances the effectiveness of treatment, she added.   Technological advances constantly improve the effectiveness of treatments. Now, every single patient is treated slightly differently than others because of the evolution of technology.

While recent studies indicate that cancer is increasingly detected among individuals in their 40s, with breast and oral cancer being the most detected, it is crucial to recognise that this trend is subject to change.

Cancer is a multifaceted illness with various potential causes, though factors like tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and exposure to pollutants are known contributors, the precise activities leading to cancer remain unidentified.

The state is observing a rise in early-stage cancer cases, which are manageable with treatment. People are encouraged to maintain regular vaccination schedules, undergo screenings and address any unusual symptoms, particularly if there is a family history of pancreatic, ovarian, or breast cancer, as these types are hereditary.

NOT ALL CANCERS ARE HEREDITARY OR FAMILIAL

Approximately 5 to 10 per cent of cancers stem from inherited harmful mutations, while the remaining 90 to 95 percent result from mutations occurring through multiple factors including environmental factors and radiation. Examples of hereditary cancers include breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer.

Cancer myths : Cancer is contagious

Cancer typically does not spread from person to person and is not considered contagious. The only scenario where cancer can transfer from one person to another is through organ or tissue transplantation.

The most prevalent cancers in males

  • Lung

  • Oral

  • Prostate

  • Stomach

  • Liver

  • Colorectal

  • Esophagus

The most prevalent cancers in females

  • Breast

  • Cervical

  • Oral and Lip

The most curable cancers

  • Breast

  • Prostate

  • Thyroid

  • Cervical

  • Testicular

  • Melanoma

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