Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss, and a change in bowel movements. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they can also have other causes. Over 100 types of cancers affect humans.
This article talks about the prevalence of cancer in India, its causes and some of the best cancer hospitals in Chennai. India has unique combination of therapies and techniques for Cancer therapy that encompass modern techniques and the age old systems of Ayurveda and Siddha. Amongst the Indian medicine systems of treatment, Siddhalaya centre serves as the best cancer hospital in Chennai.
CAUSES OF CANCER – Best cancer hospital in Chennai
Tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths. Another 10% are due to obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity or excessive drinking of alcohol. Other factors include certain infections, exposure to ionizing radiation, and environmental pollutants. In the developing world, 15% of cancers are due to infections such as Helicobacter pylori, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, human papillomavirus infection, Epstein–Barr virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These factors act, at least partly, by changing the genes of a cell. Typically, many genetic changes are required before cancer develops. Approximately 5–10% of cancers are due to inherited genetic defects. Cancer can be detected by certain signs and symptoms or screening tests. It is then typically further investigated by medical imaging and confirmed by biopsy.
The risk of developing certain cancers can be reduced by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake, eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, vaccination against certain infectious diseases, limiting consumption of processed meat and red meat, and limiting exposure to direct sunlight. Early detection through screening is useful for cervical and colorectal cancer. The benefits of screening in breast cancer are controversial. Cancer is often treated with some combination of radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.
Pain and symptom management are an important part of care. Palliative care is particularly important in people with advanced disease. The chance of survival depends on the type of cancer and extent of disease at the start of treatment. In children under 15 at diagnosis, the five-year survival rate in the developed world is on average 80%. For cancer in the United States, the average five-year survival rate is 66%.
In 2015, about 90.5 million people had cancer. As of 2019, about 18 million new cases occur annually. Annually, it caused about 8.8 million deaths (15.7% of deaths). The most common types of cancer in males are lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and stomach cancer. In females, the most common types are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and cervical cancer. If skin cancer other than melanoma were included in total new cancer cases each year, it would account for around 40% of cases. In children, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors are most common, except in Africa, where non-Hodgkin lymphoma occurs more often. In 2012, about 165,000 children under 15 years of age were diagnosed with cancer. The risk of cancer increases significantly with age, and many cancers occur more commonly in developed countries. Rates are increasing as more people live to an old age and as lifestyle changes occur in the developing world. The financial costs of cancer were estimated at 1.16 trillion USD per year as of 2010.
The word comes from the ancient Greek καρκίνος, meaning crab and tumor. Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen, among others, noted the similarity of crabs to some tumors with swollen veins. The word was introduced in English in the modern medical sense around 1600.
Cancers comprise a large family of diseases that involve abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. They form a subset of neoplasms. A neoplasm or tumor is a group of cells that have undergone unregulated growth and will often form a mass or lump, but may be distributed diffusely.
All tumor cells show the six hallmarks of cancer. These characteristics are required to produce a malignant tumor. They include:
- Cell growth and division absent the proper signals
- Continuous growth and division even given contrary signals
- Avoidance of programmed cell death
- Limitless number of cell divisions
- Promoting blood vessel construction
- Invasion of tissue and formation of metastases
The progression from normal cells to cells that can form a detectable mass to outright cancer involves multiple steps known as malignant progression.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of cancer metastasis depend on the location of the tumor.
When cancer begins, it produces no symptoms. Signs and symptoms appear as the mass grows or ulcerates. The findings that result depend on the cancer’s type and location. Few symptoms are specific. Many frequently occur in individuals who have other conditions. Cancer can be difficult to diagnose and can be considered a “great imitator.” People may become anxious or depressed post-diagnosis. The risk of suicide in people with cancer is approximately double.
Local symptoms may occur due to the mass of the tumor or its ulceration. For example, mass effects from lung cancer can block the bronchus resulting in cough or pneumonia; esophageal cancer can cause narrowing of the esophagus, making it difficult or painful to swallow; and colorectal cancer may lead to narrowing or blockages in the bowel, affecting bowel habits. Masses in breasts or testicles may produce observable lumps. Ulceration can cause bleeding that can lead to symptoms such as coughing up blood (lung cancer), anemia or rectal bleeding (colon cancer), blood in the urine (bladder cancer), or abnormal vaginal bleeding (endometrial or cervical cancer). Although localized pain may occur in advanced cancer, the initial tumor is usually painless. Some cancers can cause a buildup of fluid within the chest or abdomen.
Systemic symptoms may occur due to the body’s response to the cancer. This may include fatigue, unintentional weight loss, or skin changes. Some cancers can cause a systemic inflammatory state that leads to ongoing muscle loss and weakness, known as cachexia. Some types of cancer such as Hodgkin disease, leukemias and cancers of the liver or kidney can cause a persistent fever. Some systemic symptoms of cancer are caused by hormones or other molecules produced by the tumor, known as paraneoplastic syndromes. Common paraneoplastic syndromes include hypercalcemia which can cause altered mental state, constipation and dehydration, or hyponatremia that can also cause altered mental status, vomiting, headache or seizures.
Metastasis is the spread of cancer to other locations in the body. The dispersed tumors are called metastatic tumors, while the original is called the primary tumor. Almost all cancers can metastasize. Most cancer deaths are due to cancer that has metastasized. Metastasis is common in the late stages of cancer and it can occur via the blood or the lymphatic system or both. The typical steps in metastasis are local invasion, intravasation into the blood or lymph, circulation through the body, extravasation into the new tissue, proliferation and angiogenesis. Different types of cancers tend to metastasize to particular organs, but overall the most common places for metastases to occur are the lungs, liver, brain and the bones.
Share of cancer deaths attributed to tobacco in 2016. The majority of cancers, some 90–95% of cases, are due to genetic mutations from environmental and lifestyle factors.The remaining 5–10% are due to inherited genetics. Environmental refers to any cause that is not inherited, such as lifestyle, economic, and behavioral factors and not merely pollution. Common environmental factors that contribute to cancer death include tobacco use (25–30%), diet and obesity (30–35%), infections (15–20%), radiation (both ionizing and non-ionizing, up to 10%), lack of physical activity, and pollution. Psychological stress does not appear to be a risk factor for the onset of cancer, though it may worsen outcomes in those who already have cancer.
It is not generally possible to prove what caused a particular cancer because the various causes do not have specific fingerprints. For example, if a person who uses tobacco heavily develops lung cancer, then it was probably caused by the tobacco use, but since everyone has a small chance of developing lung cancer as a result of air pollution or radiation, the cancer may have developed for one of those reasons. Excepting the rare transmissions that occur with pregnancies and occasional organ donors, cancer is generally not a transmissible disease.
The incidence of lung cancer is highly correlated with smoking. Exposure to particular substances have been linked to specific types of cancer. These substances are called carcinogens. Tobacco smoke, for example, causes 90% of lung cancer.It also causes cancer in the larynx, head, neck, stomach, bladder, kidney, esophagus and pancreas. Tobacco smoke contains over fifty known carcinogens, including nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Tobacco is responsible for about one in five cancer deaths worldwide and about one in three in the developed world.Lung cancer death rates in the United States have mirrored smoking patterns, with increases in smoking followed by dramatic increases in lung cancer death rates and, more recently, decreases in smoking rates since the 1950s followed by decreases in lung cancer death rates in men since 1990.
In Western Europe, 10% of cancers in males and 3% of cancers in females are attributed to alcohol exposure, especially liver and digestive tract cancers. Cancer from work-related substance exposures may cause between 2 and 20% of cases, causing at least 200,000 deaths. Cancers such as lung cancer and mesothelioma can come from inhaling tobacco smoke or asbestos fibers, or leukemia from exposure to benzene.
Diet and exercise
Diet, physical inactivity and obesity are related to up to 30–35% of cancer deaths. In the United States, excess body weight is associated with the development of many types of cancer and is a factor in 14–20% of cancer deaths. A UK study including data on over 5 million people showed higher body mass index to be related to at least 10 types of cancer and responsible for around 12,000 cases each year in that country. Physical inactivity is believed to contribute to cancer risk, not only through its effect on body weight but also through negative effects on the immune system and endocrine system. More than half of the effect from diet is due to overnutrition (eating too much), rather than from eating too few vegetables or other healthful foods.
Some specific foods are linked to specific cancers. A high-salt diet is linked to gastric cancer. Aflatoxin B1, a frequent food contaminant, causes liver cancer. Betel nut chewing can cause oral cancer. National differences in dietary practices may partly explain differences in cancer incidence. For example, gastric cancer is more common in Japan due to its high-salt diet while colon cancer is more common in the United States. Immigrant cancer profiles mirror those of their new country, often within one generation.
Worldwide approximately 18% of cancer deaths are related to infectious diseases. This proportion ranges from a high of 25% in Africa to less than 10% in the developed world. Viruses are the usual infectious agents that cause cancer but cancer bacteria and parasites may also play a role.
Oncoviruses (viruses that can cause cancer) include human papillomavirus (cervical cancer), Epstein–Barr virus (B-cell lymphoproliferative disease and nasopharyngeal carcinoma), Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus (Kaposi’s sarcoma and primary effusion lymphomas), hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses (hepatocellular carcinoma) and human T-cell leukemia virus-1 (T-cell leukemias). Bacterial infection may also increase the risk of cancer, as seen in Helicobacter pylori-induced gastric carcinoma. Parasitic infections associated with cancer include Schistosoma haematobium (squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder) and the liver flukes, Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis (cholangiocarcinoma).
Radiation exposure such as ultraviolet radiation and radioactive material is a risk factor for cancer. Many non-melanoma skin cancers are due to ultraviolet radiation, mostly from sunlight. Sources of ionizing radiation include medical imaging and radon gas. Ionizing radiation is not a particularly strong mutagen. Residential exposure to radon gas, for example, has similar cancer risks as passive smoking.Radiation is a more potent source of cancer when combined with other cancer-causing agents, such as radon plus tobacco smoke. Radiation can cause cancer in most parts of the body, in all animals and at any age. Children are twice as likely to develop radiation-induced leukemia as adults; radiation exposure before birth has ten times the effect.
Medical use of ionizing radiation is a small but growing source of radiation-induced cancers. Ionizing radiation may be used to treat other cancers, but this may, in some cases, induce a second form of cancer. It is also used in some kinds of medical imaging.
The vast majority of cancers are non-hereditary (sporadic). Hereditary cancers are primarily caused by an inherited genetic defect. Less than 0.3% of the population are carriers of a genetic mutation that has a large effect on cancer risk and these cause less than 3–10% of cancer. Some of these syndromes include: certain inherited mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 with a more than 75% risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer,and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC or Lynch syndrome), which is present in about 3% of people with colorectal cancer, among others.
Some substances cause cancer primarily through their physical, rather than chemical, effects. A prominent example of this is prolonged exposure to asbestos, naturally occurring mineral fibers that are a major cause of mesothelioma (cancer of the serous membrane) usually the serous membrane surrounding the lungs. Other substances in this category, including both naturally occurring and synthetic asbestos-like fibers, such as wollastonite, attapulgite, glass wool and rock wool, are believed to have similar effects. Non-fibrous particulate materials that cause cancer include powdered metallic cobalt and nickel and crystalline silica (quartz, cristobalite and tridymite). Usually, physical carcinogens must get inside the body (such as through inhalation) and require years of exposure to produce cancer.
Physical trauma resulting in cancer is relatively rare.Claims that breaking bones resulted in bone cancer, for example, have not been proven. Similarly, physical trauma is not accepted as a cause for cervical cancer, breast cancer or brain cancer. One accepted source is frequent, long-term application of hot objects to the body. It is possible that repeated burns on the same part of the body, such as those produced by kanger and kairo heaters (charcoal hand warmers), may produce skin cancer, especially if carcinogenic chemicals are also present. Frequent consumption of scalding hot tea may produce esophageal cancer. Generally, it is believed that cancer arises, or a pre-existing cancer is encouraged, during the process of healing, rather than directly by the trauma. However, repeated injuries to the same tissues might promote excessive cell proliferation, which could then increase the odds of a cancerous mutation. Chronic inflammation has been hypothesized to directly cause mutation. Inflammation can contribute to proliferation, survival, angiogenesis and migration of cancer cells by influencing the tumor microenvironment. Oncogenes build up an inflammatory pro-tumorigenic microenvironment.
Other causes can include Hormones and Autoimmune diseases.
Let us now see the best cancer hospital in Chennai. Some of the leading Hospitals providing cutting edge treatment for cancer include –
- Kamakshi Memorial Hospitals
- VS Hospitals
- Cancer Institute – Adyar
- Apollo Hospital
- Fortis Malar Hospital
- Rai Memorial Medical Centre
- Madras Cancer Care Foundation
- MIOT Hospital
- Gleneagles Global Hospital
- National Institute of Siddha, Tambaram
- Arignar Anna Government Hospital for Indian Medicine
- Government Hospital, Royapettah
- Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital
- Amongst experienced Siddha physicians who treat Cancer with Siddha medication, Prof. Dr. P. Jeyaprakash Narayanan MD(Siddha), is a senior siddha physician having more than 50 years of clinical experience. He is the Chief Physician at Siddhalaya clinic.
Are you noticing anything different in your body. Are you reluctant to meet your physician? Spotting cancer early increases the chances of survival. Diagnosing cancer before it has the chance to spread too far means that treatment is more likely to be successful. You know your body best, so talk to your doctor if something doesn’t seem right. At Siddhalaya, we provide hope to patients diagnosed with cancer and provide ways to minimize their pain, reduce symptoms, increase longevity and improve their quality of life.
Siddhalaya focuses on the health needs of the society and a holistic approach is used in the treatment of diseases. The line of treatment in Siddhalaya is unique. It is based on the experience and clinical knowledge of 7 generations of Siddha practicioners starting from Valangai Puli Pandithar, who lived near Coutrallam, about 400 years ago. This clinical experience of the ancestors have been documented on palm leaves and handed over to the current generation of Siddha Physicians at Siddhalaya.
Prof. Dr. P. Jeyaprakash Narayanan M.D. (Siddha) is an Award Winning, 6th Generation Siddha Physician. He hails from a family of physicians, practicing the ancient medical science for over 400 years. He has clinical experience that spans over 50 years and has also played a stellar role in the field of Siddha education, literary research, evaluation of metallic preparations, formulating drugs to combat viral infections like HIV, Hepatits B and C. He is also a member in numerous scientific committees, at the level of the State and Central Government and other private research organisations.
Siddha system of medicine stimulates the self-healing abilities of the body. It has in its armory a wide range of potent drugs, to detox, purify and support body tissues for natural recovery. The starting point in this process is the balancing of Trithodam and Thirigunam.
Modern Cancer treatment include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. Treatment methods such as chemotherapy greatly assists in preventing the growth of Cancerous tumor cells but in the process can also destroy healthy cells. During chemotherapy and / or radiotherapy, Siddha medicine can help reduce the side-effects of the treatment as well as assist the body in its recovery process.