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What are the top 5 cancers that affect women?

When you're female, you're at risk for certain kinds of cancers. These cancers are often related to hormones—which is why women get them more than men do. The five types of cancers listed below are among the most common among women, so it's important to know what signs and symptoms to look out for if you think something might be wrong with your body.

The projected incidence of patients with cancer in India among females is 712,758 (103.6 per 100,000) for the year 2020. 1 in 29 females (breast cancer), and 1 in 9 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime (0-74 years of age). The projected 5 commonest cancers in 2020 for females (breast, cervix, uteri, ovary, and lung) constitute 53% of all cancers.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women globally. It has now exceeded lung cancer as the leading cause of global cancer incidence in 2020, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases, representing 11.7% of all cancer cases. Epidemiological studies have shown that the worldwide burden is expected to cross almost 2 million by the year 2030. The survival rate of patients with carcinoma is poor in India as compared to Western countries due to earlier age at onset, late stage of disease at presentation, delayed initiation of definitive management and inadequate treatment. The foremost common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. An easy, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancer, but breast cancers are often also soft, round, tender, or maybe painful. to stop breast cancer early screening and detection are essential along with healthy body weight as both increased body weight and weight gain as an adult are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause. Avoid excess weight gain by balancing your food intake with physical activity. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week (or a combination of these). Some studies have suggested that a diet that's high in vegetables, fruit, and calcium-rich dairy products, but low in red and processed meats might help lower the danger of breast cancer.

Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer of women in India. In India, cervical cancer accounted for 9.4% of all cancers and 18.3% (123,907) of the latest cases in 2020. It still is amongst the commoner cancers in India and a number one cause of cancer-related deaths in women in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to HPV infection, factors like age at the time of marriage, number of pregnancies genital hygiene, use of oral contraceptives, nutritional status, smoking, etc., are related to the development of cervical cancer. In India, the incidence of cervical cancer significantly rises around the age of 45 years and peaks at 55 years of age. Screening is the most important aspect of preventing the development of cancer. HPV plays a task in developing cervical cancer. Limiting the number of sex partners and avoiding sex with people who have had many other sex partners may lower your risk of exposure to HPV. Not smoking is another important factor in reducing the risk of cervical pre-cancer and cancer.

Uterine Cancer

Also referred to as endometrial cancer. The danger of uterine cancer increases with age among women. Most uterine cancers are found in women who are browsing or who have gone through menopause. Uterine cancer may cause discharge or bleeding that is not normal for you. Uterine cancer can also cause other symptoms, like pain or pressure in your pelvis. According to the American Cancer Society, about 65,950 new cases of cancer of the body of the uterus (uterine body or corpus) are going to be diagnosed while about 12,550 women will die from cancers of the uterine body. Studies have linked higher levels of physical activity to lower risks of endometrial carcinoma, so getting regular physical activity (exercise) can also be a way to help lower endometrial cancer risk. A lively lifestyle can help you stay at a healthy weight, also lowering the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, another risk factor for endometrial carcinoma. Diets that include plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are linked with a decreased risk of this cancer. Also, eat less meat (beef, pork, or lamb) and processed meats.

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer was estimated to be the third most commonest cancer among Indian women and eighth overall as per the Globocan 2018 Fact sheet, constituting 3.44% of all cancer cases. The commonest symptoms are bloating, pelvic or abdominal (belly) pain, trouble eating or feeling full quickly, and urinary symptoms like urgency or frequency.

Lung cancer

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for carcinoma in the United States for 2022 are about 236,740 new cases of carcinoma (117,910 in men and 118,830 in women) and about 130,180 deaths from carcinoma (68,820 in men and 61,360 in women). The simplest way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke and to avoid breathing in other people’s smoke. A healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables may also help reduce your risk of lung cancer. Some evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help protect people who smoke and those who don't against lung cancer. But any positive effect of fruits and vegetables on carcinoma risk would be much less than the increased risk from smoking. Trying to scale back the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke currently or those who formerly smoked by giving them high doses of vitamins or vitamin-like drugs has not been successful so far.


These 5 cancers occur due to genetic factors, lifestyle choices, environmental factors (sun exposure), and sometimes even hereditary factors from family members who have had these types of cancers themselves! We want you to be informed about these risks so that you can live your best life possible and hopefully avoid getting any of these diseases yourself by making smart decisions about what you put into your body every day.

  • Ravi Mehrotra et al (2022), Breast cancer in India: Present scenario and the challenges ahead, World Journal of Clinical Oncology, vol 13(3): 209–218, 10.5306/wjco.v13.i3.209

  • American Cancer Society,

  • Ravi Mehrotra et al (2021), Cervical Cancer: Formulation and Implementation of Govt of India Guidelines for Screening and Management, Indian Journal of Gynecologic Oncology,

  • Centre for Disease control and prevention

  • Prashant Mathur et al (2020), Cancer Statistics, 2020: Report From National Cancer Registry Programme, India, An American Society of Clinical Oncology Journal, volume 6, 1063-1075, 10.1200/GO.20.00122.



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