A descriptive and communicative conference was held in Vaidam office on September 4, 2018. The meeting was lead by Dr. Niranjan Naik, who is the senior surgical oncologist in Fortis Memorial Research Institute, New Delhi. He is considered the best surgeon for breast cancer in the NCR. In the meeting, he discussed various facets of cancer, such as the number of incidents, its awareness in society, prevention and forms of treatments.
Dr. Naik says, that there are approximately 8,00,000 new cases of cancer each year, out of which there are about 5,50,000 deaths per year. The prime germ seed for such booming numbers is a huge uplift in urbanization. In such a petrifying scenario, it is crucial to take the essential cautions. He addressed a few early symptoms of carcinoma and advised to get a timely consultation if any of them are noticed. The symptoms were as follows:
- Any change in bowel or bladder habits.
A sore that does not heal for a long time.
Unusual bleeding or discharge.
Thickening or a lump in the breast.
Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
Any change in wart or mole.
Any change or hoarseness of voice.
The most common type of cancer, as observed by Dr. Naik is breast cancer. As per him, there are about 1,70,000 cases each year. It is a malignant tumor that arises from the cells of the breast. It can be detected at an early stage through symptoms like-
- A lump in the breast or armpit.
- A bloody discharge from the nipple.
- Breast pain or sore nipple.
- Any change in shape of the breast or nipple.
The foremost form of diagnosis is self-examination of the breast by the patient herself. Other than this, it can be detected by mammography, ultrasound, and biopsy. Mode of treatment depends on the type or stage of cancer. It may be surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy based on the case.
In addition to this, the oncologist also talked about other cancers like gastrointestinal tumors including oesophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, anal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. The initial symptoms may include:
- appetite loss
- weight loss
- discomfort in the abdomen
- a sense of fullness even after eating a small meal
- nausea or vomiting.
How is cancer treated?
There are 2 types of factors, based on which the treatment is decided:
Tumor factors and Patient factors
- Tumor factors involve adequate margin, size of the tumor, type of tumor, grade of tumor and presence or absence of metastasis.
- Patient factors consist of age, sex, social habits like alcohol, smoking or tobacco, any medical history like history of cardiac issues, genetic factor etc.
There are 3 types of treatment goals-
- Curative- it aims to cure the malady right from its root. This is only possible at early stages.
- Palliative- it focuses on the prevention of further metastasis of the tumor. This is done in moderate stages of cancer.
- Symptomatic- this is done in the advanced stages of cancer, where only symptomatic relief is workable. For example, giving painkillers or sleep-inducing medicines.
The contemporary forms of treatment were broached as well.
Surgical treatment- robotic surgeries and laparoscopic surgeries are the current forms.
Hormone targeted therapy
After calculating the risks and benefits in a case, all of the above therapies are used in combination.
To wrap up, the surgeon finally made his point, that prevention is better than cure. He revealed, that one of the most common myths is that “cancer cannot happen to me”. So, it is imperative to take the preventive measures precedently. This can be done by the following EARN.
Cancer is not just a disease; it is a monstrous journey. However, advances in the treatment have been made by leaps and bounds over the decades. This has caused dwindling of mortality rates as compared to past.