Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Other Common Cancers

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HealthWiki > Where Women Have No Doctor > Chapter 24: Cancer and Growths > Other Common Cancers


Contents

Lung cancer

a woman holding a child while smoking a cigarette next to a man who is also smoking
Smoking causes
cancer.

The signs of lung cancer are the same as tuberculosis (TB). Seek medical help if you have these signs.

Lung cancer is caused by smoking tobacco. It is more common in men because they smoke more than women. But as more women smoke, they are starting to get more lung cancer. In some countries, more women die from lung cancer than from any other kind of cancer. And in many places, girls are starting to smoke as early and as much as boys. As more girls and women smoke, even more women will end up getting lung cancer.

Lung cancer does not usually affect people until they are over 40 years old. If a woman stops smoking, her risk of getting lung cancer becomes much less. The signs (coughing up blood, losing weight, difficulty breathing) appear when the cancer is advanced and difficult to cure. Surgery to remove part of the lung, medicines, and radiation therapy are all used to treat lung cancer.

Mouth and throat cancer

Mouth and throat cancer can be caused by smoking, chewing tobacco, and some types of human papilloma virus (HPV). If you have hoarseness, pain when swallowing, or a sore throat or sores in your mouth that do not heal, get medical advice.

a sign with illustrations of a condom and a syringe
AVOID HEPATITIS!
HAVE SAFER SEX
DO NOT SHARE
NEEDLES AND
GET IMMUNIZED!
Cancer of the liver can be caused by hepatitis B and C.

Cancer of the liver

Some people who become infected with hepatitis B or C develop cancer of the liver years later. Signs of liver cancer are a swollen abdomen and general weakness. See a health worker if you think you may have liver cancer.

Hepatitis B and C can be prevented by having safer sex and not sharing needles. Also, there is a vaccine for hepatitis B. Babies can be vaccinated at birth. Adults can be vaccinated at any time.

Try to make hepatitis B vaccine available in your community.

Cancer of the stomach

More Information
STIs

Cancer of the stomach usually occurs in women and men over age 40. Usually there are no signs until it is advanced. Surgery, radiation, and strong medicine are the only treatments and may not be successful.

Sometimes, however, cancer of the stomach is caused by a bacteria (H. pylori). This bacteria can be treated with certain medicines, and the treatment can prevent cancer before it starts. The signs are similar to getting indigestion or heartburn. If you get these signs often, or for a long time, talk with a health worker about getting tested and treated.


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