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With terminal illnesses like cancer, the disease is not the only thing that requires treatment. In addition to controlling the severity and spread of the main disease, the effect it has on the other body systems including emotional, social, psychological problems and also physical issues like pain and inflammation. Though the disease has reached an advanced stage and cannot be cured, the patient can be made to be pain-free and at peace to the extent possible.
The goal of palliative care is not to cure - in fact, palliative care is in place for diseases like cancer from the time it is diagnosed and treatment is begun but becomes the major component of treatment once the cancer is identified to be in terminal stages. Therapeutic care aimed at curing the cancer is gradually reduced and palliative care assumes a bigger role. This is also called as symptomatic care, supportive care, or comfort care.
Aspects of palliative care: Once the disease is identified to be in terminal stages, then the following become considerations:
- Stay at home or hospital
- Withdraw chemotherapy and radiation?
- Withdraw feeding tube
- Spiritual discussions
- Reduce anxiety
- Good quality time with the family
- Reduce pain and suffering
As is evident, there is a huge component of social/emotional/spiritual management in addition to reducing pain and suffering:
- Physical: Pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, loss of appetite are some symptoms that need to be managed. In addition to pain killers, small exercises can be included to make them feel better, even if it is just getting a breath of fresh air.
- Social: Depression (learn the ways to handle depression), anxiety, uncertainty, fear are all looming large and they are not sure how to manage these feelings. Talking to a counselor or some close family member or friend can be a big relief - the burden is off their chest.
- Legal: There could be issues related to property, insurance, property that also need to be discussed. External help can be sought if required to provide financial counselling and legal advice.
- Spiritual: Looking into the spiritual needs and understanding the deeper meaning of life, restoring faith are some things that also can help them feel better. "Why did this happen to me?" is a question most people keep asking and while there is no answer, some solace can be provided through talks.
It is to be noted that palliative care is not just for the patient. The caretakers (family and close friends) are equally in need of some support. So, once the patient is identified to be in terminal stages, all effort is made so the final leg of the journey is peaceful and as painless as possible.
1. Prevents cancer: as a magnificent source of vitamin c and different cell reinforcements, tomatoes can battle the development of abnormal cells that causes cancer. Lycopene has been connected with prostate tumour prevention. Epidemiologists recommend the consumption of tomato as it helps lower the possibility of prostate cancer. High fibre content of beta-carotene in fruits and vegetables has been proven to bring down the risk of colorectal cancer to a great extent.
2. Blood pressure: low sodium consumption keeps circulatory strain solid. Tomatoes are rich in potassium that helps in the same.
3. Heart's well-being: the fibre, potassium, vitamin c and choline content in tomatoes all bolster the heart's well-being. An expansion in potassium as well as a reduction in sodium is the most essential dietary change that an individual can make to lessen their danger of cardiovascular diseases. Tomatoes additionally contain folic corrosive, which keeps the homocysteine levels under control. It reduces the risk of heart diseases.
4. Diabetes: tomatoes help bring down the blood sugar level in people with type1 diabetes. Whereas, people with type 2 diabetes may have enhanced glucose, lipids and insulin levels. One measure of cherry tomatoes gives around 2 grams of fibre and helps them keep their levels neutralized.
5. Constipation: eating foods that are high in water substance and fibre like tomatoes can help with hydration and advance normal solid discharges. Fibre adds mass to stool and is important for bowel movement.
6. Eye health: tomatoes are a rich sources of lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene, which are intense cancer prevention agents. They have been helpful in protecting the eyes against harm related to the advancement of age-related macular degeneration.
7. Skin: collagen, a fundamental part of the skin, hair, nails and connective tissue, is dependent on vitamin c. An inadequacy of vitamin c leads to certain skin problems. As vitamin c is a capable cancer prevention agent, a low intake can affect the skin and cause harm from uv rays, infections and smoke. This usually results in wrinkles, hanging skin, blemishes and other antagonistic skin diseases.
8. Pregnancy: a good amount of folic acid needs to be present before and during pregnancy to ensure the infants good health inside the mother's womb. This can be found in tomatoes.type diabetes
I had lymph node type some months back, but it was very small, now it become dark and thick, it is a lymph node or is something else? There is no pain, but sometimes it is. Can I show any good doctor relating to this in bangalore? If you know Good doctors let me know?
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one or both lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not develop into healthy lung tissue. As they grow, the abnormal cells can form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lung, which provides oxygen to the body via the blood.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. is diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime. Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.
What Causes Lung Cancer?
The development of lung cancer is strongly associated with cigarette smoking, approximately 90% of lung cancers are attributable to use of tobacco. Pipe and cigar smoking can also cause lung cancer, but the risk is not as high as with cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are cancer causing (carcinogens). Passive smoking, i.e. the inhalation of tobacco smoke by non-smokers who live or work with smokers, is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer.
Genetic susceptibility (i.e. family history) may play a role in the development of lung cancer. Other causes of lung cancer include air pollution (from vehicles, industry, and power generation) and inhalation of asbestos fibres (usually in the workplace).
Lung Cancer Symptoms:
Early symptoms and signs of lung cancer:
There may be no symptoms at the onset of the disease. When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- Coughing: This includes a persistent cough that doesn't go away or changes to a chronic smoker's cough, such as more coughing or pain.
- Coughing up blood: Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm) should always be discussed with your doctor.
- Breathing Difficulties: Shortness of breath, wheezing or noisy breathing (called stridor) may all be signs of lung cancer.
- Loss of Appetite: Many cancers cause changes in appetite, which may lead to unintended weight loss.
- Fatigue: It is common to feel weak or excessively tired.
- Recurring infections: Recurring infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, may be one of the signs of lung cancer.
Signs of advanced stages of lung cancer: Advanced stages of lung cancer are often characterized by the spread of cancer to distant sites in the body. This may affect the bones, liver or brain. As other parts of the body are affected, new lung cancer symptoms may develop, including:
- Bone pain
- Swelling of the face, arms or neck
- Headaches, dizziness or limbs that become weak or numb
- Lumps in the neck or collar-bone region
Treatment: Treatment for cancer involves a combination of surgery to remove cancer cells, chemotherapy and radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Lung cancer is incurable unless complete surgical removal of the tumour cells can be achieved. Surgery is the most effective treatment for lung cancer, but only a few percentage of lung cancers are suitable for surgery i.e. Stage I and II NSCLC and cancer that has not spread beyond the lung.
Radiation therapy may be used for both NSCLC and SCLC and is a good option for people who are not suitable for surgery or who refuse surgery. Chemotherapy is used for both NSCLC and SCLC. Chemotherapy drugs may be given alone or in combination with surgery or radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is the treatment of first choice for SCLC since it has usually spread extensively in the body by the time it has been diagnosed.
Also used in the treatment of lung cancer are targeted therapies. These are drugs (gefitinib and erlotinib) or antibodies (cetuximab, bevacizumab) that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. They are used in some patients with NSCLC that does not respond to standard chemotherapy.