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The concept of “Cancer” was first discovered by Egyptians during 3000 BC. Later the word “Carcinoma” was first used by a Greek physician Hippocrates, regarded as “Father of Medicine.” In Greek, the word carcinoma rooted to karkinoma - karkinos means “crab” and “oma” means swelling. During 28 BC–50 AD, a roman physician Celsus translated the word carcinoma into “Cancer”. Another Greek physician “Galen” used the word Oncos to define tumors associated with cancer.

The technological advancements in the study of cancer and its condition during the late 19th and early 20th centuries evolved with improvement in surgery, the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Today the field of Oncology has grown vastly and has the latest techniques for diagnosis, prevention and management of cancer.

Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the study of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. A doctor who is a trained professional in the field of Oncology is termed as Oncologist.

Overview of Cancer:

Cancer is not just one disease. It is a group of disease which can start at any place in the body and are likely to spread to various parts of the body. This abnormal growth of cells forms a lump called a tumor.

As cancer tumors grow, they enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system which may carry cancer cells to other parts of the body and interrupt the normal functioning of the body. This results in the development of new tumors. This is known as metastasis.

There are two types of tumors:

A cancerous tumor is malignant, which means it can grow and spread to other parts or organs of the body. The first symptom is a painless lump and as the tumor grows and starts to press against nearby nerves and muscles, pain or soreness is seen.

A non-cancerous tumor is benign, which means it can grow but will not spread. Some of the common symptoms include chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, night sweats, chills and weight loss.

Cancer may begin in the lungs, breast, colon, or even in the blood. Cancers are sometimes alike, but they differ in the way they grow and spread in our body. There is a wide range of cancers that can affect humans and they are often defined by the part or organ of the body they begin with.

Types of Cancer:

The main types of Cancer are:

  • Carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the skin or the tissue that surrounds the surface of internal organs and glands.
  • Sarcoma is a type of cancer that begins in the tissues that support and connect the body.
  • Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that begins from the pigment-containing cells known as melanocytes.
  • Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system.
  • Leukemia is a type of cancer of the blood, which begins when healthy blood cells mutate and grow uncontrollably.
General Signs and Symptoms of Cancer:

Cancer is a broad term and describes a group of diseases that can cause almost any sign or symptom. Usually, the signs and symptoms of cancer will depend on how big it is and part of the organs or tissues it has affected.

As cancer grows it affects nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Sometimes, cancer cells may cause signs and symptoms and sometimes it won't, until it has grown a tumor.

The common symptoms of cancer include:
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Fatigue or weight loss
  • Breast changes
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Hoarseness
  • A white or red patch in the mouth
  • Skin changes
  • Swelling or lumps

These may be caused as the cancer cells make use of the maximum energy level of our body and affect the immune system to react in ways that are responsible for these signs and symptoms.

Diagnosis:
  • Lab tests
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Endoscopic exams
  • Genetic tests
  • Tumor biopsies
Treatments:

The most common treatments recommended by doctors for cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Other treatments are:

  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Immunotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Clinical trials

Cancer is not contagious meaning it will not spread from cancer patient to a healthy person and there exists no evidence so far that close contact or activities such as sex, sharing meals or breathing the same air may spread cancer from one person to another.

These cancer cells are usually unable to live in the body of a healthy person because the immune system detects foreign cells and destroys them, which includes cancer cells from another person.

If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms, it is better to consult the Best Oncologist in Bangalore for early diagnosis and treatment to prevent cancer.

The Cancer Care centre at Aster CMI Hospitals is one among the leading Cancer Hospital in Bangalore, is offering holistic integrated care by consolidating views of experts in Oncologists in the field of Surgical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Medical Oncology.

Contact us now to consult our expert Cancer Specialist in Bangalore to avail best-in-class treatment in the field of cancer.

FAQ's

What is cancer?

Cancer is the uncontrolled and uncoordinated growth of body cells which invade surrounding normal tissues and might spread to distant organs if not checked in time. Consult the best oncologists (cancer specialists) for diagnosis and treatment.

Can smoking, tobacco and pan chewing cause cancer?

Yes, smoking a cigarette, beedi, hookah, pipe or cigar increases your chance of getting cancers. Eating pan with tobacco and chewing tobacco increases your chance of getting cancers of the head and neck (mouth, lips, nose and sinuses, voice box, throat), Oesophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon, rectum, ovary and acute myeloid leukaemia (blood cancer). The best oncologists (cancer specialists) will tell you how risky smoking and chewing pan is and why it is crucial to avoid these habits.

Can alcohol abuse lead to cancer?

People who drink alcohol are more likely to get mouth cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer, and throat cancer, which includes pharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer and cancer of the food pipe. Oncologists (cancer specialists) will recommend that you avoid alcohol consumption.

How does one come to know that one has cancer?

One should be aware of the warning symptoms and signs of the common cancers. The best way to tackle cancer early is to have regular health checkups and undergo screening for different cancers at various cancer diagnostic centres. Check with a top oncologist (cancer specialist) if you have doubts.

What are some of the warning signs and symptoms of cancer?

Some of the warning signs and symptoms include a change in bowel or bladder habits, unusual bleeding or discharge from any opening in the body, a sore that doesn’t heal, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, difficulty in swallowing or chronic indigestion, and a nagging cough or persistent hoarseness of voice.

Does one feel pain in early stages of cancer?

Many cancers do not cause pain in their early stages. Some cancers only cause pain in the last stages, when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.

If one notices blood in stool, does it indicate cancer?

If you pass blood in your stools, it means there is bleeding somewhere in your digestive tract. A small amount of blood after going to the toilet is most commonly caused by piles (haemorrhoids) or an anal fissure. However, bleeding can also be caused by cancerous or precancerous conditions of colon or rectum and therefore one should always consult a cancer specialist.

Are all breast lumps cancers?

Not all breast lumps are cancerous. Most lumps are benign (harmless). However, a doctor’s evaluation is vital.

How can we protect ourselves from cancer?

You should have awareness regarding healthy lifestyle (e.g. avoid tobacco, limit alcohol intake, maintain healthy body weight); awareness of warning signs and symptoms of cancers; regular health checkups; undergo recommended screening for cancers. An oncologist (cancer specialist) will recommend the steps you need to take to protect yourself from cancer.

Can cancer be passed from parents to children?

It is estimated that only 5-10% of all cancers are passed on from parents to children (hereditary cancers). Most cancers are not caused by these rare, cancer-predisposing inherited variants in the genes.

What is chemotherapy?

The use of drugs or chemicals to treat cancer is called chemotherapy. These drugs target and destroy dividing cells.

What is radiotherapy/radiation therapy?

Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays, usually x-rays and similar rays (such as electrons) to treat disease. It works by destroying cancer cells in the area that’s treated. The therapy uses ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells.

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is the process of treating cancer by enhancing the immune system of the body. A major advantage of this method is that it has no significant adverse effects.

What is the difference between medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgical oncologist?

A medical oncologist is one who has training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy. A medical oncologist is often the main health care provider for someone with cancer.

A radiation oncologist is a specialist physician who uses ionizing radiation in the treatment of cancer.

A surgical oncologist focuses on the surgical management and removal of tumors, especially cancerous tumors.

Who is an Oncologist (cancer specialist)?

An oncologist (cancer specialist) is a doctor who treats cancer and provides medical care for a person diagnosed with cancer. Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Why should I approach Aster CMI hospital for Cancer Treatment?

Aster CMI Hospital’s approach is unique. The oncologists (cancer specialists) manage your journey during cancer treatment and during life after cancer as well. They make it manageable even though the course of treatment could be longer depending on the type of cancer being treated. Besides, the cancer centre treats a range of cancers using state-of-art techniques that rival the best in the world.