Archive for March, 2021

Kidney Cancer: Myths and Facts

Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

In India, the estimated incidence of kidney cancer is around 2/100,000 people (males) and approximately 1/100,000 people (females). Kidney cancer treatment options vary depending on the severity of cancer present, the size, and location of the tumour. Dr. Santosh S. Waigankar – Consultant, Urologic Oncology & Robotic Surgery shares some of the common myths and facts concerning kidney cancers and their various aspects:

Myth: Kidney cancer primarily affects young people.
Fact: Not entirely a myth. Some cancers do disproportionally affect younger people, but, kidney cancer is not one of them. The average age of diagnosis being 64. Thought present Indian study suggests more prevalence in the younger population with one-third being less than 50years of age. Having said that changing lifestyle and food habits, more executive health check-ups lead to diagnosis of kidney cancers at an early stage and in younger generations. Familial cancers are a rare entity where early age could be affected.

Myth: Kidney cancer is rare.
Fact: Kidney cancer is one of the ten most common cancers in both men and women. Early cancers are picked up by the increase in the health check-ups done annually.

Myth: Smoking does not contribute to Kidney cancer.
Fact: In fact – smoking doubles the risk of developing kidney cancer – and is believed to cause about 30% of kidney cancers in men and about 25% in women.

Myth: Women are at higher risk of developing kidney cancer.
Fact: Kidney cancer is about twice as common in men as in women. Why? Increased smoking and exposure to cancer-causing toxins at the workplace may account for much of the difference.

Myth: Blood in the urine is a sure indication of kidney cancer.
Fact: Blood-coloured or burgundy urine can be a symptom of kidney cancer – but it can also be a sign of noncancerous conditions like a urinary tract infection (UTI). The underlying message is that it should not be overlooked or neglected. However, while red-coloured urine should never be ignored simultaneously, do not think it means cancer always.

Myth: Your kidneys are fine if you have no obvious discomfort like difficulty urinating.
Fact: Lack of external symptoms does not mean that a person does not have kidney disease. Why? Because kidney conditions typically do not present any symptoms until they have progressed to an advanced stage. If you do have symptoms – be sure to consult a doctor or healthcare provider.

Myth: Kidney cancers are not curable
Fact: With the available diagnostic modalities, kidney cancer can be picked up at an early stage, and kidney-sparing surgeries can be offered. This can help a patient avoid losing his kidney and have a near-normal life with regular follow-up.

Myth: Kidney cancer amounts to the removal of the entire kidney always.
Fact: No. With a better understanding of the disease process and newer technology, entire kidney need not be removed. Only the tumour is removed, and the kidney remains in the body. This is called kidney-sparing surgery.

Myth: Kidney cancer can’t be diagnosed early.
Fact: With increasing health awareness and people resorting to annual check-ups, kidney cancers can be picked by even routine ultrasound and urine tests. Early diagnosis leads to earlier treatment and prolonged life for the patient. Everyone needs to vigilant.

Myth: Kidney cancers are not hereditary.
Fact: Meagre percentage of kidney cancers can be familial (2-3%). Patients with a family history of kidney cancers should be vigilant and seek advice from their physician.

Myth: Robotic surgery in kidney cancer has no advantages.
Fact: Robotic platform provides increased magnification and dexterity to a surgeon in performing kidney surgeries, especially kidney-sparing surgeries. The 10x magnification improves accuracy & precision of surgery, amounting to lesser blood loss, early return to routine work/job, and better cancer outcomes for the patients in the long term.

Myth: Robotic surgery is costly as compared to laparoscopic or open surgery.
Fact: The IRDAI, India’s insurance regulatory authority, has approved the inclusion of robotic surgery in insurance coverage. Maximum people can take advantage of this technology which is already established in the world around. Moreover, when we compare surgery costs, we do not consider the costs that the patient faces for being hospitalized for a long time after an open surgery or the costs due to late return to the job, which we call disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

Myth: Kidney cancer patients should refrain from taking the flu vaccine.
Fact: Patients with kidney cancer should receive the influenza vaccine, whichever is recommended as per their national guidelines. Many of our patients with kidney cancer are receiving targeted treatments or immunotherapies and they tolerate the influenza vaccine well without having any complications. But, as always, they should follow the advice of their treating physician.

Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
Avail of world-class technology and surgical expertise in treating even the most complex cases of kidney cancer at our Centre for Cancer. Since kidney cancer needs a multidisciplinary team approach, we have a tumour board made up of uro-oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, oncopathologists, and radiologists who make decisions based on international guidelines. The uro-oncology service of the Centre for Cancer has performed over 250 kidney cancer surgeries in the past and now is also equipped with the Da Vinci Robotic System. For further information please visit:

About the Author:
Dr. Santosh S. Waigankar is a Consultant, Urologic Oncology & Robotic Surgery at Kokilaben Hospital specializing in Open/Laparoscopic and Robotic Urooncological Surgeries. He is board certified in Genitourinary Surgery and is the 1st Vattikuti Fellow in Robotic Urooncology in India. Find out more by visiting:

Tuberculosis (TB) – Awareness & Management

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

India accounts for about a quarter of the global TB burden, which is about 2.6 million cases out of 10 million cases worldwide. Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that usually attacks your lungs but can also spread to other parts of your body, like your brain and spine. A person with infectious tuberculosis can infect up to 10–15 other people per year. But with timely diagnosis and treatment, most of these patients are no longer infectious after just two weeks of taking the medication. Removing the stigma around TB, increasing the awareness and seeking timely medical help will help fight the TB battle in India.

Stages of TB

When exposed to the tuberculosis bacteria in your body, it goes through the below stages:

  • Latent TB – Your body contains the TB germs, but your immune system prevents them from spreading. You’re not infectious and don’t have any symptoms. However, the virus is still alive and could resurface at any time.
  • Active TB – The TB germs multiply and make you sick and you can also spread the disease to others. Ninety percent of active cases in adults come from a latent TB infection.

Signs and symptoms of TB

When you are suffering from latent TB, it does not show any symptoms. A skin or blood test can help detect latent TB. Here are a few signs of active TB disease:

  • A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Night sweats
  • Fever and chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

If you have any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor to get yourself tested.

Risk factors of TB

People with impaired or immature immune systems, such as those infected with HIV, the elderly, or those with existing medical conditions have a higher risk of getting TB. Here are some other situations that increase your TB risk:

  • A friend, colleague, or family member has active TB
  • You live in or have travelled to an area where TB is common
  • You are a healthcare worker
  • Use of cigarettes

How does TB spread?

When someone who has active TB coughs, sneezes, talks, laughs, or sings, they release tiny droplets that contain the germs. If you breathe in these germs, you can get infected with it. This airborne disease is contagious and you are more likely to get it from co-workers, friends, and family members. However, the germs do not thrive on surfaces and you cannot get it from shaking hands with someone who has it or by sharing their food or drink. 

Complications of TB

Without treatment, tuberculosis can be fatal. Untreated active disease typically affects your lungs, but it can also spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream over a period of time. Examples of tuberculosis complications include:

  • Spinal pain
  • Joint damage
  • Meningitis
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Heart disorders

Preventive measures – TB infection

If you test positive for latent TB infection, your doctor may advise you to take medications to reduce your risk of developing active tuberculosis. The only type of tuberculosis that is contagious is the active variety. Take all the precautions as suggested by your doctor to prevent your latent tuberculosis from becoming active. Here are some additional recommendations:

1. Protect your family and friends

  • Stay at home and isolate yourself from others
  • Ventilate the room
  • Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing
  • Wear a mask when you are around people

2. Finish your entire course of medication

This is the most important step you can take to protect yourself and others from tuberculosis. When you stop treatment early or skip doses, TB bacteria have a chance to develop mutations and turn into drug-resistant TB that is deadly and difficult to treat.

3. Vaccination

The BCG vaccine is given to infants to protect them from tuberculosis. Ensure that your child is immunized against TB.

Tuberculosis Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Early detection and treatment is the key to controlling the spread of TB. We help patients in the diagnosis and testing of both active and inactive TB. The Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital provides state-of-the-art care for all respiratory diseases. The team is equipped with advanced infrastructure and world-class service in the diagnosis and management of tuberculosis. Our dedicated team guides patients through the various stages of TB and ensures a successful treatment. For more information please visit our website:

Protect your Kidneys

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021

Kidneys are incredible organs that keep you safe by filtering chemicals, waste products, and excess water from your body. India sees over 100,000 patients diagnosed with End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) every year. Also called kidney failure, patients with this condition require dialysis or a transplant to survive and perform regular functions of the body. The most common causes of kidney disease in India in both men and women are diabetes and hypertension. Early detection and treatment of these conditions are essential for maintaining good kidney health. Be proactive about your kidney health, lead a healthy life and be regular with your health checkups.

Your kidneys are fist-sized organs located at the bottom of your rib cage, on both sides of your spine. They serve a variety of purposes apart from filtering waste and making urine. Your kidneys also regulate the pH, salt, and potassium levels in your body and regulate various hormones. They are also responsible for activating a form of vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium for building bones and regulating muscle function.

Common Kidney Diseases

In India one in ten people have some form of chronic kidney disease. This disorder, where the kidney suffers irreversible damage, has become closely linked with lifestyle-related disorders. Diabetes and hypertension are responsible for more than 60 percent of cases of chronic kidney disease. Here is the list of some common kidney ailments:

  • Acute kidney injury
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Inherited / congenital diseases

Kidney disease starts silently and progresses slowly over a number of years. Chronic Kidney Disease is divided into 5 stages depending on the degree of the residual renal function. The outcomes and complications worsen as one progresses from stage 1 to stage 5. Timely treatment helps prevent further damage to the kidneys and slows or halts the progression of the disease.

Signs of Kidney Disease

Maintaining kidney health is important to your overall health and general well-being. Here are some symptoms of a kidney disease that need further investigation:

  • Feeling tired, having trouble concentrating
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Frequent urination
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Seeing blood in urine
  • Foamy urine
  • Puffy eyes and swollen ankles and feet
  • Poor appetite
  • Muscles cramps

Risk of kidney disease

Knowing if you are at risk for kidney disease is the first step to a healthier life. Find out if you are at risk and work with your doctor to take preventive action. Some of them include:

  • Diabetes or Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of kidney failure, diabetes, or high blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Age 60 or older
  • Low birth weight
  • Prolonged use of certain painkillers
  • Certain autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic urinary tract infections
  • Kidney stones

How to keep your kidneys healthy?

Undiagnosed and undetected kidney disease may cause health complications like high blood pressure, anaemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health, and nerve damage. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. Follow these simple health tips every day to keep your kidneys healthy:

1. Stay active

2. Control your blood sugar

3. Monitor blood pressure

4. Monitor your weight

5. Drink plenty of fluids

6. Don’t smoke

7. Eat a healthy diet

8. Have your kidney function tested if you’re at high risk

9. Use herbal supplements with caution

10. Don’t overdo over the counter medicines

Kidney disease treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Specialists at our Department of Nephrology offer comprehensive services to diagnose and treat various kidney disorders. We have Mumbai’s largest dialysis unit, which is equipped with 42 machines and the most advanced technology to support all types of dialysis. We understand the nuances of kidney disease and our Department of Nephrology is equipped to handle critical cases too. Early detection and appropriate treatment are important in slowing the disease process, with the goal of preventing or delaying kidney failure. Our Centre for Transplant has a dedicated kidney team that uses cutting-edge procedures and is backed by a team of highly trained nurses who provide compassionate post-transplant care. The team has successfully performed over 130 kidney transplants in the past. For more information please visit:

Celebrating Women with a focus of their health!

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Women’s health is one of the most important parameters which reflect the standard of the health care system of a society. Health is a complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of a disease or infirmity. Research suggests that even though two-thirds (63%) of women participate in household decisions, their access to healthcare is limited till pregnancy. Choose to challenge this women’s day and inspire those around you too. Make your health a priority, spread awareness about women’s diseases and take preventive actions.

Common Diseases in Indian women

Women’s health involves a variety of gender-specific issues, like estrogen production, mental health, sexual health and fertility concerns. Women go through dramatic mental and physical changes as their reproductive systems go through major changes. Here are the most common diseases seen in women:

  • Breast Cancer – One woman is diagnosed with cancer every 4 minutes in India
  • Stroke – Indian women are prone to suffer from a stroke than men
  • PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) – One in every 10 women in India suffers from this disease
  • Weight Gain – 1 in 5 Indian women are overweight
  • Depression – Depression is almost twice as likely to affect women than men due to various factors like reproductive hormones and social pressures
  • Osteoporosis – Over 5 crore Indian women suffer from this disease
  • Diabetes – Women with diabetes are at an increased risk of death
  • Heart disease – More women die of heart disease compared to men

Preventive Healthcare for women
From hormonal ups and downs to childbirth and menopause, women’s bodies go through a lot over the years. Today’s fast-paced lifestyles make it difficult to lead healthy lives that includes regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. It is highly recommended that women undertake an annual health checkups to help detect potential health problems early. Some of the routine medical tests especially for women include:

  • Pelvic examination – This is recommended for women over 30 years of age or who are sexually active. Your gynaecologist conducts a routine examination and also a pap smear test that helps detect cervical cancer.
  • Breast checkup – This is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in India despite being easily identifiable. Regular mammograms as informed by your doctor and monthly self-checks help diagnose breast cancer early when maximum recovery is possible. Examine your breasts for pain, tenderness, lump, thickening, or any discharge. Talk to your doctor if you spot anything unusual.
  • Bone density test – Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease in which essential minerals such as calcium are lost, leaving the bones fragile and brittle. This test helps find out your bone strength.
  • Thyroid test – A imbalance in thyroid levels can create havoc in your life and may cause weight loss, weight gain, hair loss, mood swings or fatigue. Get your thyroid levels checked.
  • Diabetes screening – Diabetes has a tremendous impact on a woman’s health and has severe long-term complications especially if you are pregnant. Be regular with your blood sugar checkups.
  • Vitamin D test – A majority of Indian women are deficient in this key nutrient that can adversely affect your bone health. Speak to your doctor about your vitamin D levels and take a supplement if required.
  • Cardiac health – Did you know? The symptoms of heart disease also differ from men to women. Get your cardiac check-up done if you have a family history of hypertension, heart disease or if you’re overweight, or if you are a smoker.

Health tips for women

Balancing the demands of a job, family, and can be exhausting for women. Every woman must prioritize her health as she progresses through life’s milestones. Here are some daily health tips to incorporate in your life:

  • Don’t skip meals
  • Make time for exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Be regular with health checkups
  • Stay hydrated
  • Meditate daily
  • Keep stress away
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay away from alcohol
  • Talk with your loved ones

Women’s Healthcare at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
At Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, located in Andheri West, Mumbai, we offer an entire gamut of services that a woman might require through her life. Our Centre for Mother and Child, offers services from conception, through to pre-pregnancy care and world class specialists to help you deliver your child. Our world class NICUs and PICUs along with specially trained pediatricians help you with your growing child’s needs. KDAH’s Centre for Bone and Joint and Cancer offers women of all ages the services they need to ensure that they are in the best of health. For more information please visit: