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As much as you want to avoid, there are things you have no control over. Lung cancer (Bronchogenic Carcinomas) is one such nemesis that can throw life in shambles. The malignant tumor that originates in the lungs slowly spreads onto the other distinct and vital organs as well. Thought to be mostly affecting men who are chain smokers and into severe tobacco consumption, incidences of lung cancer in women are rising at an alarming rate over the past few years. Non-smokers may also be susceptible (to a lesser extent though) to lung cancer.
Lung cancer can be either
- Non-small cell lung cancers: The NSCLC, accounting for ~85% of the lung cancer is one of the most common types of lung cancer affecting people, NSCLC may further be divided into
- Adenocarcinoma: This type of NSCLC originates mostly in the peripheral regions of the lungs and may affect (spread) the lymph nodes. Non-smokers and women are mostly at the receiving end (other than the chain smokers).
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Also known as Epidermoid Carcinoma, often affects men, epidermoid carcinoma may originate in the tissues that line the bronchial tubes. The lymph nodes are often affected by Epidermoid Carcinoma.
- Large-cell Undifferentiated Carcinoma: The point of origin of large-cell undifferentiated carcinoma is the surface of the lungs. They have a higher probability of spreading to the lymph nodes.
- Bronchioalveolar Carcinoma: Though rare, bronchioalveolar carcinoma originates close to the air sacs.
- Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC, accounting for ~25% of the lung cancer): As the name suggests, SCLC is marked by the rapid proliferation of small cells into large malignant tumors. SCLC can move throughout the body (affecting vital organs).
Radiotherapy to treat Lung cancer:
Radiotherapy plays a pivotal role in the treatment of lung cancer. The radiation therapy is mainly of two types
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
- Internal radiation therapy (Brachytherapy)
In external beam radiation therapy, high-energy rays are focused on the cancer cells (thereby resulting in the apoptosis of the cancer cells) externally, from outside the body. EBRT is particularly helpful in case of Non-small cell lung cancers.
The EBRT may be of the following types
- 3D-CRT (Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy): An advanced radiation therapy, 3D-CRT accurately marks the position of the cancer cells (using advanced computers). The treatment ensures minimum damage to the other healthy cells and tissues (energy rays are directed at the affected cells from different positions).
- SBRT (Stereotactic body radiation therapy): This is a radiation therapy used in the treatment of NSCLC, when it is at a nascent stage.
- IMRT (Intensity modulated radiation therapy): As the name suggests, in IMRT, the intensity of the radiation reaching the normal tissues and cells can be modulated. Like 3D-CRT, the radiation in IMRT is directed from different angles (for maximum results).
- Internal radiation therapy (Brachytherapy): This type of radiation therapy is generally used to deal with lung cancers that tend to block the airways. In this therapy, the radiation process is carried out through a narrow tube, thereby, shrinking and collapsing the tumor.
The effect, dosage, and duration of radiation therapy depend on the stage and severity of the condition. In some cases, radiation therapy may be given together with chemotherapy.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cancer can occur in any part of the body. In this article, we will discuss head and neck cancer, which occurs when cells in these regions grow abnormally. Cancer cells that grow in the head and neck can spread to other parts of the body as well, and there are reported cases in which head and neck cancer has spread to the lungs.
Symptoms for Suspicion of cancer
- Non-healing sore or ulcer,
- Neck lymph nodes,
- Hoarseness of voice or difficulty in swallowing
- Red or white patch in the mouth.
- Lump, bump, or mass in the head or neck area, with or without pain.
- Persistent sore throat.
- Foul mouth odor not explained by hygiene.
Common Types of Head and Neck Cancer-
The common type of head and neck cancer is called carcinoma, and it can start in the nose, mouth and throat. Lymphoma cancers affect the immune system of the neck and head and can spread to other body parts.
Tests that are done for diagnosing head and neck cancer
A patient may feel some pain in the head and neck region. At first, the patient might visit an ENT specialist in order to diagnose the reason for the pain. In case the ENT specialist is not able to relate the issue with common causes of such pain, he refers the patient to a head and neck specialist. Then the first thing that the doctor will check for is the growth of any lymph nodes. Special fiber optics, mirror and lights are used for the examination of the head and neck as some regions are not easily visible.
A panendoscopy is performed on patients to confirm the growth and spread of cancer cells. This test is done under anesthesia and may need to be performed in an operation theater. Thin tubes called scopes are used for viewing the tissues and the doctor may take a sample for a biopsy test.
A biopsy test confirms whether the growth of cells is cancerous or not, and if it has spread. The biopsy will tell us whether the growth is cancerous or not. For staging of cancer, we do scans which may be CT, MRI or PET CT. A scan helps the doctors to understand whether the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body such as the lungs. The barium swallow method is used to check if there are cancer cells in the throat.
How serious can head and neck cancer be?
There are various stages of head and neck cancer, and they are classified based on the seriousness of the growth. Normally, cancer starts at stage 1 and could progress till stage 4 if left untreated and undiagnosed. Different stages require different types of treatment and medications. Stage 1 and 2 usually involve radiotherapy or surgery whereas stage 3 and 4 would require radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy. Also, avoid tobacco and alcohol for prevention.
One should always consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, and must follow the advice of the doctor for a speedy recovery. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Breast pain bohut hota hai kuch din normal rhta hai phir pain hota hai kya kare any ladies doctor in kolkata please info.
What test should I take to know do I have cancer or not? Tell me the proper test details and how to book the test.
I am 25 years old and had thyroid 25mcp but suddenly increased to 50 mcp. Is it due to pressure or having chapati daily. please tell some suggestions.
My mom is feeling giddiness, blurred vision and loss of words for few minutes and she felt it twice today. Can I get to know what may be the reason. She has asthma and was diagnosed for breast cancer around 2 months back. Please suggest the reason for these symptoms.
Hiii Osmf is precancerous condition So there chances of occurring cancer only after advanced stage of osmf Or There are also chances of occurring cancer in early stage of osmf?
The branch of medicine dealing with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer is called oncology. The subdivisions of oncology include medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgical oncology. Cancer is an umbrella term for a group of diseases which involves abnormal cell growth causing potential invasion to other parts of the body and the branch of science dealing with the treatment of cancer is oncology.
Radiotherapy is a kind of cancer treatment which involves the usage of high energy rays, such as X-rays or rays of electrons to treat the disease. In this therapy, the cancer cells are destroyed using these rays. Normal cells along with the cancerous cells also get destroyed due to exposure to the strong rays. However, normal cells can restore themselves but cancerous cells cannot.
Radiotherapy is planned very carefully to avoid the damage to as many healthy tissues as possible. However, damage to some healthy tissues is inevitable, which is the major side effect of this treatment.
Usage of Radiotherapy
A lot of patients with cancer have radiotherapy as a part of their cancer treatment. The reasons behind using radiotherapy could be-
- Curative reason- radiotherapy is suggested with the aim of destroying a certain tumour and thus curing cancer with it. This is also known as a radical treatment.
- Palliative reason- radiotherapy is recommended to the patients when there is no possible way to cure cancer, but with this treatment. The further growth of the tumor can be controlled or the various symptoms such as pain or coughing can be relieved.
Ways of Radiotherapy Treatment
There are two ways in which radiotherapy is commonly given-
- The radiotherapy which is given from outside the body is known as external beam radiotherapy.
- The radiotherapy given using a material that is placed inside the body is called internal radiotherapy.
The type of radiotherapy to be given to the patient depends on the type of cancer the patient has and the body part which is affected by it. Some cancers require both external and internal radiotherapy.
In certain situations, chemotherapy is required to be given to the patients along with radiotherapy. This is called chemo radiotherapy or chemo radiation. Chemotherapy basically uses anti-cancer drugs which make the cancerous cells more sensitive to radiotherapy, thereby enhancing the treatment process. However, both these therapies are very powerful, each with their own side effects. Hence, chemo radiation can sometimes have worse side effects.
- IMRT: Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a new technology in radiation oncology that delivers radiation more precisely to the tumor while relatively sparing the surrounding normal tissues. IMRT is being used most extensively to treat cancers of the prostate, head and neck, and central nervous system. IMRT has also been used in limited situations to treat breast, thyroid, lung, as well as in gastrointestinal, gynecologic malignancies and certain types of sarcomas. IMRT may also be beneficial for treating pediatric malignancies.
- IGRT: Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is the use of imaging during radiation therapy to improve the precision and accuracy of treatment delivery. IGRT is used to treat tumors in areas of the body that move, such as the lungs. Radiation therapy machines are equipped with imaging technology to allow your doctor to image the tumor before and during treatment. By comparing these images to the reference images taken during simulation, the patient’s position and/or the radiation beams may be adjusted to more precisely target the radiation dose to the tumor.
- Stereotactic radiation therapy is mainly used to treat small brain tumours that are either malignant or benign. It is used to treat:
- Tumours deep within the brain: Tumours that are hard to reach or that cannot be removed by surgery because doing so would damage too much normal brain tissue
- A recurrence or metastasis in the brain
- Stereotactic radiation may also be used to give an additional dose of radiation (boost) to the brain after conventional external beam radiation therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
This is just the basic overview of radiotherapy. One important thing that should be kept in mind is that radiotherapy treatments are planned depending on the condition of the patient. So even if two individuals suffer from the same type of cancer, the radiotherapy treatments might be different.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
My mother is 58 years old and she has a swelling under the right ear. Doctor suggested to do FNAC correlation and the report shows as 1" Thick walled predominantly cystic lesion with thick irregular eccentric solid component domentrating vascularity in the superficial lobe of right parotid gland. Finidng's suggest possibility of cystic neoplasm likely Warthin's tumor. Also the blood report shows some issues in thyroid gland (both lobes of thyroid show heretoechoiec nodules with cystic areas and coarse and microcalcifications) Then we decided to do a surgery to remove that rumor. As part of this she undergone a MRA NECK. Following are the observations in the report. 1) parotic Glands: A well defined heterogeneous lesion measuring 3x3. 8x4 cm is noted centred in the superficial lobe of the right parotid gland. Medically the lesion is seen extending posterior to the ramus of mandible displacing and partly reaching in tot the deep lobe of right parotid. posteriorly it is abutting the right SCM and superiorly reaching just below the level of EAC. The lesion shows heterogeneous internal solid area literally. T1 hyperintense signals are noted within the cystic components with fluid level. No evidence of extension into the adjacent carotid, masticator or para pharungel spaces. The retromandibular vein is effaced. Facial artery branches show no frank evidence of infiltration. 2) Lymph nodes: Few small subcentimeteric bilateral station 1b and station 2 cervical lymph nodes are noted, largest measuring 7 mm in short axis. 3) Nasopharynx: Fossa of Rosenmuller and torus tubarius appears normal. It does not show any focal lesion. 4) Thyroid: Thyroid gland is normal is size, shape an position. SMALL nodules in the left lobe of thyroid. Paranasal sinuses: Subtle mucosal thickening in the maxillary sinuses. As per the result shows 1) Is it necessary to do a surgery to remove right parotic tumor. 2) As per the MRA report does thyroid gland has any problems? Report doesn't mention about the nodules are benign or cancerous. Please suggest is it required to do a surgery for this?
With the modernization of all economies around the world, one health hazard that has become one of the largest perils within both developed and developing nations is the incidence of cancers of the female reproductive system, especially cervical and breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the formation of malignant tumors within the breast tissues of a woman. Usually, breast cancer affects women in the age range of 40 to 50, but there have been many reports of it occurring earlier. About 48 % percent of the Indian women having breast cancer have been reported to be under 50. This is an almost 17 percent jump compared to figures 25 years earlier.
Alarming Signs of Breast Cancer:
- The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded.
- Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt)
- Skin irritation or dimpling
- Breast or nipple pain
- Nipple retraction (turning inward)
- Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
- Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
Screening Guidelines for Breast cancer:
- Mammography: US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends mammography once in every 2 year for females between age group 50-75 years. Women with a family history has a benefit of starting at age 40 years. After 75 years there are insufficient evidence of benefit of screening mammography.
- Breast Self Examination and annual Clinical examination: breast self examination is easy to learn and and any abnormality should be reported to the oncologist.
- For High Risk/ Genetic risk factors: screening should start by age 25 or 10 years earlier of youngest relative affected. Annual mammogram and MRI or Doppler ultrasound alternating at 6 month interval can be considered.
Some of the common treatment options for breast cancers are:
- Breast conservation surgery - This is where the tumors are removed without cutting out too much of the surrounding breast tissue.
- Mastectomy - If the cancer has spread too far then large amounts of breast tissue has to be removed along with the tumor to stop its spread any further.
- Sentinel lymph node Biopsy - it's part of both surgical procedures, it decreases morbidities of lymph node dissection first draining lymph nodes only are removed in patients with clinically negative axilla. If negative on frozen section further axillary dissection is avoided. It avoids the morbidity of complete axillary clearance.
Cervical cancer ( Carcinoma Cervix)
Cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus and connects the uterus to the vagina. Indian women in particular are susceptible to cervical cancer as more than 1/3rd of the cervical cancer related deaths in the entire world happens here in India, which is about 74000 deaths annually. The leading cause for cervical cancer is HPV or Human Papillomavirus infection, which if left untreated and unchecked will result in cancer.
Alarming Signs of Cervical Carcinoma:
- Early lesions and precancerous lesions have no symptoms
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding such as bleeding after vaginal intercourse, bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting between periods or longer/heavier periods
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pain
- Late stage disease may cause lower extremity swelling, problem with urine and/or stool passage
- Cervical cancer screening is most effective screening programme of any cancer disease resulting in significant decrease in mortality from carcinoma cervix
- United state preventive services task force (USPSTF) recommend cervical cancer screening starting at age 21 yrs.
- Between age 21-30 years cytology recommended at 3 year interval and HPV testing is not recommended.
- Between 30-65 years cytology every 3 year or cytology +HPV testing every 5 year.
- If previously adequately screened screening can be discontinued after 65 years.
- Women with prior total hysterectomy and no CIN can discontinue screening.
Apart from breast and cervical cancers, certain other cancers have also reported an alarming increase such as:-
Ovarian cancer (Carcinoma Ovary)
Starting in the ovaries, diagnosis of this type of cancer is usually delayed due to lack of visible symptoms in the initial stages. About 85% to 90% of ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Epithelial ovarian cancers tend to spread to the lining and organs of the pelvis and abdomen (belly) first. This may lead to the buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity (called ascites). As it advances, it may spread to the lung and liver, or, rarely, to the brain, bones, or skin. The main treatments for ovarian cancer are surgery and chemotherapy.
Cancer of the endometrium (Carcinoma Endometrium)
Endometrium is the lining of the uterine wall and has along with ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer is also increasing in occurrences throughout India and the world.
The grade of an endometrial cancer is based on how much the cancer forms glands that look similar to those found in normal, healthy endometrium.
- Grade 1 tumors have 95% or more of the cancerous tissue forming glands.
- Grade 2 tumors have between 50% and 94% of the cancerous tissue forming glands.
- Grade 3 tumors have less than half of the cancerous tissue forming glands. Grade 3 cancers tend to be aggressive and have a poorer outlook than lower-grade cancers.
Cervical cancer along with Ovarian, uterine and endometrial cancer can be treated using the following methods:
Surgery: Radical Hysterectomy primarily preferred option for early stage disease. Both open and minimal invasive approaches are suitable.
- For precancer high-grade lesion conisation is also an option for compliant patient.
- In young suitable patient willing for childbearing trachelectomy is also possible in a very early lesion.
- Depending on risk factors after surgery adjuvant treatment may be advised.
Radiation Therapy for Cervical Cancer
The two types of highly targeted radiation treatments are combined with chemotherapy to treat advanced-stage cervical cancer.
The radiation oncologists deliver high radiation doses to cancerous cells in the cervix, while sparing healthy tissue. By focusing the radiation directly on the tumor, these therapies are designed to reduce the risk of common gastrointestinal and sexual function side effects associated with radiation therapy for cervical cancer.
The two types of radiation treatment for patients with cervical cancer are:
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT): Delivers high doses of radiation to cervical cancer cells from outside the body, using a variety of machine-based technologies.
- High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy (internal radiation): Delivers high doses of radiation from implants placed close to, or inside, the tumor(s) in the cervix.
Certain prevention techniques that would be advisable to detect cancer in its early stages would be,
- Regular Pap smear tests for cervical cancer
- Taking vaccines for cervical cancer
- Regular mammograms and checkups for breast cancer
- Changing lifestyles to reduce stress
- Changes in diet to reduce risks
- Leading a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise. Consult an Expert & get answers to your questions!