Mangaluru: Cancer, a dreaded disease we have all heard about. A disease that has at some time claimed the life of a friend, a relative or a loved one. A disease that breeds fear and despair in our minds washing away all hope.
But cancer doesn’t always mean death. In advanced stage yes, it’s rarely curable but if detected early it most often can be cured. That is why screening for cancer is so vital in combating this disease. The theme of the year “We can. I Can” calls for participation of all – as a collective effort or as individuals can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.
The objective of creating awareness is to save people from cancer and educate the community about the cancer symptoms, preventive measures, healthy diet and lifestyle modification. That is why screening for cancer is so vital in combating this disease.
But what do we mean by screening? It involves a few simple tests and procedures done to detect common cancers at a very early stage before it spreads thus improving the chance of cure. They are painless and inexpensive with absolutely no side effects. There are a lot of advertisements circulating these days that talk about a single blood test or urine test that can diagnose any cancer. This is not true. Screening is not done in a lab. It’s done by a doctor who will evaluate your chances of developing disease and based on your risk he’ll prescribe the required tests, one for each system that is one for breast cancer, one for colon and stomach cancer, one for cervical cancer and so on.
In women, breast cancer and cervical cancer are the two commonest malignancies seen in India and both can be detected very early if screening protocols are followed. Steps in early detection of breast cancer include self breast examination, examination by a trained doctor and a yearly mammogram. Self breast examination is a structured, defined approach to examining your own breasts to look for any lumps. Please do meet a trained doctor and ask him how it is done. Learning over the Internet will give you half baked knowledge and do more harm than good. The other steps are evaluation of your risk by a doctor based on your family history and hormone exposure and if necessary a mammography thereafter.
For cervical cancer an examination by your doctor and a pap smear is all that is needed and is very sensitive in detecting cancer at an early stage. Pap smear means that a small brush is used to remove a few shed cells which are evaluated under a microscope. There is no painful biopsy involved. These simple tests along with a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and good diet will go a long way in reducing your risk of developing this deadly disease.
Remember, early detection saves lives!!!
The author Dr. Eugene George Rent, MS, M Ch (Surgical Oncology) is a Consultant Cancer Surgeon at A J Hospital and Research Centre-Mangaluru.
A J Hospital & Research Centre– Total Health Care under One Roof
Mangaluru, headquarters of Dakshina Kannada is situated along the Arabian Sea on the West Coast of India and is famous for its vibrant cultural heritage. Mangalore is an important hub of trade and commerce, banking, education and healthcare. Situated along the sylvan surroundings, A J Hospital & Research Centre is one of the NABH accredited Hospitals in India, provides a perfect match between the patient needs and medical facilities, delivering quality healthcare at a reasonable price, with the advanced resources and infrastructure. It is headed by a dedicated team of highly qualified and experienced doctors, supported by trained staff who will give personalised care to the patients. This hospital has been awarded “Patient Friendly Hospital” by AHPI in 2015.
The hospital is well known for its state of the art facilities providing treatment for all super specialties such as Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Endocrinology, Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology, Nephrology, Neurology, Neuro Surgery, Plastic & Microvascular Surgery, Urology, Andrology & Transplant Surgery and has a fully fledged Comprehensive Cancer Unit comprising of the following facilities.
Radiation Oncology: Department has High End Digital Clinical Linear Accelerator with triple photon energies, six electron energies & HDR brachytherapy, offering various advanced radiation techniques such as 3 Dimensional Radiation, Intensity Modulated Radiation, Image Guided Radiation, Electron Therapy backed by highly trained Clinical Oncologists, Radiation Physicists & Therapists trained in the modern radiation techniques.
Medical Oncology: It is a practice that couples compassion & dedication with experience & research in order to diagnose and treat cancer and blood related diseases with chemotherapy & the most modern targeted therapies. Trained chemotherapy technicians assure high quality treatment, therapy & Care.
Surgical Oncology: The Department provides comprehensive surgical treatment with malignant diseases of the head & neck, breast, brain, gastrointestinal tract, liver, orthopaedic, reproductive & genitourinary organs. The department offers both outpatient & inpatient services for screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.
Nuclear medicine & PET CT: Nuclear Medicine department is equipped with state of the art imaging technology and is easily accessible for both patients and physicians. The department possesses an unusual depth of expertise with Nuclear medicine physicians, radio chemists and a physicist.
Pain and Palliative Medicine: The department focuses on improving the quality of life of cancer patients. It aims on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and psychological stress of a serious illness.
A J Hospital & Research centre aims not only to cure the patient but also to care with human compassion so that the patient leaves the hospital with good memories of care rather than the pain and phobia of diseases.