Cancer is a term that is used to describe a lot of conditions and diseases. It is not an individual disease but it includes tumors, malignancy, and infections. It basically involves abnormal growth of our body cells. The rapid and abnormal growth of body cells may lead to the disruption of normal body functions of our body. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in recent years. The most common types of cancer were lung, colon and breast cancer. People compromise their lifestyles and undergo depression after cancer is diagnosed but today with early cancer symptoms, screening, diagnosis and better treatment options survival of cancer patients has improved significantly. 

Can cancer patients lead healthy and normal lives? The answer is again, Yes! With early reporting of cancer symptoms to your doctor can sometimes completely eliminate cancer. Sometimes cancer can be simply prevented by opting for healthy life choices, like avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption, including vegetables and fruits in your diet, and leading a stress-free life can reduce your risk of getting cancer. However, it can be related to genes and can sometimes get tricky to completely eradicate.

Common and Alarming Cancer Symptoms

Cancer symptoms are common in most types of cancer and are either not present or difficult to access. cancers can be asymptomatic until it leads to malignancy. So you are advised to report any kind of abnormal symptom or body pattern to your doctor. But in certain cancer cases, cancer symptoms are visible and if detected early can save you a lot of effort and produce a better prognosis.

General Symptoms

  • general fatigue/weakness
  • unintentional weight loss or weight gain 
  • decreased or loss of appetite 
  • changes in your voice 
  • frequent infections
  • headaches 
  • chest pain 
  • disturbed sleep patterns
  • night sweats
  • breathing difficulty and chest tightness

The most common types of cancer Symptoms

1. Breast cancer 

  • Swelling around your breast 
  • feeling a lump or abnormal mass around the breast 
  • pain in breast 
  • nipple discharge apart from milk
  • inward nipple 

2. Lung cancer 

  • chest tightness 
  • breathlessness
  • fling infection
  • wheezing 
  • chest pain
  • coughing out blood
  • loss of weight 
  • loss of appetite

3. Colon cancer

  • changes in bowel movement (diarrhoea or constipation) that last more than a week 
  • blood in rectum
  • blood in stool
  • weight loss
  • difficulty in digestion
  • stomach pain 

4. Bladder cancer

  • abnormal colour of urine i.e, red, pink or orange 
  • blood in urine 
  • painful urination/micturition
  • frequent micturition
  • These were signs and symptoms of cancer and if you report any related symptoms report them as way as possible for better survival and a good prognosis.

Causes of cancer

Cancer is mainly the rapid and uncontrolled growth of cells. It can occur in any region of our body. If cancer develops in a particular region and does not affect other body parts we call it cancer which is a less dangerous form of cancer. If cancer developed at a particular part spreads to other regions and affects other body organs it is called metastatic cancer and is related to a much more dangerous form and difficult to treat.

Cancer can be caused by any cause and in most cases, it is idiopathic i.e with an unknown cause. but in certain cases, causes can be identified like oral cancer is most commonly caused by tobacco use. colon and stomach cancer most commonly caused by excess alcohol consumption. Certain genes also play a role in the development of cancer symptoms.

Factors that may cause cancer are:


  • Physical factors: carcinogens like ultraviolet rays, ionising radiations and other harmful radiations. 
  • Chemical factors: agents and substances present in Tobacco, contaminated water (arsenic), contaminated food and Alcohol.   
  • Biological factor: infections present in the environment like viruses, bacteria and parasites etc.

Cancer and Genetics

Cancer can be caused by various factors and sometimes it is idiopathic. Some cancers have shown patterns over generations and may be caused by mutations in certain genes and passed on to generations. Cancers are related to genes and can pass on to generations.   

Our cells have a small nucleus in the centre and which has genes which decide and code for the formation of normal cells. If anything goes wrong with the coding in the genes, the cells formed will not be normal. 

If there is a change or mistake in the formation of genes we call it mutation. but not all mutations are transmitted to generations because these are acquired mutations. Moreover, if you have a history of cancer, your doctor will suggest you to a genetic clinic depending on your cancer symptoms and family history.

What causes gene mutation?

Gene mutation can be due to abnormal nucleic acid and mistaken pairing of genes.

there are two types of abnormality 

Inherited – These mutations are when chromosome formation of a baby happens. It happened before birth and cancer in these cases usually has a poor prognosis

Acquired – Mutations which occur due to physical, chemical or biological carcinogens and happened after birth.  

Family cancer syndromes are certain syndromes which make individuals of a lineage much more susceptible to developing cancer symptoms compared to others. example familial adenomatous polyposis 

Are genetic mutations detectable?

Yes, depending on your family history, symptoms and cause your doctor may get to know if your cancer is related to an inherited genetic mutation. Your doctor can suggest certain gene tests which may suggest the inheritance of cancer symptoms and causes.

Most common causes of cancer in men

There are certain cancer types which are common in men and men need to be aware of them to detect the symptoms as early as possible. Certain cancers like prostate cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer and lung cancer are more common in men. certain genetic mutations can also be passed on to men that need to be looked for. Men working in certain hazardous conditions like coal mining or polluted factory sites are susceptible to physical agents that may cause changes in the body and result in cancer. There are certain common symptoms of cancer in men:

  • fatigue 
  • loss of strength
  • feeling lumps or abnormal mass anywhere in the body 
  • voice hoarseness
  • chest pain
  • coughing and congestion
  • changes in testicles
  • changes in sexual behaviour
  • abnormal changes to bowel movement 
  • abnormal micturition   

Sometimes cancer may be present in your body without symptoms and you would not feel it until it gets to an advanced stage to protect yourself. People of all ages should get routine cancer screenings.

Most Common Causes of Cancer in Women 

There are certain cancers that are much more common in women than in any other gender. women need to be aware of certain cancer types and their symptoms to reduce their chances of mortality. The earlier the symptoms are detected, the easier it is to cure cancer. Cancers like breast cancer, ovarian cancer and bladder cancer are much more common in women these days.

Here are certain symptoms of cancer in women, that you need to be aware of :

  • any lumps around their breast
  • an abnormal increase or decrease in their breast shape and size
  • position of nipple 
  • discharge other than milk from the breast 
  • pain in the groin region
  • abnormal mood changes
  • frequent headache
  • weakness
  • lethargy
  • dizziness
  • changes in micturition
  • urine incontinence

Diagnosis of Cancer 

Diagnosis is essential for a condition like cancer. Where treatment depends entirely on the diagnosis and any mishappening can cause a lot of complications. Deaths from cancer can be prevented and prognosis can be better if cases are reported early and diagnosis is made earliest. 

The approach used by a physician for detecting cancer 

  • History-taking and analyzing the symptoms of patients are essential to rule out the possibility of underlying cancer.
  • Physical examination: include a physical test of the patient in case of any localised lumps or pain.
  • Biopsy: biopsy is a procedure where a small amount of tissue is extracted from the body to test for any cancerous growth.
  • Imaging: imaging techniques like MRI and CT scan can give an overall view of tissue and help localize the position and size of a cancerous tumor. Ultrasound imaging can be used in the case of cancers like ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, or bladder cancer.
  • LAB Test: certain blood markers are tested. complete blood count, white blood count is done or any other lab test that your doctor might suggest on basis of symptoms.  

Doctors can do multiple tests and may require retesting the same markers at any time to be sure of your symptoms. Doctors are to explain the diagnosis properly before you sign up for any particular treatment regimen. In case you are not convinced enough you can always look forward to a cancer second opinion online about your symptoms to get sure of your condition and treatment options.

Treatment options

Cancer treatment is individual, it is prepared and designed only after considering the stages of cancer, the health of the patient, the type of cancer and its risk factors. With the development of medical science, there is the availability of various treatment options and in certain cases of cancer, it is treatable with a good prognosis.

Treatment should be based on a diagnosis of individuals with cancer. Every cancer type has a different pattern of cure and every individual has a different tolerance to different methods and medicines. Therefore, all of these factors must be considered for planning a treatment regimen.

There are two different approaches to cancer treatment i.e management and palliative care. Management includes curing the cause and eliminating cancer. care on the other hand includes addressing the symptoms and reducing visible symptoms like pain, swelling etc.

Treatment of cancer includes radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy or surgery.

  • Radiotherapy: It includes killing and slowing down the growth of cancerous tissue using high doses of radiation over cancer cells. It can be used as the only treatment or reduction of a tumor to prepare a patient for surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the most preferable treatment of option for a lot of cancer types. It is the use of medicines and drugs to get rid of cancer cells. There are certain drugs which help new tumour cell formation and division of cells.

It is one of the most intense therapies and may take a toll on patients ‘ immunity. chemotherapy has a disadvantage in that it not only destroys tumour cells but also affects normal body cells which may cause damage to normal body functions. Moreover, it has many side effects like hair loss, weight loss, loss of appetite or nausea etc.

  • Hormone therapy: It uses certain hormones to target the physiological process of the body for treatment purposes. In addition, it’s usually used for breast cancer, prostate cancer or ovarian cancer etc.
  • Surgery: Surgery is usually Done for almost all cancer types and is done to get rid of unwanted lumps of cell mass or lymph nodes. Surgery is not the actual cure but it does remove the tumour but does not necessarily reduce the risk of new tumour growth.
  • Stem cell therapy: Stem cell transplant is relatively new in the treatment plan and has been used widely these days. This therapy makes use of stem cells to develop new healthy tissue to be replaced by those destroyed by chemotherapy.

Why Choose iLiOS health for a Cancer Second Opinion Online?

Most of the time people carry cancer, but do not recognise symptoms unless they become severe. Being a chronic disease, people find it difficult to believe they have been diagnosed with cancer or chances are there are some misdiagnoses. If you are feeling any of these, we can help you. iLiOS Health has registered practitioners to provide you with a second opinion online

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why cancer occurs in our body?

A. Cancer can occur due to various factors and can also be caused by infections like HCV viral infection.

Q. What percentage of cancer patients get a second opinion?

A. There are a lot of patients around 70- 80% who seek a second opinion to make sure of the diagnosis.

Q. Which stage of cancer is last?

A. Cancer is said to be in the last stage if it’s metastatic cancer and has spread to different parts of the body. When cancer starts affecting different body organs, the prognosis is usually poor.

Q. What is the poorest stage of cancer?

A. If cancer spreads to internal organs or affects the brain or blood and is metastatic, usually this is the poorest stage of cancer with the least effective treatment outcomes.

Q. Does stress cause cancer?

A. Stress does not necessarily cause cancer directly but it is a risk factor for cancer.

Q. What is the biggest cause of cancer?

A. The use of substances like tobacco, and alcohol and decreasing quality of air are the most common causes of cancer worldwide.

Q. Should you get a second opinion when diagnosed with cancer? 

A. It is rather a personal choice to seek a cancer second opinion if you are not satisfied with your current physician.

Q. Why is a second opinion needed for cancer patients? Is it worth getting a second opinion?

A. Second opinions can help cross-check the diagnosis and sometimes certain things are misdiagnosed and can be detected if a second opinion is considered.