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Breast Cancer - What exactly is it?
‘Breast cancer’ is a term that is used to refer to a malignant tumour, which has developed from cells present in the breast. Generally, all tumours can be divided into two categories i.e. benign and malignant and it is the malignant tumour that is responsible for causing cancer. Breast cancer generally originates in the cells the milk producing glands of the breast's or the passage, which carries milk from the glands to the lobules. Additionally, breast cancer can also originate in the stromal tissues, including the fibrous and fatty connective breast tissues.
Breast Cancer: Treatment Options
Treatment for breast cancer depends upon two things: the exact type of the cancer and how advanced the cancer is. Treatment options for breast cancer can thus be broadly divided into two categories as Local treatments and Systemic treatments.
Treatments that target the tumour without having any effect on the rest of the body are called local treatments. The following types of local treatment options are available for treating breast cancer:
- Surgery: Surgical breast cancer treatment involves removal of the malignant cancerous tumour in an operation. Smaller tumours can be removed using a surgical process referred to as ‘lumpectomy’, wherein the tumour along with a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding the tumour is removed. For larger tumours, removal of the entire breast becomes mandatory, in a surgical process known as ‘mastectomy’. Women who undergo mastectomy can choose to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery for reconstruction of the removed breast(s).
- Radiation Therapy: This basically involves using radiation to kill cancer cells present in the body. Radiation therapy is a long-drawn process that usually involves a set number of treatments administered over a long period of time. Radiation therapy is also generally the follow-up procedure after a lumpectomy, or more rarely, a mastectomy.
Treatments involving drugs that are administered via either the mouth or direct injection into the bloodstream are called systemic treatments. These include:
- Chemotherapy: This includes using drugs to destroy the cancer cells present in the body by stopping the cancer cells from growing and dividing. Chemotherapy can be administered using either an IV (intravenous) tube or via pills that can be swallowed.
- Hormone Therapy: This treatment option is used for treating tumours which have tested positive for progesterone or oestrogen receptors. Blocking hormones that fuel the tumour’s growth is the basis of this therapy.
- Targeted Therapy: This targets specific proteins and genes which contribute to growth and survival of the cancer cells. Targeted therapy is an extremely focused treatment, and is very effective in blocking the growth and division of cancer cells, as well as minimizing damage to surrounding healthy cells.
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Arguably one of the most fatal diseases that threaten human life, Meningitis has been the cause of a lot of recent deaths. Essentially Meningitis is triggered off by the anomalous inflammation of the protective membranes called meninges in the brain and spinal cord. Spurred by some sort of a bacterial or viral attack, this condition emanates from an infection of the fluids in the cranial chamber. Often such conditions are also stimulated by some external injury, cancerous development or even certain kinds of reaction from a given drug or the other.
Depending on the precise cause of the disease, Meningitis may be categorized as Bacterial Meningitis, Viral Meningitis or Fungal Meningitis. Other forms of Meningitis include parasitic Meningitis, Amebic Meningitis and Non-Infectious Meningitis. Meningitis could potentially be contagious. Through lengthy and proximal contact like coughing or kissing, if saliva or spit gets exchanged, Meningitis causing germs may spread from one person to the other.
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria Meningitidis are the two of the most rampant Meningitis causing bacteria. They have the potential of causing irreversible damage to several vital organs. However, with substantive progress in medical science, effective and suitable medication has been made available to the larger populace. But, immediate attention is imperative in this case.
Viral Meningitis is relatively milder than the other forms of meningitis. Enteroviruses, arboviruses and herpes virus are some of the most common sources of this kind of Meningitis. People with strong immunity are usually able to overcome this without much ado. Vaccines are available widely in the markets to cure viral meningitis.
Fungal Meningitis are caused primarily from external influences. Inhaling fungal spores from the environment is one of the most prominent factors that lead to Meningitis. People suffering from fatal diseases like cancer, diabetes or HIV are more susceptible to fungal Meningitis. While these are a few of the primary forms of meningitis, other triggers to this disease occur due to various environmental interventions. These are consequent upon interactions with various disease causing allergens. Cure to meningitis is available in the form of intravenous injections. But timely diagnosis and treatment is essential for a good outcome. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.
Cancer is the one of the biggest threat to the young Indian population because of the factors that cause cancer, but also due to late detection. However, certain bad habbits and the factors increase the risk of cancer in India.
Causes of cancer in India:
- Overpopulation and the problem of nutrition: As per records, India is the world's third most populous country. However, it lacks in resources to feed the multiplying number of mouths. Nutrition plays a key role in deciding the quality of a person's life. Nutrition has therefore emerged as an essential branch of research and medical care in the last few decades. Lack of nutrition directly results in weakened immunity. Your body becomes prone to diseases, some of which can be fatal. To fight off cancer cells, one must have a strong immune system that comes from the right kind of nutrition.
- Smoking is a recurrent habit among children and adults: Smoking can cause cancer. Every cigarette packet reads the same warning messages but it doesn't actually deter smokers in any way. Smoking is prevalent among people of all age groups in India. From poor children to conscious educated adults, all are seen smoking.
- A Tropical country and its woes: Tropical countries are known to face the wrath of the sun. While most places in central, western, partly eastern and southern India experience extremes of temperature in summer, other places with moderately hot summers are not exempted from the harmful UV rays. Ultraviolet rays can be very harmful for one's skin, as it can cause skin cancer. Indians have a high amount of melanin, which protects them against sun rays, but the threat exists nonetheless.
- The concept of fast food: A global economy has opened avenues awaiting your attention in the realm of food. To suit the tones and moods of a fast life, fast food has been made available to you. We take pride in consuming things that can be prepared in an instant: instant noodles, soups and even curries. Packaged food and junk food are sources of cancer cells.
- Lack of awareness regarding the most common types of cancer: Breast and cervical cancer are the two most common types of cancer eating away the health of Indians. The problem lies in being unaware about the root causes, symptoms and treatment procedures related to these kinds of cancer. Social repression turns health concerns into matters of insignificance. Women fear social alienation after coming in the open with their problems.
The uterus is an organ situated in the pelvis of a female. It is hollow and is usually called the womb where child conception takes place. The uterus functions to help in developing the foetus until birth. Abnormal cell growth that consists of uterine tissues causes uterine cancer.
Although the exact reason for uterine cancer is not known, the risk factors usually can be seen in women with hyperplasia, obese women, and women who have never had kids. Common signs and indications of uterine cancer are unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain while urinating and having sex, and pelvic pains.
Bases upon the sort and phase of cancer, and also your concerns about fertility, there are a number of uterine cancer surgical methods, including the following:
Hysterectomy: The primary focus is an operation to remove the uterus and cervix. At the point when the uterus is removed through a cut in the abdomen, it is known as a total abdominal hysterectomy. In case that the uterus is removed through the vagina, it is known as a vaginal hysterectomy.
Radical Hysterectomy: A radical hysterectomy will be necessary for only a small percentage of women since several better surgical options exist already. This kind of uterine cancer surgery includes removing the uterus, cervix and ovaries and the majority of the encompassing tissue (the parametria) and the upper part of the vagina.
Lymphadenectomy: The lymph nodes in the pelvis may likewise be removed. Your specialist may evacuate the lymph nodes as a component of a hysterectomy to deal with cancer and build up a more focused approach for the uterine cancer treatment plan.
Pelvic Exenteration: For women with repetitive or advanced uterine cancer, pelvic exenteration might be an alternative. During this kind of cancer surgery, the uterus, cervix, vagina, ovaries, bladder, rectum and surrounding lymph nodes are removed. Tissue from somewhere else in the body is used to recreate the vagina and urine and stools are passed into external packs.
Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping: Sentinel lymph node mapping (SLN) might be utilised as a part of early-stage cancer if your specialist can see from the X-ray results that there has been no undeniable spread of cancer to the lymph nodes in your pelvis. In this surgery, a blue dye is infused into the zone with cancer, which is usually close to the cervix. The lymph nodes that turn blue are removed during surgery.
- Omentectomy: The omentum is a layer of greasy tissue that covers the stomach contents like an apron. Cancer at times tends to spread to this tissue. At the point when this tissue is removed, it is called an omentectomy. This might be done during a hysterectomy if cancer has spread there or to check for possible cancer spread.
After surgery if the stage comes beyond stage 1 then patients need Radiotherapy by an oncologist.