“Cancer is that awful word we all fear when we go to the doctor for a physical exam, but in that brief dark moment we hear it the world we live in and the people we share it with begin to illuminate things we did not even pay attention to.” – BD Phillips
“During chemo, you’re more tired than you’ve ever been. It’s like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you’re out. You don’t know how you’ll answer the door when your groceries are delivered. But you also find that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been. You’re clear. Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception. Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience. Now it’s instantaneous.” – Melissa Bank
Mangaluru : “The first time you say, ‘I have cancer’ out loud is the hardest. The more you say it, the easier it becomes to say the words. The more I talked about my breast cancer, the easier it was for me to accept what I was going through. I found it odd that I sometimes had to cheer up those I was telling about my cancer.”-those were the words of Helen, a cancer survivor in USA. It can be hard to talk about cancer, even with the people you love. Learning you have cancer can stir many feelings, such as sadness, anger, and fear. Sometimes it’s hard to know how you’re feeling, much less talk to others about it. Your loved ones may also have a hard time talking about cancer. It’s not easy for them to know what to say to help you or make you feel better.
Cancer, any type of cancer is terrible. We don’t realize what it actually feels like until it happens to ourselves, and it is terrible. All the emotion we go through and the strength we need to build up, is hard. We don’t understand how bad it really is. AJ Hospital and Research Centre have done many projects to make people know more about the Cancer disease, and the recently launched Cancer Centre here has always been in the forefront providing the best of health care that matches the best in the country. It has many firsts to its credit in the field of patient care and latest equipment. This state of the art, comprehensive cancer centre with all the specialties such as radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgical oncology and nuclear medicine, is the first of its kind in the entire district of Dakshina Kannada. And to bring awareness among the people about cancer disease, a “Cancer Awareness Programme” was launched on Wednesday, 2 March at AJ Hospital Conference Hall, organized by the Cancer Information Education Communication Cell (CIEC) based at AJ Hospital and Research Centre, in association with Rotary International Dist. 3180.
The programme began with invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song rendered by Reshma, followed the welcome address by Dr Prashanth Marla-Medical Director, AJ Hospital and Research Centre. The programme was inaugurated by lighting the lamp by chief guest, Rtn. MPHF Dr Bharathesh Adiraj- Governor,Rotary Int’l Dist.318, along with AJ Shetty- President of AJ Group of Institutions, Dr Prashanth Marla, and many other doctors/faculties of AJ Hospital. Dr Kamalaksh K Shenoy- Consultant Radiation Oncologist at AJ Hospital gave a brief introduction on Cancer Centre and overview on cancer and awareness, where he said, ” These days, a cancer diagnosis is not automatically seen as a death sentence.
Over the years, successful treatments have allowed cancer patients to carry on longer and more productive lives. One such treatment is radiation therapy, which attacks cancerous tissue using ionizing radiation. It plays an important role in cancer management. Today 45% of all cancer patients can be cured. About one half of them are cured by radiation therapy applied alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. The Cancer Centre plays an vital role in providing the best treatment for cancer patients”.
Rtn Dr Bharathesh Adiraj addressing the gathering had all praise for AJ Hospital for their state of the art Cancer Centre, and the treatment provided which is the best in the country. He further said that he was overwhelmed that Rotary has associated with AJ Hospital in this awareness programme to fight against the deadly disease called Cancer. AJ Shetty who also spoke during the occasion briefed about the care and facilities provided at the Cancer Centre, and also praised the doctors and staff for giving the best care and treatment to the cancer patients. Dr Naveen Rodrigues- Consultant Pain and Palliative Care physician proposed the vote of thanks , while Pooja Jayaram-HR Executive professionally compered the programme.
About Cancer Centre at AJ Hospital and Research Centre :
AJ hospital has developed a state of the art, comprehensive cancer centre with all the specialties such as radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgical oncology and nuclear medicine, which is the first of its kind in the entire district of Dakshina Kannada.
The department of Radiation Oncology has procured a high end linear accelerator and a high dose rate Brachytherapy machine which has the following features and facilities: Triple Energy Photon Therapy; Six Energy Electron Therapy; 3Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D CRT); Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT); Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR). A J Hospital Radiation Oncology team provides expert, comprehensive and compassionate care to patients with cancer. The team of multidisciplinary oncology specialists work together to develop individualized treatment plan for each patient. The referring physicians and other oncologists involved in the patient’s care are kept fully apprised of those plans and the patient’s progress during and after radiation therapy .
The primary goal of the hospital is to deliver treatment safely and effectively and in ways that enhance and benefit the overall experience for our patients. The hospital uses the most advanced treatment planning and quality assurance equipments, for the precise and accurate delivery of the radiation therapy. The department conducts the quality assurance checks of all its machines regularly. The hospital fully complies with the guidelines of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB, Mumbai).
3-Dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D CRT): This is the most common type of external radiation therapy. It uses sophisticated computer software and advanced treatment machines to deliver radiation to very precisely shaped target areas.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): It uses hundreds of tiny radiation beam-shaping devices, called collimator’s, to deliver a single dose of radiation. The collimator’s allow the intensity of the radiation beams to change during treatment sessions. This kind of dose modulation allows different areas of a tumor or nearby tissues to receive different doses of radiation. The goal of IMRT is to increase the radiation dose to the areas that need it and reduce radiation exposure to specific sensitive areas of surrounding normal tissue.
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT): In IGRT, repeated images are performed during treatment. These images are processed by computers to identify changes in a tumor’s size and location due to treatment and to allow the position of the patient or the planned radiation dose to be adjusted during treatment as needed. Repeated imaging increases the accuracy of radiation treatment delivery.
Electron Therapy: Electron beam therapy is used in the treatment of superficial tumors like cancer of skin regions or total skin (e.g.Mycosis Fungoides), diseases of the limbs (e.g. melanoma andlymphoma), nodal irradiation and it may also be used to boost the radiation dose to the surgical bed after mastectomy or lumpectomy.
Brachytherapy: Unlike all the other treatments, Brachytherapy involves the treatment of cancer using a radioactive isotope which is kept inside the tumor to boost the radiation dose to the tumor without affecting the normal structures. It is commonly used in gynecological cancers, oral and esophageal cancers.