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3 Most Common Types of Cancers in India

Updated On May 18, 2021

Cancer is the second most common reason for death in India. Every day, there are countless cases of cancer among children, adults as well as senior citizens. No matter how difficult it may seem, cancer can be prevented with proper awareness and timely intervention.

Not a single disease, but a collection of more than a hundred diseases, cancer is caused due to abnormal growth of cells in the body. Talking about types of cancer, the list includes bladder cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and many others.

That said, let us shed light on some of the common cancer types in India.

3 Most Common Cancer Types in India

The three most common types of Cancer in India include:

1. Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of breasts. More common in women aged 30 years to 50 years, breast cancer also occurs in men, however, it is not that common. The second most common cancer in rural areas, breast cancer is the most common cancer in urban areas.

Symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Lump in the breast or underarm (armpit)
  • Swelling or thickening of part of the breast
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin
  • Red or flaky skin of the breast or nipple area
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Changes in texture/shape of the nipple or breast

Ways to treat breast cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and radiation therapy. Please note that the type of treatment provided for breast cancer depends on the type of breast cancer and how far it has spread.

2. Cervical Cancer

The second most common cancer in India, cervical cancer is cancer that happens in the cells of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina). According to WHO, cervical cancer ranks fourth in the list of the most common cancers in women. Human papillomaviruses or HPV (an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact) is one of the most common causes of almost all cervical cancer cases.

Symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding in post-menopausal women
  • Vaginal discharge tinged with blood
  • Vaginal discharge with a strong odor

As far as the treatment of cervical cancer is concerned, it can be treated through surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination of these. The kind of treatment to be provided depends on overall age & health as well as the stage of cervical cancer.

3. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the third most common cancer type in India. More common in men than in women, oral cancer is cancer that develops in tissues of the mouth or throat. Oral cancer includes cancers of the tongue, lips, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat. As far as the common causes of oral cancer are concerned, they include smoking, tobacco, alcohol, and HPV.

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Swelling in neck
  • Ear and mouth pain
  • Persistent lip or mouth sores, which don’t heal
  • Red or white patch inside of the mouth
  • Growth or lump inside the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing

When it comes to the treatment of oral cancer, it is done through surgery to remove the cancerous growth. The surgery is followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy so as to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Cancer Treatment - Role of Health Insurance

When you buy a health insurance plan or critical illness insurance plan covering cancer treatment, you free yourself from a huge financial burden. Critical illness plans provide a lump sum amount on the diagnosis of cancer. This lump sum amount received can be used for not only the treatment of cancer, but also other expenses such as school fees, home rent, bills, and others as per the requirements of the policyholder.


If you have a family history of cancer, it is advisable to buy a cancer insurance plan or a critical illness plan covering cancer treatment. Rest assured, you won’t have to worry about managing finances at the last moment.

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.​

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