What is Carcinoma? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment


What is Carcinoma? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases ever known. The mere mention of it causes fear. As per a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, 1 out of 6 deaths in 2020, across the world, were due to some kind of cancer. Most of us know that cancer occurs when there are rapid mutations in abnormal body cells. The reason behind it could be various environmental factors, or one may inherit it.

Cancer can occur in various body parts, and those affecting the body lining are known as Carcinoma cancer. It may affect the outer lining of the body, that is, the skin, or the internal lining, which is the tissue lining of internal organs like kidneys or liver. The abnormal cells of carcinomas divide rapidly and uncontrollably. It may or may not spread to other body parts from where it starts.

Not all cancers are carcinoma, as some may develop in other body parts like the brain, bones, spinal cord, etc. Carcinoma cancer is one of the most common types, as it alone makes up 90% of all the prevalent cancers.

What are the Types of Carcinoma

Depending on the affected body parts, carcinoma cancer can be divided into various parts.  Some of the common types of carcinoma include:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma

Let’s discuss all these types in detail here:

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cells are present in the skin. These are the cells lining the innermost part of the skin's outer layer. Although it does not usually spread to other body parts, initial treatment is very important for recovery. If delayed, basal cell carcinoma can leave red patches, scars, and bumps on the skin. There are different types of basal cell carcinoma like pigmented, superficial, nonulcerative, morpheaform, and basosquamous carcinoma.

Causes of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Following are the key causes for Basal Cell Carcinoma:

  • Exposure to UV rays
  • Exposure to arsenic
  • Complications due to skin problems, scars, tattoos, burns, vaccinations, etc.
  • Chronic inflammatory skin problems.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The middle and outer layer of the skin is made up of squamous cells. Cancer affecting these cells is known as Squamous cell skin cancer. Although squamous carcinoma is not life-threatening, if neglected, it can spread to other body parts as well and develop rapidly. 

Causes of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Following are being the main causes of Cell Carcinoma:

  • Ultraviolet rays
  • Tanning beds and lamps
  • Weak immune system
  • Extreme sunburns.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Another form of carcinoma is hepatocellular carcinoma, which affects the liver. It develops in the hepatocyte cells of the liver. Initially, the disease may not show evident signs, but gradually, one may experience loss of weight without effort, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, etc. Initial detection and treatment like transplant and surgery may cure the diseases. However, if delayed, it may not be curable, and treatment can help with the longevity of life.

Causes of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

The exact cause of hepatocellular carcinoma remains unknown. However, there are certain risk factors, like:

  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Cirrhosis
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Iron storage diseases in the liver
  • Aflatoxin.

What are the Common Symptoms of Carcinoma?

Carcinoma symptoms may vary depending on the affected area. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal or unintended weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Patches, redness, or soreness of the skin
  • Bowel problems
  • Unknown bleeding or bruising
  • Bloating or swelling of the belly
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper belly
  • Yellow eyes and skin
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shiny bumps on the skin
  • Dark lesions
  • Waxy like lesions
  • Bleeding sores and patches on the skin.

Is Treatment Available for Carcinoma?

Carcinoma treatment entirely depends on the stage at which it is detected. Early detection is always helpful in the treatment process. Depending on your age, overall health, the stage of the disease, and the harm it has caused so far, the doctor may suggest the course of treatment. Some of the possible carcinoma treatments include:


Often, carcinoma that hasn't metastasised (spread to other body parts) can be cured with surgery. Doctors remove the cancer tumours or cells and tissues with surgery. 


Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that is used to shrink or restrict the cancer cells to regrow. Before the surgery, chemotherapy can be used to shrink the cancer cells, and post-surgery, it may be used to restrict cancer cells from forming. 

Radiation treatment

Energy beams like X-rays are used to kill the cancer cells in the targeted areas and prevent further advancements. Usually, along with surgery and chemotherapy, radiation treatment is used. 

Targeted therapy

As the name suggests, targeted therapy uses certain drugs to target the weaknesses of the cancer cells. It attacks the genetic changes of the cancer cells to prevent further mutation of the cells.


In Immunotherapy, the treatment helps the immune system in the detection and prevention of cancer cells from causing further harm. 

Hormone therapy

Through hormone therapy, certain sex hormones are reduced in your body, which results in the slow growth of carcinoma. 

To Conclude

Carcinoma cancer begins and develops like other cancers, where cells start to mutate and transform healthy cells into cancerous ones. It keeps mutating at a risky level and can invade other body parts if left untreated. So, make sure to go for routine check-ups regularly to detect early signs and cure the disease completely. Also, remember a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind can be key to avoid such diseases. 

Additionally, the cost associated with carcinoma cancer treatment can be ignored as well. Starting from detection to recovery, the entire phase involves a huge chunk from your savings if your finances are not well planned with health insurance.  While treating a health condition like this, it is essential to back your finances with a critical illness plan that can cover the exorbitant medical expenses. Here comes our Cancer Mediclaim into the picture. Comes under Care Super Mediclaim, with this plan you can be assured of having strong financial support in times of need. It offers comprehensive coverage at different stages of cancer and stays with you throughout your recovery. 

We wish you good health and a happy life!

>> Also Read: Breast Cancer Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies


The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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