What is cancer?
Cancer is an abnormal growth of a body cell or group of cells. If it is not destroyed or removed, cancer can spread very rapidly, and eventually lead to death.
What is the difference between normal and cancerous growth?
There are billions of cells in the human body. Normally, they grow in a well - regulated pattern. When cancer sets in, a group of cells suddenly start multiplying haphazardly and form a lump or “Tumour”.
How many kind of tumours are there?
There are two kind of tumours – Malignant & Benign. A benign tumour is more common, and is generally harmless; it doesn’t spread to other parts of body. A malignant tumour on the other hand, never stops growing unless & until treated and can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer is the name given to a malignant growth.
Is Cancer contagious or infectious?
No. Since cancer is not caused by a germ, it is not “catching”, and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
How does Cancer spread?
Cancer spreads in 3 ways
- Cancer cells grow through the walls of blood vessels and are carried by the blood stream to other parts of the body.
- They enter the lymphatic stream and are carried to the lymph glands.
- They grow directly in contiguity from one tissue to another.
How fast does cancer grow?
There is no definite rate of growth of cancer tissue. Some cancers grow fast and some are slow growing. For example it takes 2 to 5 years for breast cancer to develop to 1 cm. This is the window period of screening when cancer can be picked up early.Is cancer a single disease?
No. The term “cancer” includes all forms of malignant growths. Very many varieties are known. These have certain characteristics in common, such as uncontrolled growth, a tendency to spread widely in the body and fatal termination if not treated early and adequately. They differ in certain characteristics, such as location in the body, microscopic appearance, and response to treatment.
How can you tell if you have cancer?
There are 7 early warning signals. But the real tragedy about cancer is that it produces very minor symptoms at first. So you could have cancer and not know it. The best way to detect cancer is to have a regular yearly check-up.How does a doctor tell if growth is cancerous?
By performing a biopsy or FNAC i.e. examining a small portion of the tissue under a microscope. In advanced cases, physical examination alone may reveal the diagnosis. But the chances of cure at late stage are very poor.Are cancer and leprosy related?
No. Leprosy is caused by a germ. Both the symptoms and the treatment for the two diseases are entirely different.
Is cancer a modern disease?
As long ago as 3,000 BBC., Egyptian historians made references to “tumours and ulcers”. Mummies from the Gizeb Pyramids were found to have cancer involving the bones. But the incidence of cancer is increasing. It is related to our life styles and urbanization i.e. tobacco, alcohol use, pollution, preserved and junk food etc. it is becoming a disease of modernization.
Are some people more prone to certain types of cancer?
Yes. Your life - style may make you more prone to some cancers e.g. cancers of the colon, lung and skin are common in Britain and U.S.A. Cancers involving the oral cavity are more common in India. In women, cancer of the breast, uterus and gall bladder are common.What are your chances of getting cancer?
One out of every 12 Indians develops cancer in their lifetime. There are about 10 lakh new cancer patients every year in India. Though cancer can occur at any age, the incidence is high after the age of 40 to 45 years.
WHAT CAUSES IT:
What causes cancer?
Though, it is very difficult to pinpoint the definite cause. Certain substances, known as carcinogens, can definitely increase your chances of getting cancer. For instance, people who smoke or chew tobacco are more prone to mouth, throat and lung cancer. Contrary to popular opinion, beedi smoking is twice as dangerous as cigarettes.
Continued irritation of tissues can lead to cancer. Pollution, preserved food, smoked and junk food are also contributory. Even certain viruses can cause cancer (EBV, Hepatitis B, HPV). Amongst other known causes are asbestos, arsenic, tar, ultra-violet rays. Cancer is a life style disease.
Is cancer caused by a germ?
There is no scientific evidence that cancer is directly caused by a germ. Although certain viruses are known to cause cancer but they form < 5% of the cancer burden.
Does cancer come from a single bruise?
No. A single injury to soft tissue or bone does not give rise to cancer. Injury may bring tumor into notice of patient.What is the relation of food to cancer?
High fat, low roughage, western diet predisposes to colon cancer. Diet rich in animal fats also contributes to breast cancer. Green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits contain certain antioxidants which prevent cancer. Recently, tomato, ginger and cabbage etc. have been found to have medicinal antioxidant property. Avoid junk food, smoked food and preserved food. Be vegetarian and prevent cancer!
Does eating hot food cause cancer?
There is little evidence that the temperature of food is an important factor in development of cancer. But recently, too hot food has been correlated with food pipe cancer. Too spicy food may be related to stomach cancer as is evident from its high incidence in Southern parts of India.
Does the use of alcohol bear any relation to cancer?
Alcohol is a predisposing factor for the development of cancer of oesophagus, laryngopharynx and liver.
Is cancer hereditary?
There are probably inherited tendencies that may lead to cancers of different types. The presence of cancer in one or both parents should be a cause for greater alertness in looking for and recognizing suspicious symptoms in the individual. Cancer however is not inherited, except for one type of eye cancer known as Retinoblastoma. Only 5% of breast cancers are considered hereditary.
Can cancer be transmitted by kissing or casual contact between person or between persons and animals?
No. There is no record of cancer having been transmitted by kissing or by any contact, accidental or otherwise, between individuals or between person and animals.Do corns become cancerous?
Cancer may occur in any tissue to the body, but a corn does not as a rule, develop into cancer.
Do freckles turn into cancer?
Simple freckles do not. However, flat moles containing pigment of a bluish-black colour and looking like dark freckles, may become cancerous and should be checked periodically.
Do piles turn into cancer?
No. Piles or hemorrhoids are merely enlarged veins in the rectal wall. Cancer is occasionally found in the tissue above the hemorrhoids. So “bleeding piles” should be examined carefully to determine whether cancer is also present. Rectal bleeding can occur due to cancer.
Can one’s mental condition influence the course of cancer?
Cancer is a disease of body cells. One’s mental condition has no direct effect on the course of the disease since this malignant change is apparently due to physical process. But positive attitudes, fighting spirits and healthy thinking helps you to cope with cancer better. So, it has an indirect bearing on response to cancer treatment.
Does radiation cause cancer?
Do cell phones cause cancer?
Indiscriminate use of X-rays frequently may increase your chances of getting cancer. Lately, there are certain reports quoting higher incidence of Leukemia and Brain Tumours in persons using Cell phone. But this needs further research.
DEFENCE MEASURES CALLED FOR:
How can one guard against cancer?
Prevention is better than cure. More than half of the cancers are preventable! Avoid smoking and tobacco chewing in any form. Alcohol should only be taken in moderation. It is better avoided. Take low fat, vegetarian diet. Avoid ill fitting dentures. Report to doctor immediately, if you notice any of seven warning signals.
What is meant by a “precancerous lesion”?
Any abnormal condition that, if permitted to continue, may develop into cancer with passage of time. Cancer does not form in day’s or week’s time. It takes many years to develop. It passes through many stages normal cell, abnormal cell, Precancerous lesion, Frank cancer, Metastasis. Detection of precancerous lesion and appropriate treatment can prevent frank cancer.
What are some of the more important precancerous lesions?
White spots on mucous (lining) membranes, especially of the mouth; non healing sores caused by jagged teeth and ill fitting dental plates; dark coloured moles which itch or bleed. These should all be investigated by a physician and adequately treated. Sub mucous fibrosis with inability to open mouth, polyps in large intestine Barret’s oesophagus associated with reflux oesophagitis are some of the conditions which should alarm the patient and physician. These require careful monitoring.
What precautions should be taken to avoid cancer of the mouth?
Cancer of mouth is a largely preventable disease. Avoid use of tobacco in any form (pan parag, pan masala, gutaka etc.) Any sore in mouth which does not heal in three weeks time should be examined by doctor and if required biopsied. Keep the mouth clean. Have jagged teeth filed or removed. Do not use an ill-fitting dental plate, which causes a sore on the gums or cheek. If white spots appear in the mouth or on the tongue, stop the use of tobacco and see a doctor.
What precautions should be taken to avoid cancer of the skin?
Dark coloured moles and warts, which become itchy or bleed or ulcerate should be removed. Fair-skinned people should avoid overexposure to direct sun rays. Recurrent blisters on the lip should be carefully examined. Skin should always be kept clean.Should all moles be removed?
No. A flat colourless mole is probably as harmless as a freckle. Bluish-black hairless moles, especially when subjected to irritation, should be removed. Any mole or wart showing changes in size or colour or bleeding should be promptly and completely removed and the tissue examined by a pathologist to determine if cancer is present.
Can immunity to cancer be acquired as with diphtheria or typhoid fever?
Production of immunity is possible only in diseases caused by germs. As cancer is not caused by germs, immunity cannot be developed against it. But scientists are exploring possibilities of vaccines for cancer. Vaccines are available against viruses like human papilloma virus, E.B.V. and hepatitis B Virus which will decrease incidence of cancer.
Why do many people wait before consulting a physician when cancer may be present or suspected?
Primarily because of fear. Ignorance of the signs of cancer and the vital importance of early treatment also play a role. Some people also think there is a social disgrace in having cancer and so hide the fact from their physicians and often from friends and relatives. This is not a justifiable attitude.
Can a tuberculosis person ever have cancer?
He can. The presence of tuberculosis or any other disease gives no assurance that cancer will not develop.
Why don’t the white corpuscles in the blood kill cancer?
The chief function of white blood corpuscles is to protect the body against bacteria or germs. They kill germs and combat infection. Current research is being undertaken to promote such activity by certain kinds of while blood corpuscles. But cancer cells escape immune surveillance and defense mechanisms of body.
How can we control cancer?
HOW TO DETECT IT:
- By a prompt visit to a physician when suspicious signs or symptoms appear. Intelligent alertness by the individual may well save his life.
- By having complete annual physical examination as a routine. Women over 40 should be examined once a year.
- By confirming diagnosis at the earliest possible moment, followed by adequate treatment.
- By a widespread knowledge, both lay man and professional, of the character of cancer, its causes, methods of spread, and by recognizing the value of early diagnosis and adequate treatment as the means of protection.
- Most important is prevention of cancer by change of lifestyles.
How can you tell if you have cancer without seeing a doctor?
You can only suspect. A regular thorough physical check-up is your best guard against cancer, plus an examination when one of the seven danger signals or warnings appears. You are the first line of defense against cancer because, you alone, can recognize a danger signal.What are some of the early signs of cancer?
There are seven common ones. They are often called the Seven Danger Signals of Cancer.
- Change in bowel or bladder habits
- A sore that does not heal
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere
- Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
- Obvious change in wart or mole
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
You should at once consult a doctor upon the appearance of any sign.Is pain an early symptom of cancer?
No. Except in a cancer involving bone or nerve tissue. Pain usually is a late symptom and when it occurs, the growth is often far advanced.
Why should cancer be diagnosed and treated early?
The sooner it is found it is less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. Early cancer can be cured.
How long it is safe to wait before consulting a physician?
Any delay is dangerous. Go at once to a doctor and ask for a thorough examination.
Why are periodic examinations necessary?
The earlier a cancer is treated the greater are the chances of a cure. Thorough periodic examination may detect cancer in its early stages before the individual has noticed any sign or symptom in himself.Where can you get a Cancer check-up?
RGCI & RC has all screening facilities. Any individual with or without warning signals can come for check-up. Indian cancer society also runs several check-up clinics.
What comprises a thorough cancer check-up?
Thorough cancer check-up means examination of all accessible body parts like head and neck, oral cavity, chest, abdomen, breast, vaginal and rectal examination. Cancer screening at RGCI & RC also includes certain blood tests, X-ray chest, US whole abdomen, mammogram, pap’s smear, sputum exam and PSA (for prostate). Clinical examination and all investigations are done at nominal rates.
Is the check-up painful?
The check-up takes only an hour and is completely painless. You may phone and get an appointment. Please come empty stomach to preventive health check-up clinic in forenoon of any working day.
What is mammography?
Mammography is a special X-Ray examination of the breast tissues. It is a quite sensitive test to pick up early lesions of the breast.
What is a pap smear?
The Papanicolaou test, (or Pap smear) is in fact a microscopic examination of the cells exfoliated from the uterus and cervix. The doctor takes a swab from the tissue surface for examination. This test warns patients of the presence of early pre-cancerous lesion.
Is bleeding always a sign of cancer?
No. Bleeding should be promptly and carefully investigated, to determine if it is due to cancer. A small percentage of patients with blood stained discharge from nipple have cancer. Bleeding from other body openings, such as rectum or bladder, should be carefully investigated to rule out cancer. Unnatural vaginal bleeding, especially after the age of 50 can be suspicious of cancer.
Does blood in stool indicate cancer?
Stool streaked with bright blood or the occurrence of black or “tarry” stools should lead to prompt and thorough investigation. The assumption that rectal bleeding is merely due to hemorrhoids, or piles, is most dangerous, since such bleeding may be due to multiple causes, including cancer.
Does blood in the urine indicate cancer?
It may. But it may also be caused by conditions other than cancer. A careful examination is essential to rule out cancer.
Is it true that cancer generally develops among people in poor health?
There is no known relation between the status of one’s health and the development of cancer. Poor genital hygiene and poor oral hygiene may be contributory factor in cancer causation.
How can we diagnose cancer of the stomach?
Upper GI endoscopy is the best investigation for diagnosing stomach cancer. A flexible tube (Endoscope) is passed through mouth and introduced into food pipe and stomach for telescopic visualization. Biopsy can be taken if any lesion is found in stomach or food pipe.
How are cancers in the head and neck region diagnosed?
Cancers in the head and neck region can be diagnosed by simple clinical examination which includes visualization of oral cavity and voice box with the help of head light and mirror. Any growth, ulcer or which patch is biopsied to confirm the clinical diagnosis. This is then reported by an experienced Histo-pathologist in the laboratory. In India more than 35% of male cancers arise in mouth and throat.
What techniques are used to detect cancer?
There is no substitute to good clinical examination. Ultrasound, X-Rays, CT, Scan, MRI & Mammography are some of the diagnostic imaging tools. Various blood tests (PSA, AFP) and endoscopic procedures are also available to clinch the diagnosis. Cytology (FNAC) or Biopsy of lesion is desirable to confirm the diagnosis before starting any treatment.
Are the latest diagnostic techniques available in RGCI & RC?
Yes. Latest diagnostic modalities like MRI and guided biopsy, PET - CT Scan, interventional radiology, immunohistochemistry, tumour markers, different types of nuclear scans are available at RGCI & RC. You don’t need to go anywhere outside the institute for any investigation. We have tele-link facility available with Samjhana Laboratories in Kathmandu where tele-pathology, tele-radiology and tele-consultation is readily available. Contact in Kathmandu for tele-consultation:Mr. Urdeep Samjhana Laboratory - 9841346006
Dr. Sudip Shrestha - 9851041004
HOW TO TREAT IT:
How should cancer be treated?
By surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or a combination of all these. All these methods are available in India at various Hospitals. RGCI & RC provides all diagnostic and treatment facilities under one roof. The emphasis on cancer treatment should be on multimodal management.
Are radiation treatments good for all kinds of cancer?
No. Treatment depends on type and location of the growth. Some cancers will not respond to radiation treatment but must be treated by surgery or with hormones and chemotherapy.
How does Radiation act?
Radiation destroys dividing cells including cancer cells. Normal cells are also damaged. But now sophisticated machines are available which spare normal tissues and destroy cancer tissue with precision.
What is Internal Radiation?
Wires or tubes containing radioactive material are inserted into the cancer growth or in the tissue surrounding it, and removed after treatment is concluded. Radio-active material in suitable containers may also be placed in contact with the growth as in cancer cervix.
Now a day’s endo-luminal RT is also available for cancer of tubular structures like bronchus.
How effective is Surgery?
Surgery is most effective in the early stages when cancer has not yet spread. Major advances in reconstructive surgery and anesthesiology have ensured a very high degree of success. Surgery is also done in most advanced solid tumours which are resectable. But it is combination of various treatment modalities which are used in advanced cases.What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy implies treatment with anti-cancer drugs and injections. Today we have a large number of highly effective drugs for cancer control.
Can the spread of cancer be stopped or retarded temporarily?
At times only. Certain types of cancerous growths, which cannot be expected to be curable, may be controlled temporarily by CT/Hormones/RT. Sooner or later, however, these growths fail to respond to further treatment.
What should you do if you think you may have cancer?
Report at once for a thorough examination by the Cancer Specialist.Is cancer curable?
More than 80% of early cancers today are curable if treated early. At times, however, cures have been obtained after the cancers have been present for a long time. The type of cancer and stage of cancer have an important bearing on its curability.
Is it ever possible to state that a cancer has been completely cured. If so, how much time must pass before the “cure” is recognized?
After a cancer patient has been treated and has remained free of recurrence of disease for a period of five years, the chances for re-appearance of the tumour are small. Occasionally cancer recurs ten or twenty years later. So, a lifelong follow up is a must for cancer patients to detect recurrence of disease as well as to detect other cancers.
If you have been cured of cancer, can you develop another cancer?
In the same place?
In some other part of the body?
Yes. Regardless of a patient’s past medical history including the successful treatment of a previous cancer, he/she should be examined at regular intervals. Because of the tendency for cancer to re-appear at the place of a previously existing growth or nearby, a patient should have a regular follow up as advised by the Doctor. A new cancer may also appear at another part of the body.
Is there any known vaccine cure for cancer?
No. Till today there is no vaccine cure for cancer. But vaccines against certain viruses like Hepatitis B Virus, HPV may reduce the chances of cancer occurrence.
What are side effects of Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy causes temporary side effects like nausea, vomiting, loss of hair and bone marrow suppression. Side effects of chemotherapy vary with drug schedule used. There are some long term side effects like infertility, hand foot syndrome etc. with few of the drugs.
Will hormones cure cancer?
There is evidence today to indicate that treatment with certain hormones may prolong life, and alleviate pain and suffering in certain breast and prostate cancers. Hormones are also useful as adjuvant after definitive treatment.
What is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a new development based on the theory that the human body can be taught to defend itself against diseases, including cancer. Immunotherapy is being tried in cancers like melanoma, renal cell carcinoma etc.
What is the latest and most successful of the recently reported cancer treatments?
There is no single modality of treatment, which can achieve cure. Emphasis is on multimodal treatment e.g. combination of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and hormone treatment. Now gene therapy and immunotherapy are upcoming modes of treatment but they are in experimental stage.
What is latest in treatment of cancer at RGCI & RC?
There has been revolution in the treatment of cancer in last decade. Newer surgical techniques e.g. endoscopic surgery, reconstructive methods and robotic surgery are all available at RGCI & RC. High precision radiotherapy (IMRT, IGRT), brachytherapy are routinely used to minimize side effects of radiation, Chemotherapy and targeted therapy form part of personalized care. Interventional radiologists are also part of therapeutic team. Rehabilitation team, palliative care department, preventive oncology unit, trained nursing staff and quality team are part of therapeutic armamentarium.
Is any real progress being made in cancer research? Along what lines?
A lot of progress has been made in cancer research. We have understood cancer behaviour better. Diagnostic facilities have improved. Operative methods and radiation techniques have also improved. Newer chemotherapy drugs have been launched. Future is not far off when we will have gene therapy and vaccines for cancer treatment. We are ushering into the era of “Personalized Care”.
What are your chances of getting cured?
More than 80% of the patient treated adequately in the early stages can be cured. Your chances of recovery are excellent, if you report for treatment very early after the cancer has developed.
Can you lead a normal life after cancer?
The sooner you come for treatment, the better the quality of life after cancer. Most cancer patients can return to their normal lives, even during treatment.
CANCER IN MEN:
Are cancers in men and women different?
There are no fundamental differences in cancers in men and women. Most important thing is that common male cancers (lung and oral) are preventable because they are caused by tobacco. Female cancers (Breast, Cervix) can be detected early and cured.
What form of cancers are more common among men than women?
Cancer of the mouth, throat, gullet, stomach, rectum, larynx and lung are all more common in men than in women. Gall bladder and thyroid cancers are more frequent in women.
Does smoking or tobacco and pan chewing cause cancer?
Smoking and tobacco chewing are known to cause cancer of the mouth, throat, lungs etc. Therefore, it is best to play safe. If you smoke or chew tobacco, make every effort to stop. Stop smoking and tobacco chewing and prevent cancer!
Can cancer result from sexual intercourse?
No. There is no known relationship between cancer and sexual activity on the part of the male or female. However women who have multiple sexual partners run a greater risk of getting cervix cancer.
Is cancer of the prostate common? At what age does it generally occur?
Yes. Cancer of the prostate is one of the most common forms of cancer in older men in USA. Men should be on guard against this form of cancer especially as they approach 60. A thorough physical examination, including a rectal examination, blood test (PSA) and TRUS (Trans Rectal Ultrasound) are the only ways to discover this hidden cancer early enough for cure.
CANCER IN WOMEN:
Do more women than men die of cancer?
No, the misconception that cancer is primarily a woman’s disease is due to the frequency of cancer of the breast and cancer of the reproductive organs in women, in comparison with the more varied occurrence of cancer in men.
Does cancer occur more frequently among married or unmarried women?
Reports from death certificates show that above the age of 40, the cancer death rate is higher among single women than among married women of the same ages. Single women have higher death rates from cancer of the breast and married women have more cancer of the cervix. Physicians believe that having the first child around the age of 20 is preventive against cancer of the breast. Multiple sexual partners increase the risk of cancer of the cervix.
Is there danger in watching a lump in the breast to “see what happens”?
Yes, a very grave danger. Time is the most important factor in the control of cancer and waiting to “see what happens” may permit a curable cancer to become incurable. This may allow it to spread to other parts of body and make the treatment more difficult.
Are all breast lumps cancerous?
No. only small percentages of lumps are cancerous. Careful physical examination and mammography can differentiate benign from malignant lump. Biopsy & FNAC of lump by a competent pathologist can clinch the diagnosis.
What precautions should be taken to avoid cancer of the breast?
Every woman above the age of 40 should have her breasts examined annually by a physician. Every woman after the age of 25 years should be taught how to examine her own breasts (monthly after her periods). Screening Mammography should be encouraged at the age of 40 years onward and then every 2 yearly. We have genetic markers to detect high risk group of women who are likely to develop breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
How should you examine your breasts?
Self examination of the breast should be done in the following ways after periods are over. Women should examine their breasts every month.
What precautions should be taken to avoid cancer of the uterus (womb)?
- Sit or stand in front of a mirror, with your arms relaxed at your sides, and examine your breasts carefully for any changes in size and shape. Look for any puckering or dimpling of the skin, and for any discharge or change in the nipples. Compare one breast with the other.
- Raise both your arms over your head, and look for exactly the same changes. See if there is any change since you last examined your breasts.
- You should feel for a lump or thickening in the breast tissues. Lie down on your bed, or on the floor. Put a pillow or a bath towel under your left shoulder, and place your left hand under your head. With the fingers of your right hand held together flat, press gently but firmly with small circular motions to feel the inner, upper quarter of your left breast, starting at your breast bone and going outward toward the nipple line. Also feel the areas around the nipple.
- With the same gentle pressure next feel the lower, inner parts of your breast.
- Now bring your left arm down to your side, and still using the flat part of your fingers, feel under your armpit.
- Use the same gentle pressure to feel the upper, outer quarter of your breast from the nipple line to where your arm is resting.
- And finally, feel the lower, outer section of your breast, proceeding from the outer part to the nipple.
- Repeat the entire procedure, for the right breast.
Have all unnatural vaginal discharges investigated. Up to the age of thirty-five have an annual examination by Gynaecologist. Bleeding after the age of 50 years (alter menopause) of life calls for a physician’s examination at once. Avoid multiple sex partners. Cervix cancer can be prevented by screening. Vaccines are available for HPV. These vaccines (between 10 yrs and 45 yrs age) can reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.
Do uterine fibroids ever become cancerous?
Fibroid tumours only very rarely undergo malignant change.
CANCER IN CHILDREN:
Can cancer develop in children? At what age?
No age is free from cancer. Certain forms of cancer, especially of the eyes and blood are found in young children.
If a parent dies of cancer, are the children more likely to have the disease?
The answer is no. In many families where a parent had cancer, the disease does not appear in the children. Again, a person whose family has no record of cancer may develop it. A tendency to develop breast cancer however runs in families. Even colon cancers are known to be familial.Does cancer develop more quickly in children than in older people?
The rate of growth at any age depends upon the type of cancer though cancer does grow faster at younger ages.
If detected in time, can cancer in a child be cured more quickly than in an adult?
The cure of cancer has relationship with age. Outcome depends upon the extent of growth at the time it is detected, the adequacy of the treatment given, as well as the type of cancer detected. Childhood cancer like ALL, Germ Cell tumours are highly curable.
CANCER AND YOU:
How can deaths be reduced?
Cancer deaths can be reduced by following means:
Does cancer usually cost more to cure, than other major diseases?
- Cancer is preventable by living a simple life like no tobacco chewing or smoking, vegetarian high roughage low fat diet, no alcohol and use of fresh fruits & fresh vegetables. Half of the cancers can be prevented by changing our own life styles.
- Early detection by screening before symptoms appear.
- Early detection in symptomatic patients. Treat them early with multimodal treatment.
- Provide good care under one roof with all ultramodern gadgetary. Even if it is advanced disease, try to improve quality of life “Add life to years in advanced cases”.
If often does. It depends upon the type of cancer you have and how much must be done to treat it.
Why are quacks dangerous?
For the following reasons, among others:
- Few quacks are medically trained; therefore, they have no fundamental knowledge about cancer.
- They cause the patient to lose valuable time that should be used to obtain correct treatment.
- The pastes and “medicines” used by quacks have no value in curing cancer.
- The quack takes the patient’s money under false pretense, thus depriving him of the means for obtaining competent treatment in time to enable him/her to be cured.
How can I differentiate a quack from a reputable physician?
If a person advertise a cure, guarantees a cure, or employs a method of diagnosis or treatment not generally accepted or endorsed by the medical profession, may be classed as a quack. No reputed, ethical physician will do any of these things.Is cancer frightening?
Only if you neglect it. Today more and more people are not only winning their fight against cancer, they are also able to lead a normal, active lives.
What is Home Care Service of RGCI & RC?
Home Care Services are provided to those patients, who are terminally ill and in whom all treatment modalities have been exhausted. These facilities are provided free of cost. Doctor, Psychologist and Nursing Staff visit the home of patient and provide advice regarding nursing care, medicines etc. They also provide medicines free of charge to patients.
Why RGCI & RC for cancer treatment?
RGCI & RC practices evidence based multi modal treatment. We aim at cure with care based on ethical practices. We follow NCCN guidelines (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, USA) and many cases are discussed in Tumour Boards or multispecialty clinics with involvement of all diagnostic and therapeutic specialists. We provide all cancer related facilities (be it diagnostic, surgical, medical or radiation) under one roof. RGCI & RC has registered 1.3 lakh cases in last 14 years. Our vision is “quality care with human touch”.
What is MRI?
MRI is a painless and harmless way of looking inside your body without using radiation. Instead it uses a large magnet, radio-waves and a computer to scan your body and produce detailed pictures. This provides information that is not available from conventional imaging modalities like x-ray.
How does the MRI scanner work?
Your body is made up of small particles called atoms. Hydrogen atoms, a major component of water, make up 95% of your body. Normally, the hydrogen atoms within your body spin around at random. However, when you are placed inside a strong magnetic field, the same hydrogen atoms naturally line up and spin in the same direction. When a radio-wave is passed through the body, this causes the hydrogen atoms to give off a signal. The scanner detects this signal and with the aid of a computer detailed images of the body are produced.
What will the MRI examination involve?
You will be asked to lie very still on a comfortable bed within the magnetic field. You will not feel anything while the scan is proceeding, but you will hear a rhythmical banging noise. This is quite normal. The radiographer
will be in contact with you throughout the examination.
It is not possible to have an MRI examination if you have:
- A heart pacemaker
- Surgical clips within your head used for bleeding vessel in the past
- Certain inner ear implants & Some other implants
- Neuro-electrical stimulators
- Metal fragments within eye or head/critical part of body
What preparation will be required?
How long I have to wait?
- You may be asked to change into a gown, as the zips and clips in your clothing might degrade the images. All watches and credit cards must be removed as the magnetic field could damage them. You will also be asked to remove anything metallic such as hearing aids, hairclips, etc.
- Pre MRI study Preparation: Six hours fasting and full bladder for abdomen and pelvis studies. For other cases no food/ beverages 2 hours before the schedule time of study unless specified. There is no need to stop medication for the examination.
In case you are reporting us by the scheduled time you may have to wait typically 30 minutes to an hour. The waiting time may be increased in a case we need to take a little longer time for the patient before you undergoing the study, as most of the MRI we dealt are problem solving.
How much time the study will take?
Typically it is approx 30 minute for a body part. In case you will be needing contrast then it may take another 10 minutes more.
Do I need a contrast MRI?
Use of contrast becomes necessary in case of the evaluation of brain and for body part that was operated or radiated recently. In our department, this decision is usually taken by the radiologist during pre study planning or during the study to restrict the use of contrast in deserving cases. Contrast is to be avoided in cases of compromised renal function, previous history of allergy and during pregnancy.
How much I have to pay?
A routine plain MRI of any body part is charged Rs.6000/ only. Cost of MR contrast (intravenous Gadolinium 10 ml per unit) will cost additional Rs.3000/ only. (Except for special cases, one unit is adequate). Special MRI tests like MRCP and packages involving multiple modalities like (PET - CT etc) the cost has been designed with price advantage to the patient.
When can I get my report?
The report is ready for dispatch to the central report collection counter by next day (24 hours) after a thorough analysis of your study. We try to provide an image appended print report for quick review, hard copy of relevant images on film for convenient appraisal of your referring doctor in his / her clinic and a CD containing all images of your study in standard DICOM format with a self loading image evaluation software for your record, review and reference.