India has the third-highest number of cancer cases in the world and it is estimated that 14 lakh new cancer cases were detected in 2020. These alarming statistics also suggest that 1 in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 15 will die of the disease. Adequate awareness and timely intervention is the need of the hour to help prevent deaths by cancer.

The Disease ‘cancer’ is generally associated with a sense of helplessness, frustration and fear of death. One of the important reasons for this is the misconception that cancer is incurable. While this may be true for certain cancers detected in advanced stages (Stage IV), those diagnosed in early stages and a few cancers even in advanced stages have a fairly good chance of survival. The incidence of cancer is on the rise due to a combination of factors such as changing lifestyles, dietary habits, lack of physical activity and increasing life expectancy. Tobacco abuse, in any form, is the most important cause and risk factor for many cancers – but importantly for cancer of the oral cavity, voice box, lungs and food pipe. Let us work together to strive for a cancer-free world with preventive measures, regular screening, and prompt and advanced cancer treatment.

Symptoms of Cancer
An early diagnosis is as important as prevention to get the best outcomes in cancer treatment. Being aware about cancer in is key to early diagnosis. Here are some of the warning signs of cancer that need further medical attention:

  • Cough or hoarseness that doesn’t go away
  • Blood in sputum, stools or urine
  • Inter menstrual and post menopausal bleeding
  • Lump in breast
  • Unusual lumps anywhere in the body that increase in size
  • Non-healing wound
  • Bleeding from gums
  • Frequent fever or infections
  • Excessive weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Intense and recurrent pain

Risk factors of Cancer
A cancer risk factor highly increases a person’s chance of getting cancer. It is important to know your risk factors and speak to your family doctor about them. General risk factors for cancer include:

  • Family history
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol
  • Using tobacco
  • Certain viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Exposure to radiation or chemicals

Prevention of Cancer

At least one-third of the world’s cancer cases are preventable, make the right lifestyle choices to help reduce your risk of getting cancer:

  • Avoid use of all forms of tobacco
  • Say “No” to alcohol
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight
  • Protect your skin from ultraviolet rays
  • Get vaccinated against preventable infections
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and whole grains
  • Get regular health checkups

Screening  of Cancer
Regular cancer screening is advocated for early diagnosis and reducing the deaths from cancer in the following circumstances:

  • Breast cancer screening with monthly breast self examination, annual physical examination by a nurse or a physician and sono mammography after age of 45 years
  • Colonoscopy in people who are at high risk of cancer of large intestine
  • Low dose CT scan for smokers
  • Serum PSA for prostate cancer after crossing 50 years, post discussion with your urologist

Cancer treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
Highly trained oncologists at our Centre for Cancer help facilitate comprehensive cancer care using the most advanced technology. The team offers multidisciplinary care that includes screening, diagnosis, and treatment for cancer patients. It is our continued endeavour to ensure that each and every Indian has access to affordable and world-class cancer care.

To take the fight against cancer to the interiors of the country, Kokilaben Hospital has started Cancer care centres across Maharashtra under Reliance Hospital Cancer Care Centres and we plan to establish 18 cancer care centres across Maharashtra. The Akola, Gondia, and Solapur Reliance Cancer centres are now open and are equipped with the advanced TrueBeam® radiation therapy system.

The Centre for Cancer at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital offers a range of treatment options that include chemotherapy, radiation oncology, surgery, precision oncology, bone marrow transplant, robotic surgery, pain and palliative care as well as rehabilitation care. The team of experts has successfully performed over 12,298 complex cancer surgeries, 642 + complex surgeries for gynaecologic cancers as well as over 2199 breast cancer surgeries in the past. We also offer precision oncology that provides customized cancer care like never before. Our Centre for Cancer is well-equipped with state-of-the-art technology that includes:

  • Day care chemo suites
  • EDGE Radiosurgery system – Asia’s first equipment which enables precise, non-invasive treatments to help patients heal faster.
  • We are the first hospital in India to have Novalis TX machine, which performs high precision surgeries to remove deep-seated tumours.
  • We have the first Trilogy (linear accelerator) in India, which is capable of performing on-board CT scan, KV and MV imaging.

February 4th is marked as World Cancer Day, let us raise the awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.  If you or a loved one are a cancer fighter, do know that you are not alone in your fight! If you have any questions or need any assistance regarding cancer do visit: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/landingpage/cancer-mumbai/

About the Author:
Dr. Rajesh Mistry is Director, Oncology at Kokilaben Hospital specializing in Esophageal surgery: VATS and Robotic; Pulmonary surgery (Malignant and Benign): VATS and Robotic; Cancer of Thymus and other mediastinal masses; Chest wall tumours; Gastric Cancer; Head Neck Oncology. He holds a Fellowship in esophageal surgery at Toranomon Hospital, Tokyo under mentorship of Prof. H Akiyama. Find out more by visiting: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/professionals/rajeshmistry.html

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