Ludhiana, April 7
Immunotherapy has emerged a as game-changing therapy in cancer treatment and is being increasingly used as the quality of life it offers is much better, said Dr Vineet Talwar, director, medical oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCI&RC), New Delhi.
He was speaking at a knowledge sharing session on oncology organised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Ludhiana, in association with RGCI&RC.
“So far it used to be only chemotherapy. Now targeted and immunotherapy is being used increasingly. Targeted therapy drugs look for targets at the cancer sites and are given in addition to conventional chemotherapy drugs to increase the killing of cancer cells and thereby, increase survival rates. In case of immunotherapy, which is state-of-the-art therapy, the immune system of the body is charged to such an extent that the body itself fights against the cancer cells and pushes them out of circulation,” said Dr Talwar.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Manish Pruthi, consultant, musculoskeletal oncology, RGCI&RC said, “There is an urgent need to raise awareness about sarcoma, the cancer of bone and soft tissues, to save life and limbs of the young who are falling prey to this cancer.”
Though the occurrence is rare, the bone and soft tissue tumour happens at a very young age like second or third decade of life.
“The need to cure such tumours appropriately is higher since the patient needs to live for another 50-60 years,” Dr Pruthi said.
There is a need for awareness as the cases are being reported late and there’s a risk of losing limb in young children.
“Usually, the tumour gets un-noticed in limbs or an inappropriate surgery is done. In such a case, it leads to damage and major risk of losing the limb is there, which affects the life of young children/adults. We need to preserve the function and cure the cancer. So if there is a swelling or persistent pain with swelling in the limbs, then a sarcoma specialist should be consulted early,” said Dr Pruthi.
Emphasising on early detection of cancer, Dr Talwar said, “If you get treatment for any problem for a period of three-four weeks and the situation doesn’t come under control, one needs to get investigations done very swiftly. If there is a sore, fever, lump, bleeding or altered bowel habits, which don’t settle down, early investigations are a must. If we are able to catch the cancer at an early stage, the success rate of cure is very high.”