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What is cancer?

Cancer is an abnormal growth of a body cell or group of cells. If it is not destroyed or removed, cancer can spread very rapidly, and eventually lead to death.
What is the difference between normal and cancerous growth?

There are billions of cells in the human body. Normally, they grow in a well-regulated pattern. When cancer sets in a group of cells suddenly starts multiplying haphazardly and forms a lump or "tumor".
Is cancer contagious or infectious?

No. Since cancer is not caused by a germ, it is not "catching", and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
How does cancer spread?
In 3 ways:
Cancer cells grow through the walls of blood vessels and are carried by the blood stream to other parts of the body.
They enter the lymphatic stream and are carried to lymph glands.
» They grow directly from one tissue to another.
What are some of the early signs of cancer?

There are seven common ones. They are often called the Seven Danger Signals of Cancer:
C hange in bowel or bladder habits
A Sore that does not heal
» U nusual bleeding or discharge
» T hickening or lump in breast or elsewhere
» I ndigestion or difficulty in swallowing
» O bvious change in wart or mole
» N agging cough or hoarseness
You should at once consult a doctor upon the appearance of any sign
How can cancer deaths be reduced?

Early diagnosis is the responsibility of the patient in having himself/herself regularly checked by a physician; and the responsibility of the physician in recognizing the possibility of cancer and referring for further diagnostic procedures and proper treatment.
Adequate and prompt treatment.
The ultimate discovery of the various causes of cancer. These last two will come from research laboratories and clinical investigations. From these stem the basic principles of the cancer control programme of education, research and service of the Indian Cancer Society.
Cancer" to be world's top killer by 2010, particularly in India and China
Cancer diagnoses around the world have steadily been rising and are expected to hit 12 million this year. Global cancer deaths are expected to reach 7 million, according to the new report by the World Health Organization.
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