Articles on cancer pathology

10 Symptoms of Cancer Which Nobody Should Ignore

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
Cancer is an unwanted growth of cells that destroys the healthy environment of the body. The fear associated with it is not because of the disease itself, but, because of the delayed diagnosis due to lack of clear symptoms. Here are a list of commonly ignored symptoms which could be warning signs of cancer. Cancers are PAINLESS when they start and so they get ignored by the patient and doctors alike. Anemia: Tiredness in cancer is usually due anemia (lack of blood) and deficiency of nutrition. The cancer eats up most of nutrients in its race to grow quickly. Also there bleeding from cancer tissue that makes one anemic.Blood while passing stool: very often this is due to piles or similar causes. However, cancer of colon and rectum also causes this. When anyone has blood in stool, it is advisable to do colonoscopy to look inside of colon. Cancer of colon can cause change in bowel habit (like alternating constipation and diarrhea)Blood in urine: This always require further tests.  Cancer of kidney or urinary bladder or prostate (among men) can cause blood in urine. The bad part is this bleeding can be infrequent. This infrequency makes patients ignore this symptom. Even one episode of blood in urine needs through examination.Bleeding in between periods (women): Any bleeding that does not follow the usual pattern of menstrual period is a warning sign. Cancer of uterus or cervix can present with this kind of symptoms. Patients with cervical cancer also have bleeding after having sexual intercourse. A patch or wound inside mouth: Oral or mouth cancers are common in India. These cancers start as a patch or wound and progress over months. If diagnosed early they can be treated effectively. Lump or swelling: Cancers of breast and limb begin as painless lumps or swellings and progress over months. Any newly appearing lumps or swellings should be completely investigated. Loss of weight without trying: A sudden weight loss when you are not dieting needs investigations. As cancer consumes most of the nutrition that you take, you tend to loose wt. Loss of appetite and bloating food: this could be because of obstruction to bowel or because of a cancer secreting its toxic substances. Thorough examination is needed to reach a diagnosis. Lymph node enlargement: Lymph nodes are present everywhere in the body and function as filters. Most of the times they enlarge due to infections. The cancer cells also get filtered in this nodes and are trapped. They grow in these nodes and the nodes enlarge as a result of this growth. Trouble swallowing or vomiting after taking food are both warning signs of a cancers in the digestive tract. These need to be evaluated with endoscopic tests to identify the cause. Some patients have only persistent heart-burns which is misdiagnosed as gastritis and treated only for months before correct diagnosis reveals itself. Pain is the last feature of cancer. Do not wait for it.

Head And Neck Cancer Is A Preventable Cancer

Dr. Suhail Sayed, Surgical Oncologist
What are cancers of Head and Neck?Cancers that are known collectively as head and neck cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck (for example, inside the mouth, the nose, and the throat). Head and Neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world and India constitutes 30-40 per cent of all cancers seen among men mainly in their productive age group.What are the causes of Head and Neck Cancer?The most common causes are consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Smokeless tobacco, such as gutka or paan, is a major issue in India. These agents, when taken together,increase the person’s cancer risk by eight or 10 times, accounting for 90 percent of oral cancers and 80 percent of throat cancers in our population. We are the “mouth cancer capital of world” owing to this habit. Alcohol often taken together with cigarette increase the cancer risks by 38 times. Apart from these common causes other causes like poor oral and dental hygiene, loose dentures and some viruses (Ebstien-Barr andHuman Papilloma) are also known to cause this cancer.What are the symptoms of Head and Neck Cancers?The symptoms depend on the site where this cancer develops. This cancer usually presents with a non-healing mouth ulcer, white or red patch, reduced mouth opening, difficulty in swallowing or neck swelling. All these symptoms if persist for more than two weeks need to be evaluated.How are head and neck cancers diagnosed?A thorough physical examination combined with imaging studies (CT, MRI or PET CT scan) and biopsy is mandatory for diagnosing these cancers. Based on these findings the disease can be properly staged and treatment planned accordingly. Early diagnosis by biopsy can lead to better cure rates.How are head and neck cancers treated?The treatment plan for an individual patient depends on a number of factors, including the exact location of the tumor, the stage of the cancer, and the person’s age and general health. Treatment for head and neck cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of treatments. Early stage (1 and 2)patients have a 60% to 95% chance of cure with local treatment alone (surgery or radiotherapy), but patients with more advanced (Stage 3 & 4) disease need a more aggressive treatment (Surgery with chemo radiation) and have a greater than 50% risk of recurrence or development of disease spread throughout the body. Therefore it is very important that the disease is picked up early and patients should avoid delay in treatment. Many patients fear of the change in appearance or speech and delay treatment by taking different indigenous drugs and present to us in an advanced stage. But in the present era with the availability of microvascular surgery and Image Guided Radio therapy (IMRT,IGRT), excellent cosmesis and functional rehabilitation of patients can be offered. Thus majority of head neck cancer patients today have a good quality of life after treatment.How can I reduce my risk of developing head and neck cancers?The most important point which needs to be understood by our population is that this cancer is “preventable”. There are several policy measures of tobacco control being implemented at the national and international level to fight the battle against tobacco. However, these efforts may not directly benefit the current tobacco user as nicotine in tobacco is very addictive, making quitting difficult. It’s the will power of the person himself which plays an important role in quitting tobacco. It’s basically the first three days that the person has a severe craving for smoking/chewing, if he is able to control his mind for this period the chances of quitting the habit increase by 80%.

Worried About Cancer: Life Style Modification to Reduce the Risk

Dr. Sunny Jain, Oncologist
You can save yourself from cancer. I am sure you are eager to know how you can actually do that.The rampant increase in the number of cancer cases is an outcome of the faulty modern lifestyle, eating habits, addictions and the worsening environmental changes. Yes, genes and hormones play an important role, but the other factors deserve equal blame.Inculcating good habits like quitting smoking, alcohol abstinence, practising regular yoga, eating natural and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and maintaining healthy body weight can help keep cancer at bay. Importantly, incorporating regular exercise in your daily schedule can go a long way in protecting yourself from cancer. It significantly reduces the cancer cases. A study reveals as much as 25% reduction in breast cancer rate among women who exercise regularly compared to those who do not.For all those who are curious to know how exercise helps abate cancer, let me tell you enough research has been done to understand the role of regular physical activity in killing cancer cells. Have a look at what such researches have concluded:Particularly in women, physical activity lowers the level of a female hormone oestrogen. High levels of oestrogen are associated with higher risk of breast and uterine cancer. Regular exercise is highly recommended in post menopausal women to reduce the risk of these cancers.In cancer, cells of the body multiply uncontrollably. Insulin is the hormone that can turn on the multiplication of cells. Exercise helps to lower the insulin levels in the body and prevent multiplication of cells that occurs during cancer.Physical activity also prevents colon cancer. As we exercise, it promotes the bowel movement. Faster transit of the harmful chemicals from processed meat and other processed food items prevents the damage to the lining of the bowels. Exercise curbs the inflammation that happens due to such damage. Repeated inflammation and replacement of dead cells by new cells can trigger abnormal growth of cells, which leads to cancer. Thus, exercising helps against colon cancer.Exercise reduces stress and fatigue, makes you feel fresh and boosts immunity to prevent cancer. Physical activity keeps a check on your weight and eventually checks out cancer.How much to exercise:A daily 30 minute moderate exercise like walking, slow swimming, playing an outdoor sport like tennis is recommended.A 20 minute vigorous exercise 3-4 times a week like jogging, running, cycling or swimming is ideal.Complement these with muscle strengthening exercises for upper and lower body like push ups,weights etc twice a week.Say good bye to a sedentary life style, to embrace a healthier, cancer- free life.

Understanding Cancer Better

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
What is cancer?Cancer is the name given to a group of diseases that behave similarly. There is a wide range of cancers which are characterised by an uncontrolled division of body's cells without halting and thereby, spread into surrounding tissues pushing normal cells.Cancer can begin at any place in the human body, which is comprised trillions of cells. Regularly, human cells divide and shape into new cells as the body needs them. At the point when cells get senile or get harmed, they bite the dust, and new cells assume their position. When the organised procedure of cell growth fails, cancer begins. Cells turn out to be increasingly irregular in shape and size, and continue to survive even when they ought to die, and new cells are formed even when they are not required. These cells can multiply without any reason and may form what is called tumours. Cancerous tumours are harmful, which implies that they can spread into, or attack, adjacent tissues. Moreover, as these tumours develop, some cancer cells can escape and go to far off spots in the body through the blood or the lymph framework and shape new tumours a long way from the first tumours.Why worry about cancer?Cancers figure among the main causes of morbidity and mortality around the world, with roughly 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths every year. In the next two decades, it is estimated that the incidence of cancer will increase by 70% throughout the world. Among men, the five most common cancers in 2012 were lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer.In women, the five most common cancers are breast, colorectal, lung, cervix, and stomach cancer.Around 33% of cancer deaths can be prevented by behavioural and dietary changes. The risks include high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.Read my blogs on early detection of cancer and cancer prevention to understand how to reduce your risk.

Cancer Can Happen to Anyone! Just Avoid These

Dr. Rajat Sachdeva, Dentist
Studies suggest that approximately 44% men and 39% women are susceptible to develop Cancer in their lifetime which is scary news! Now, studies have been conducted all over the world which provides some statistics which shows that there are some definitive conclusions which can be related to cause of cancer. There are number of risk which we will discuss to create awareness about the ‘Dreaded’ cancer to help people to get clear perspective about it.SmokingThe biggest factor in today’s time which is considered life threatening is Smoking! It is a risk factor for Lung cancer, Cancer of mouth, throat, tongue, palate etc. It has become a status symbol to smoke and considered being cool, many of which are passively exposed by their spouses and relatives which puts them at risk of danger too. Smoking should be banned at home and office etc places to avoid other people from the risk of developing heart conditions.Chewable tobacco The tobacco people chew and doesn’t causes smoke is very prevalent in Asian countries like India which is no good than smoking and causing precancerous lesions and conditions before converting into cancer. It is equally harmful as smoking. Avoid!AlcoholSpirits generally include Whisky and brandy. But the new studies show that drinking one or two of the spirits or beer can increase the risk of a woman to have breast cancer. Consider to avoid alcohol or if that’s not possible then or if you find that difficult, try and reduce the intake slowly and gradually.Oh! The sunThe actinic radiation in sunlight is considered to causes Keratotic lesions on the lips of farmers who generally work really long hours in the fields; but the melanin pigmentation on the lips protects the malignant conversion in most cases.Environment smogMany chemicals escape from industrial smokestacks and industries including suspected carcinogens. Benzene comes out in car exhaust. Factors those favors ozone buildup and lead to smog alerts may cause these chemicals to build up. In order to prevent yourself from pollution, avoid exercise near high traffic areas and on polluted days try to stay indoors mostly during smog alerts.Lifestyle disordersExercising daily for at least 30 minutes daily keeps weight in control, may reduce risk of several cancers, mostly colon and breast cancer and also helps in preventing heart disease, diabetes and bone loss.Choosing the wrong foodResearchers have found out high levels of the carcinogen agents in French fries and potato chips. Try to avoid charred meat, limit the consumption of red meat to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Cut down on the fatty fish like carp, catfish, bass, king mackerel etc. Always choose a well balanced diet rich in fiber like lentils and whole grains and low in fat along with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Bladder Cancer - Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis

Dr. Anish Kumar Gupta, Andrologist
Risk FactorsLike most cancers, we do not know all the causes of bladder cancer, but there are certain factors which increase the chances of getting bladder cancer.Cigarette, “bidi”and tobacco chewing increases your risk of bladder cancer. In fact, more than half of all bladder cancer cases in India are caused by nicotine. Bladder Cancer develops in smokers 2 to 3 times more than in non-smokers.Long-term exposure to chemicals used to make plastics, paints, textiles, leather and rubber may also cause bladder cancer. Chemicals may cause about 23 out of every 100 bladder cancer cases.Symptoms of Bladder CancerBlood in the urine This is the most Common symptom of bladder cancer, and is generally painless. Not all Blood in urine means bladder cancer. Other commoner reasons are, urinary tract infection or kidney stones. Microscopic amounts of blood might even be normal in some people.Frequent Urination and Pain on Urination (dysuria)Frequent or painful urination is less common. If you have these symptoms, and do not have a urinary tract infection, you should talk to your Urologist to find out if bladder cancer is the cause.DiagnosisThe management of Bladder Tumor falls under the domain of Urology.There is no single test to check for bladder cancer. If you have symptoms of bladder cancer, your doctor may perform 1 or more of the following - History, Examination:This forms the primary part of any consultation with a physician.Urinalysis:  For this test you will have to give a urine sample. You may also be asked to perform urine cytology. Imaging Tests:The urologist may request an Ultrasound scan. A more detailed examination is normally done with a CT Urogram (CT scan focused on the urinary tract). Cystoscopy: For the examination of the inside of the bladder and also to take a biopsy if so required. In most cases you might be asked to take anaesthesia.If tumors are present, the doctor notes their appearance, number, location and size.If initial examination is done under local anesthesia or for only diagnostic purposes, you may be offered a formal Trans Urethral Resection of Bladder Tumor (TURBT). TURBT is done under regional / general anaesthesia and requires hospital stay.Treatment procedures will be covered in subsequent posts.Stop Nicotine Usage, to Prevent Bladder Cancer

Oral Cancer- a Menace to Your Mouth

Dr. Rashmi Maruti Hosalkar, Dentist
According to GLOBOCAN 2008, Oral Cancer ranks 11th among all cancers occurring around the world.  Approximately two-thirds of patients in the developing countries of  South and Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America are affected by oral cancer. In India, oral cancer  ranks among top three cancers showing highest incidences (age-standardized rate of 9.8 per 10000) and accounting for about 30% of all new cases annually. The overall 5-year survival rate for all stages of oral cancer is 60% with localised tumour showing better rates than one with regional or distant metastasis (spread).ETIOLOGYSmoking Tobacco: Cigarette, Bidi, Cigars, Chutta, different smoking pipes such as chillum, etc.Smokeless Tobacco: Betel quid, Paan, Supari, Khaini, Mishri, Zarda, Mawa etc.Smoking increases the chance of developing oral cancer by 6 times, hookah and pipe by 16 times and bidi smoking by 36 times as compared to non- smokers. Similarly, chewing betel leaves, tobacco and lime increases the risk by six fold as compared to smokers and ten fold when its combination of both.AlcoholViruses such as Human Papilloma Virus (16 & 18), Epstein Barr Viruses, Herpes Simplex Viruses, Retroviruses.Recent studies have shown and increase in number of  HPV causing oral cancers. This usually seen in healthy non smokers segment of population in 25-50 years of age. Having multiple sex partners or engaging in oral sex with HPV infected partners is one of the reasons for contracting cancer. Weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or Immune system suppressing drugs after organ transplants can also increase the risk.Diet and Deficiency StatesSunlight or UV radiation effectsPotentially Malignant Diseases such as leukoplakia. lichen planus, erythroplakia, oral submucous fibrosis etcPoor oral hygiene, faulty restorations, sharp teeth, ill fitting denturesSyphilis, Chronic CandidiasisGeneticsPrior history of cancerNot established causes FEATURESIn Indian population oral cancer occurs 50 years and above, however, due to changes in personal habits and lifestyle it is seen occurring in younger populationMales more frequently affected than females but the ratio is showing slow decline with increase in number of cases in females.Site at which oral cancer occurs has strong association placement of noxious irritants. Most commonly involved are lip, buccal mucosa, vestibule, alveolar ridge, hard palate, soft palate, tongue and floor of the mouth. The most common oropharyngeal site of involvement in Indian population is buccal mucosa followed by tongue.Classic features of oral malignancy include ulceration, nodularity, induration and fixation and cancer must be suspected especially when there is a single oral lesion persisting for more than 3 weeks.WARNING SIGNS OF ORAL CANCER (as given by Crispian Scully)Red lesion (erythroplasia)Mixed red/white lesion, irregular white lesion, lumpUlcer with fissuring or raised exophytic marginsPain or numbnessAbnormal blood vessels supplying a lumpLoose toothExtraction socket not healingInduration beneath a lesion, i.e., a firm infiltration beneath the mucosaFixation of lesion to deeper tissues or to overlying skin or mucosaLymph node enlargementDysphagiaWeight lossDIAGNOSISKey for prevention of oral cancer is early detection and treatment.Early diagnosis of potentially malignant lesions can reduce the chance of its transformation into malignancy.Thorough history (present, past medical/dental, habits, occupation, family) followed by physical examination is a must.Biopsy is a must  in cases of oral cancer. Histopathological diagnosis is the gold standard however many other histotechniques can also be applied.DNA ploidy Serum and salivary biomarkersOptical systemsRadiological imagingMANAGEMENTPrimary preventionSurgery with or without neck dissectionChemotherapyRadiotherapyDental rehabilitationIt is a duty of dentist to not only examine teeth but also the other oral structures and look for any abnormal signs prompting toward any oral disease including cancer. 

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every Lump Felt Is Not Cancer.

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
A nodule detected by self examination is cause of concern for the woman and she Must go to the doctor immediately. Remember a nodule need not be cancer,it can be collection of hardened fibers and nodule is called Fibroadenoma.It is treatable by a medical professional, a surgeon after ruling out cancer by doing few simple tests.It can last for years or be lifelong in women who are not aware about Cancer. It is common in women during reproductive years as reproductive hormones have a role in causing it.It is more common in women on pills or suffering from PCOD.On examination, it can be of as little as size of pea or larger. It moves like a mouse,feels like rubber, is well defined, is painless,rarely leads to Cancer but basic investigations are a Must.Fibroadenoma is very common Benign ( harmless) breast condition...simple fibroadenomas do Not increase the risk of developing breast cancer in future.How to Rule out Cancer?99% fibroadenomas are Not cancer but do get checked by doctor, so as to avoid being rare 1%.Self examination / check up in a preventive Cancer Camp has detected a lump .Doctor will suggest a Mammography test + Biopsy of the tissue.Mammography test carries a Radiation risk equivalent to taking about 10 plain X rays of chest, one after another. It is Not practical to monitor the tumor every year.This test besides being expensive has its own risks and limitations.Ultrasound test is a better choice and is equally Accurate & correct.If ultrasound test does reveal a tiny lump, easily moving, not attached to any tissue, go for removal of lump under local anesthesia as an OPD procedure.The lump can be sent for a biopsy test to clear away any doubts.Woman is told to come back in case she feels a lump at any other site in future Or routine ultrasounds of breast tissue can be carried out as an annual check up.There is No Need to Give Chemotherapy/ Radiotherapy.A course of Antibiotics is all she needs after this Minor 'Surgery' on breast.Why do fibers collect in breast causing Fibroadenomas or in fibers collect in and around muscles of Uterus causing Fibroids? Okay why do people get Cataracts?There are No Answers yet.

Oral Cancer - Say No to Tobacco

Dr. Sumit Dubey, Dentist
As we all know because of best diagnostic tools and increased awareness of Cancer via government programme, initiative of Non government organization, individuals and also cancer survivors , we are able to control to some extent. But cancer still exists down the rural areas and many other remote areas. Just sharing few thoughts for the same. Take control by making healthy changes in your life such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular assessments. It's well recognized that your odds of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.Therefore if you’re nervous about cancer prevention, take comfort in the fact that some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. 1. Tobacco is strictly "NO" - Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, bladder, cervix and kidney - Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to second-hand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer - Avoiding tobacco — or deciding to stop using it — is one of the most important health decisions you can make. It’s also an important part of cancer prevention. If you need help quitting tobacco, ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and other strategies for quitting 2. A Healthy Diet is your "Best Friend" - Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans. - Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-fat foods, particularly those from animal sources. High-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and might increase the risk of overweight or obesity — which can, in turn, increase cancer risk. - Drink alcohol only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time and your frequency 3. Physical Activity is a "MUST" - Sustaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung etc - Physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer - For considerable health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine 4. Safeguard yourself from the "SUN" - Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. - When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-rimmed hat help, too. - Wear tightly woven, loose fitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton. - Always use sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and reapply often 5. Get "VACCINATED" - Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk adults — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids. - Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents 6. "AVOID" dangerous actions - Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung. HPV is most often associated with cervical cancer, but it might also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina. - Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help 7. Get regular "MEDICAL CHECK UP" - Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, prostate, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. - Ask your doctor about the best cancer-screening schedule for you. Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.

On World Cancer Day 2016: Let Us Understand Cancer Better!

Dr. Sahil Chheda, Dentist
World Cancer Day is celebrated annually on 4th of February to deepen our understanding of this killer disease. This year the campaign focuses on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration that is to reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer with the tagline, "Debunk the myths".There has been enough research to validate that food acts as the most promising ammunition to fight the battle against cancer. Keeping in with this year's campaign we bring to you six common queries.1) What is the most common cause of cancer?Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells. There are around 100 types of cancer. The most common types of cancer are - Men: Lung, esophagus, stomach, oral and pharyngeal cancers. Women: Cervix and breast cancers.Cancer has many possible causes, the prominent ones being -Genetics: Certain cancers run in families. For example, certain mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes greatly increase a person's risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.Smoking: Cigarette smoking accounts for around 30% of all cancer deaths. It is linked with increased risk of these cancers - lungs, larynx, oral cavity, nose and sinuses, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, bladder, ovary, colon, rectum and acute myeloid leukemia. Chewing of tobacco, a carcinogen, is linked to dental caries, gingivitis, oral leukoplakia, and oral cancer.Diet and Lifestyle: Research shows that a poor diet and not having an active lifestyle are the key factors that can increase a person's risk of developing cancer.Three things to keep in mind in order to stay cancer free:- Get to and stay at a healthy weight throughout your life.- Be physically active on a regular basis.- Make healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods.2) What are the foods that up the risk of developing cancer?Some cancers like that of the stomach have a more direct relationship with food. Foods which should be consumed in moderation to avoid the incidence of cancer are -Processed meats such as bacon, sausages, lunch meats and hot dogs.Choose fish, poultry, or beans instead of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb).If you eat red meat, choose lean cuts and eat smaller portions.Prepare meat, poultry, and fish by baking, broiling, or poaching rather than by frying or charbroiling.3) What are the preventive foods that guard against cancer?In accordance with the most common types of cancers that our country suffers from, the following foods can help:Oral Cancer: A diet rich in green and yellow vegetables and proper oral hygiene has been shown to offer protection against oral cancer.Breast Cancer: Reduction of high calorie foods, increased intake of fruits and vegetables and regular physical activity is preventive.Lung Cancer: Avoid tobacco and stay free from environmental pollutants. Increase intake of vegetables, fruits and beta carotene.Stomach Cancer: Diets high in fruits and vegetables particularly raw vegetables, citrus fruits, and possibly allium vegetables (onions, leeks, garlic etc.), foods with high levels of carotenoid, high vitamin C intake and consumption of green tea helps prevent stomach cancers.4) What foods help in healing cancer and how?Good nutrition is a key to good health. Foods which are rich in Vitamin C, Beta-carotene and Lycopene are known to protect DNA from damages. Research proves that these foods help in healing cancer -Apple: Apple contains quercetin, epicatechin, anthocyanins and triterpenoids which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to lower the risk of cancer specifically Colorectal cancers. The apple peel is the most nutritious as the majority of Quercetin (80%) is found in it. Other cancers in which apples are known to heal are lungs, breast and stomach.Blueberries: Blueberries have great antioxidant power, due to the presence of many phytochemicals and flavonoids like Anthocyanins, Ellagic acid and Urolithin. These are known to decrease free radical damage to DNA that leads to cancer. They also decrease the growth and stimulate self-destruction of mouth, breast, colon and prostate cancer cells.Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Green Cabbage, Cauliflower, White Turnip, Kale, Green Collard: The Glucosinolates present in them is converted into isothiocyanates and indoles on consumption, which decreases inflammation, one of the risk factors of cancer. Beta-carotene promotes cell communication that helps control abnormal cell growth.Cherries: Both sweet and tart cherries are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. The dark red color comes from anthocyanins, which are antioxidants.Cranberries: They are high on dietary fiber and vitamin C. They're very high in antioxidant power, most of which comes from phytochemicals like anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins and flavonols, ursolic acid, benzoic acid and hydroxycinnamic acid. Proanthocyanidins and ursolic acid decrease growth and increase self-destruction of several types of cancer in cell studies.Grapefruit: An 18th century hybrid of the pummelo and sweet orange. It is grown mainly in the Americas. Its name derives from the fruit's appearance as it grows: grape-like clusters on trees. Grapefruit contains these naringenin and other flavonoids like limonin and other limonoids, beta-carotene and lycopene (pink and red varieties). Foods containing lycopene lower the risk of prostate cancer.Green Tea: Since ancient times, tea has been used as both beverage and medicine. Both black and green teas contain numerous active ingredients, including polyphenols and flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants. One class of flavonoids called catechins has recently become the focus of widespread study for their anti-cancer potential. Tea is the best source of catechins in the human diet, and green tea contains about three times the quantity of catechins found in black tea. In laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in colon, liver, breast and prostate cells. Other studies involving green tea have shown similar protective effects in tissues of the lung, skin and digestive tract.Winter Squash/Pumpkins: They contain Alpha and Beta carotene which is converted to Vitamin A inside the body. The yellow pigmented lutein, zeaxanthin helps to filter high energy ultra violet rays that can damage our eye's lens and retina. Lab studies suggest that dietary intake decreases the chances of skin cancer related to exposure from sun. Walnuts: The major actives found in walnut are - Elligtannins, Gamma-tocopherol, Alpha-linolenic acid, phytosterols and Melatonin. Laboratory studies show that consuming walnuts helps in breast cancer, colon tumor and prostate cancer. The studies also show decreased damage to DNA by regular consumption of walnut.5) Do all chemicals, preservatives and additives in foods cause cancer?Additives serve a wide variety of uses. For example, preservatives protect foods against deterioration and prevent growth of fungi and bacteria. Other additives help improve the texture and consistency of foods, keep them flowing freely when poured, or prevent them from drying out. Flavourings restore taste losses or can enhance the flavour or aroma of food. Emulsifiers ensure that oil and water in foods do not separate. Some commonly used preservatives which are doubted to have a relation with cancer are - Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite.Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a phenolic antioxidant which prevents rancidity of fats and oils in food by protecting against lipid oxidation. High levels of BHA is found to create stomach tumor in laboratory animals. Some other chemicals which are found in canned foods and are known to perpetrate cancer are -Bisphenol A(BPA) can be found in reusable plastic food containers and the lining of food and beverage cans. Research shows that BPA exposure is linked to breast cancer, and has been shown to interfere with chemotherapy treatment for the disease.Phthalates can be found in some plastic food containers and are considered as endocrine disruptors. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.Some pesticides and herbicides used on foods we eat have been labeled as human or animal carcinogens.Zeranol: Commonly found in the beef industry processing, it mimics an estrogen like action in the body and has been found carcinogenic in laboratory animals. This chemical is banned by the European Union.Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is used to produce food packaging. It was one of the first chemicals designated as known human carcinogen and has been linked to increased mortality from breast cancer and liver cancer among workers involved in its manufacture.6) A lot is being talked about the Mediterranean diet and its anti-cancer properties. How helpful is the diet? The Mediterranean diet got popular in 1990's for its protective qualities against heart ailments. Later it was found to be effective for other lifestyle disorders and cancer. Instead of accepting all the dishes that are offered in the name of a Mediterranean diet we should look for some basic concepts for which this cuisine is revered. These are - good to control weight gain, bad cholesterol and blood sugar.A typical Mediterranean diet includes - abundant plant foods, fresh fruits, olive oil, cereals, wine, moderate consumption of fish, poultry and low amounts of red meat. The main benefit of this type of a diet is that it reduces inflammatory changes and oxidative stress in the body. By reducing inflammatory changes and delaying the age related changes in body it increases longevity and improves health. At least 7 types of cancers are related to obesity and in that context a Mediterranean diet helps to maintain a healthy glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. The biological mechanisms for cancer prevention associated with the Mediterranean diet have been related to the favourable effect of a balanced ratio of omega 6 and omega 3, essential fatty acids and high amounts of fibre, antioxidants and polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables, olive oil and wine.7) Five tips that one should follow for a healthy lifestyle.Include fibers in your diet for healthy bowel movements. Regular bowels are important for detoxification.Regular exercise is most important to boost immunity and avoid metabolic disorders like diabetes, hyper cholesterol, obesity, thyroid, hypertension etc. Yoga, pranayama are good for reducing stress, improving flexibility and correcting posture.Nuts provides a good source of energy and other nutrients which are helpful. They help in the reduction and maintenance of weight. Nuts are advisable for controlling bad cholesterol. Nuts like walnut, almonds and pistachios are good for diabetics, hypercholesterolemia.Intake of fruits and vegetables provides necessary antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These help to neutralize the oxidative stress in the body and avoid damages to DNA, ageing.Regular detox through green and herbal teas helps to maintain the balance in the body. Spa and Ayurveda therapies like body massages, shirodhara, chooran svedanam help to relax the body and mind. Lymphatic drainage therapy is also helpful to cleanse channels and get rid of toxins from the lymphatic system.