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Cervical Cancer: Early Diagnosis, Awareness & Treatment

A staggering statistic has reflected that, India accounts for nearly 1/3rd of the world’s cervical cancer deaths, with women facing a 1.6% cumulative risk of developing cervical cancer and 1.0% cumulative risk of death from cervical cancer. How does it occur? Cervix is the lower, narrow part of a woman’s uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancers begin in cells on the surface of the cervix. They don’t become cancerous directly, but gradually progress from the precancerous state to invasive cancer. Chronic genital Infections by the high risk types of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) are a prerequisite for the…

Cancer Awareness, Treatment & Advanced Therapies

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases that everyone wants to stay away from at the same time it is preventable too. Due to its seriousness in advanced stages early detection is necessary in order to get cured. With the proper awareness you can stay alert and look for the symptoms for early warning signals & get screened for cancers as per the guidelines. According to WHO, lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical, and thyroid cancer are the most common among women. Oral cancers…

Cancer Types & Treatment Options

Dr. Murali Krishna Voonna, Chief Surgical Oncologist and Managing Director, Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital & Research Institute, explained Cancer types, the available advanced cancer treatment procedures, and identifying cancer at early stages which included Lung Cancer & Colon Cancer Signs, Symptoms & Treatment Options.

A survivor’s experience from Detection to Cure

“My name is Elizabeth. I am 56 years old, a teacher by profession and a cancer survivor by attitude.” I want to share my story to encourage others who are affected by this disease. I was a normal, healthy, active person just going about my regular routine when I was struck with this disease. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the month of July, after I suddenly started bleeding and the biopsy report confirmed that I had squamous cell carcinoma. Just like anyone else knowing that I had the big ‘C’ terrified me first. Once it sunk in, I…

Robotic Surgery – Facts and Myths

Surgery has evolved from the era of invasive “open” model to the minimally invasive model especially when dealing with “cavity” surgery (abdominal/chest cavities). The advantages of MIS are pretty obvious with smaller incisions, lesser pain, earlier return to normal activities, lesser wound-related complications. However, there are significant challenges with traditional laparoscopic surgery – counter-intuitive movements, rigid non-articulating instruments, limitation with 2D vision and ergonomic discomfort for the operating surgeon to name a few. Newer platforms like Robotic Surgery work to overcome these limitations and make it easier for the surgeons to do a better job and thereby improve outcomes for…

Cancer has an Answer…

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world after cardiovascular diseases. The word cancer came from the Greek words “Karkinos” to describe carcinoma tumors by Hippocrates (460-370 B.C). The world’s oldest case of breast cancer hails from ancient Egypt in 1500 BC. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that one-in-five men and one-in-six women worldwide will develop cancer over the course of their lifetime, and those one-in-eight men and one-in-eleven women will die from their disease. Worldwide, the total number of people who are alive within 5 years of a cancer diagnosis, called the…

The Long Battle of Childhood Cancer

Young Rajesh (name changed) was an exuberant child. Or so his mother describes him through tears and trepidation. Exuberant is not a word you would use to describe the child that lies shivering in front of my eyes on the couch. He was weak but he seemed to be using his last ounce of energy trying to repel me from examining him. As someone who had diagnosed and cared for such children for a while now, even a perfunctory examination was enough to suspect that I would be dealing with a case of acute leukemia in that 5-year-old. The multiple…

Pathology At The Forefront Of Advances In Oncology

The practice of pathology and its role in cancer care has changed significantly in the past decade. In the olden days, it was limited to a microscope and a few special stains. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) arrived after that to advance diagnosis and treatment capabilities. The current treatment landscape is ever so changing – the era of chemotherapy changed to an era of precision medicine / personalized medicine. “One size fits all” (the approach of chemotherapy) is no longer valid. Each tumor is unique in its own genetic/molecular subtypes. Identifying driver mutation which drives the growth of cancer predominantly and thus also…

All Cancers Are Not The Same!

Contrary to widespread belief, Cancer is not the same in every patient. Just as there are so many parts in the human body, there are thousands of cancer variants a person can get affected with. The two key determinants of outcomes of cancer therapy are the BODY ORGAN which is involved and the STAGE at which it is detected in the patient. Cancers are basically divided into solid organ cancers and hematological (blood and lymphatic system) cancers. The survival of a patient differs where it affects, thyroid/brain/lung/kidney/gallbladder/intestine/bones/blood etc.. Most of the solid organ cancers which have not metastasized (spread to…

Tobacco – The Most Common Preventable Cause Of Cancer

During the early days of my training as a medical oncologist at AIIMS, New Delhi, I was alarmed to see patients as young as 20 years being diagnosed with advanced stages of oral cavity cancers and dying within one year of diagnosis despite treatment. Tobacco chewing is the single most important cause of these cancers and in certain parts of the country, it is so prevalent that it has become the most common cause of cancer. Research points out that Tobacco abuse is the most common cause of cancer. It is responsible for 10 different types of cancers and collectively…