Cancer is an umbrella term for a large group of diseases caused when abnormal cells divide rapidly and spread to other organs in the body. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world as well as in India with around 784,800 deaths per year.
In Goa, health department statistics indicate that an average of two cancer cases is detected every day and around 1000 cases in a year. Adding to this alarming fact is the question “what cancers are most common in Goa? “. Replying to this Dr. Eugene Rent, Consultant Surgical Oncologist of Manipal Hospital, Goa said “ What is troubling about the cancer incidence in Goa is that we are seeing a much higher incidence of breast cancer and colon cancer in the state “.
This has become one of the serious issues faced by women of Goa. Breast cancers are commonly seen in single unmarried women, women with late marriages, women not having children, and non breastfeeding women. Originating in breast cells, breast cancers can spread throughout the body through blood vessels and lymph vessels. In its early stages, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms making it difficult to get diagnosed. While you can’t change some factors that cause breast cancers like aging or family history, you can help lower the risk by taking care of your health. According to Dr. Eugene, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and most importantly no consumption of tobacco and maintaining a good work-life balance helps in preventing breast cancers.
According to health reports, another type of high-risk cancer that is seeing an alarming increase in colon cancer also known as colorectal cancer. Goa tops the list of colon cancer cases in the country primarily because of Western dietary habits. A larger population of Goa are used to eat red meat which is a higher contributory factor for colon cancer. Also eating fatty and spicy food, consuming tobacco and alcohol have resulted in many youngsters suffering from colon cancer coming to the fore.
Colon cancer is a malignant tumor in the inner wall of the large intestine ( colon) or rectum. Diagnosis of colon cancer can be done by a colonoscopy while surgery is the most common medical treatment for cancer.
In the past few years, while breast cancer surgeries have gone up by 30%, colon cancer surgeries have increased by 25%. While experts have been researching the reasons for this increase, it was revealed that the lack of awareness is a major reason behind this sudden increase of fatalities and cases. Although hospitals today offer better cancer detection facilities like mammograms for breast cancers and colonoscopy, endoscopy for colon cancers, people come for treatments at a terminal stage when the cancer is spread to most of the body parts and is difficult to cure.
So the professionals on the field encourage people to visit a doctor and get a cancer screening without waiting for the last moment for a miracle to happen. Being healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer and having a full awareness can improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.