Cancer

Definition:

Cancer is caused when some cells in the body grow uncontrollably and then spread to different parts of the body

  • Cancerous tumors or malignant tumors invade tissues nearby and travel to distant place in body for forming new tumors (process called metastasis)
  • Solid tumors are formed by many cancers but blood cancers (leukemias) usually do not form solid cancers
  • Benign tumors (non–cancerous tumors) usually do not grow back, unlike cancerous tumors but can be life-threatening if they are located in certain areas of the body, such as the brain
Cancer

Types of cancer

  • There are over 100 types of cancers

Cancer is classified according to the cell type they start in: The five main cancer types are:

  • Carcinoma: Cancers which arise from epithelial cells or the lining of the cells which help in protecting organs or enclose organs
  • Sarcoma: Malignant tours of soft tissue or bone (muscle, fat, nerves, blood vessels and the various connective tissues surrounding and supporting organs)
  • Lymphoma and Myeloma: These cancers start in the immune system cells. Lymphoma is lymphatic system cancer which is present throughout the body, so it can occur anywhere in the body. Myeloma starts in plasma cells, which affects the ability of cells to produce antibodies
  • Leukaemia: This is the cancer of the bone marrow and white blood cells, chronic lymphatic leukemia and lymphocytic leukaemia are subtypes
  • Brain and spinal cord cancers: These cancers are known as central nervous system cancers

Facts and figures

  • One third of the common cancers are preventable
  • Implementing appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection as well as treatment can save millions of lives
  • Total annual economic cost due to cancer is approximately US$1.16 trillion

Reaction to cancer treatment

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Easy bleeding and bruising
  • Anemia
  • Infections
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Appetite change
  • Constipation diarrhea mouth tongue and throat problems
  • Nerve problems chest tingling pain and numbness
  • Urine bladder changes and kidney problems
  • Mood change
  • Fertility problems
  • Change in sexual function and libido

Reaction to cancer treatment

Cancer develops due to several factors. Some factors cannot be modified but around 1/3rd of cases are preventable by reducing dietary and behavioral risks

Modifiable risk factors:

  • Alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Nutrition and Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Workplace hazards
  • Infection

Non-modifiable risk factors:

  • Age
  • Cancer causing substances
  • Genetics
  • Weak immune system

Cancer treatment Options

Surgery

Cancer treatment
Surgery is the direct approach for cancer treatment. Some people need only surgery for curing cancer. Others might require additional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation as well as other therapies before, during or after surgery

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to destroy cancerous cells or to slow or stop their growth. Chemotherapy can control or cure or ease cancer symptoms
Cancer treatment
Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy destroys cancer tumors and may prevent them from reoccurring. Radiation therapy is used as the only treatment or is combined with chemotherapy or surgery

Interventional radiology

This therapy involves minimally invasive methods such as using catheters and needles and is sometimes an alternative for surgery for certain patients

Blood & Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation

In bone marrow transplant, also called stem cell transplant, new stem cells capable of forming blood added to the bloodstream, and unhealthy cells are replaced

Immunotherapy cancer treatment

One of the latest cancer treatments, it uses immune system to attack/destroy cancer cells
Woman with cancer during chemotherapy recovering from illness

Preoperative Preparation

  • Physical examination
  • Urinalysis, Blood tests, Ultrasound and other diagnostic tests as advised by doctor
  • Follow dos and don’ts as advised by doctor regarding diet prior to surgery
  • Get list of medicines to be taken pre and post-surgery
  • Inform surgeon about alcohol or smoking habits, allergies etc
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Arrange work leave, help at home and driving, and post-operative care
  • Fasting after midnight before surgery
  • Medical tourists should select a hotel near the hospital

Post operative care

The brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, is a cosmetic surgery procedure to reduce wrinkles and frown lines on the forehead and give proper shape to eyebrows for a youthful look. Often with aging, the eyebrows become sagging creating a hood over the upper eyelids. This surgical procedure positions it properly on the forehead. This procedure is often combined with blepharoplasty, facelift, and skin resurfacing techniques. Three different techniques are used based on the desired outcomes.

Endoscopic brow lift where small incisions are made behind the hairline, coronal brow lift where an incision is made behind the hairline on top of the head, and hairline brow lift where the surgeon makes an incision between the start of the hairline and top of the forehead. After the procedure, your forehead will be wrapped loosely to minimize swelling. The wound will heal within 10-14 days but complete healing will take a few weeks.