Worldwide cancer is responsible for 1 in 8 deaths. Most Common cancers are:
Oral Cavity (in India) Breast
Prostate Cervix and Endometrium
What Causes Cancer?
Cancer is usually multifactorial
- Age- more in age group >60 yrs compared to younger age group
- Obesity- Body mass index >30
- Tobacco- Cigarette, Cigar,Bidi, Hookah, Smokeless tobacco like gutka, zarda etc. There is no safe form of tobacco.
- Pan masala and supari
- Ultraviolet rays exposure
- Radiation Exposure
- Genetic factors
- Others- pollution, certain chemicals, infections
Prevention of Cancer:
- Stay away from tobacco products and alcohol
- Eat healthy and daily physical activity- fresh fruits and vegetable are good, maintain optimal body weight
- Be safe in sun
- Cancer awareness and early detection: alarming signs are:
- Change in bowel or bladder habits
- A sore that will not heal
- Unusual discharge or bleeding
- Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles or elsewhere
- Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
- Obvious change in a wart or mole
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
Types of Cancer Treatment:
Cancer treatment is now a multidisciplinary management in which different surgical, medical and radiation oncologist plan treatment protocol for best possible chances of cure. Advancement in all these fields and their contribution in comprehensive management results in 25-30% improvement in cure rate over previous decades.
- Surgery: Involves surgical principles to remove tumor with adequate margins and possible draining lymph nodes regions. Improvements and understanding of surgical principles even make resection of distant disease or cure of stage IV disease in some selected cases.
- Chemotherapy: Cytotoxic drugs are given either in injectable or oral forms which acts on uncontrolled cancer cells. Advances in this fields results in drugs with better efficacy and less side effect profile and at same time resulting in better cancer control. Targeted therapy acts on specific pathways of cancer growth. Hormone therapy targets specific hormone receptors for controlling the cancer.
- Radiation Therapy: is delivery of radiation generated by radioactive source over the region of cancer. More and more advances in radiation technologists are emerging like IMRT, SBRT to focus radiation over the specific location so as to avoid toxic effect over surrounding area.