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Irrfan Khan's saddening revelation about his health and diagnosis of Neuroendocrine tumour (NET) has undoubtedly created a rage amongst his fans, which is now being followed by good wishes for speedy recovery from his supporters all across social media.
The actor shared in an emotional Twitter post that he’s been diagnosed with NET, a rare tumour that develops from cells of the neuroendocrine system and grows predominantly in the digestive or respiratory tract - lungs, appendix, small intestine, rectum, and pancreas - it can occur in any part of the body.
Here is more on Irrfan’s disease:
What is NET?
A neuroendocrine tumor is characterized by a rapid and abnormal growth that happens in the nerve cells which produce hormones. Hormones control how different organs in the body work.
It is a condition wherein, endocrine cells, the hormone-producing cells of the body, develop a tumor in any part of the body - while it can can grow in lungs or the thymus, or more rarely, in the ovaries, kidneys, or testicles - the most common is lung, intestines, and pancreas.
What causes NET?
A neuroendocrine tumour is quite a rare disease, occurs in less than one per million cases. The exact cause is not known.
It can cause a myriad of symptoms, depending on where in the body the NET is.
- If it is in your digestive system, it can cause pain or discomfort in the abdomen area that comes and goes. You may feel sick, nauseated, vomited, or there may be a change in how often you pass stools.
- If the NET is in the lung, it can cause shortness of breath, chest infections, or you can even have a cough up blood.
- Weight loss and loss of appetite may also be some common signs of a neuroendocrine tumour.
- Some NETs may overproduce a hormone-like substance called serotonin. This causes a group of symptoms called carcinoid syndrome. Symptoms include wheezing (like asthma), flushing of the skin and diarrhoea.
Who can be affected with NET?
- These tumours, depending on the type, are more common in certain age or sex. And few have very strong family history too.
- People who have a rare condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia 1 have an increased risk of developing a NET.
Did You Know?
Apple founder ‘Steve Jobs‘ died from the same disease in 2011. The tumour affected his pancreas.
Know The Different Types of NET:
Based on the organ that is affected, NET can vary a lot. When the chromaffin cells that produce adrenaline are affected, it is called Pheochromocytoma, and it is related to the stress levels of the body.
When a cell is formed abnormally under the skin and the hair follicles, it is called Merkel cell cancer. This is also called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin and the condition can occur anywhere in the body. The commonly occurring places include lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and brain.
The status of the tumour, cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign), decides the survival rate. Often slow-growing and noncancerous, they can invade surrounding parts of the body and at times, turn cancerous and spread across the body. However, you can still choose to live a good quality life with strict modifications in diet and lifestyle. The changes are made after taking into consideration the symptoms of the tumor. The organ where the tumor is formed also matters.
How Is It Treated?
Treatment depends on the location of the tumour, its type, how severe it is and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. Usually, the first treatment choice is surgery to remove the tumour. And, if the NET cannot be removed, your will prescribed with a treatment that will not only relieve the symptoms but will also improve the quality of your life.
How can a NET be prevented?
The first thing you need to do for the prevention of NET is to curb stress. Stress affects the entire body severely.
A healthy lifestyle is what you need to stick to if you want to manage its symptoms during the treatment cycle. Your doctor will prescribe you to do exercises at least 4 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. You can also try a walk instead of strenuous exercises.
People with carcinoid syndrome may be advised to avoid food or activities that may trigger flushing, such as eating spicy food or drinking alcohol.
Indulge yourself in therapies that help in gaining more positive energy. If you are already affected by NET, eliminate all the sources of stress and get a good night's sleep every day. Join the support groups that make you grow strong and happy. After all, the mind is devised to do miracles when it is full of life and positive thoughts.
Is Irrfan Khan's tumour curable?
Dr Saumitra Rawat, HOD, Surgical Gastroenterology & Liver Transplant, Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, said, "NeuroEndocrine Tumour is an abnormal growth of Neuroendo cells which are present in bodies. When there is an abnormal growth, then it forms a tumor - Normally seen in intestine, pancreas, lung, thyroid and other parts of the body".
On commenting on Khan's case, he said, "It depends on the location of tumour, its size, and what is its mitotic index".
"Depending on where the tumour is localized, you can take it out surgically and the chances of cure are very high", Dr Rawat explained.
Actor Irrfan, who has been diagnosed with the disease is one of the most versatile actors in India, has also made a name for himself in the west, where he has been an important part of critically-acclaimed films such as ‘The Namesake’, ‘Jurassic World’, and ‘Life of Pi’. At home, the actor has delivered remarkable performances in films such as ‘Haasil’, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, ‘Maqbool’, ‘Lunch Box’, ‘Piku’, and the most recent ‘Hindi Medium’.
Irrfan Khan is not just a disarmingly natural actor, but also an endearing human being -- honest and humble to the core. It’s time to stand together and pray for him a speedy recovery!
Here are a few things you should know about Testicular Cancer (TC):
- Age: The commonest affected age group is 20-45 years with germ cell tumours. Half of all cases occur in men less than 35 years. Non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT) are more common at ages 20-35, while seminoma is more common at age 35-45 years. Rarely, infants and boys below 10 years develop yolk sac tumours and 50% men above 60 years with TC have lymphoma.
- Race: White Caucasian people living in Europe and the US have the highest risk. Whites are three times more likely to develop TC than blacks in the US. With the exception of the New Zealand Maoris, TC is rare in non-Caucasian races.
- Previous TC: Confers a 12-fold increased risk of metachronous TC. Bilateral TC occurs in 1-2% of cases.
- Cryptorchidism: 5-10% of TC patients have a history of cryptorchidism. Ultrastructural changes are present in these testes by age 3 years, although earlier orchidopexy does not completely eliminate the risk of developing TC. According to a large Swedish study, cryptorchidism is associated with a two-fold increased risk of TC in men who underwent orchiopexy less than 13 year, but risk is increased 5-fold in men who underwent orchiopexy aged above13 years. A meta-analysis showed risk of contralateral TC almost doubles while ipsilateral TC risk is increased 6-fold in men with unilateral cryptorchidism.
- Intratubular germ cell neoplasia (testicular intraepithelial neoplasia, TIN): Synonymous with carcinoma in situ, although the disease arises from malignant change in spermatogonia; 50% of cases develop invasive germ cell TC within 5 years. The population incidence is 0.8%. Risk factors include cryptorchidism, extragonadal germ cell tumour, atrophic contralateral testis, 45XO karyotype, Klinefelter's syndrome, previous or contralateral TC (5%), and infertility.
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): Patients develop seminoma 35% more frequently than expected. Genetic factors: appear to play a role, given that first-degree relatives are at higher risk by 4-9-fold, but a defined familial inheritance pattern is not apparent.
- Maternal oestrogen exposure: At higher than usual levels during pregnancy appears to increase risk of cryptorchidism, urethral anomalies, and TC in male offspring.
Trauma and viral-induced atrophy have not been convincingly implicated as risk factors for TC.
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!
Testicular cancer is mostly witnessed among young adults in the age range of 24–35. It results from the growth of abnormal cells in the testes. It is not the most common type of cancer found in the body, but can pose a serious threat to an individual if not treated early. The cure rate is one of the highest among all kinds of cancer found in the body. This being said, the rate of cure is totally dependent on the stage of detection.
Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer
The historical trend of testicular cancer suggests that white men are prone to this type of cancer than their African, Asian and Latino counterparts. A person with a family history of testicular cancer of HIV is at higher risk of getting this disease. Some other risk factors include Klinefelter’s syndrome and cryptorchidism.
Protection from Testicular Cancer
There is no hard and fast rule of protection. It is suggested that the testicles get evaluated while routine medical check-up. A person with a family history of testicular cancer should opt for a periodic checkup after every three months. In case a patient has already recovered from testicular cancer, routine medical tests are a must to ensure non-recurrence.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
The common symptom is a swelling in the testicle. It feels like a thickening of the testicle and is mostly painless. Minor discomfort in the swelling region is often reported. Some other symptoms include back pain, ache in the scrotum and groin, change in the size of the testicle, bloating of the lower abdomen and heavy sensation of the scrotum. There is a rare form of this cancer, which produces a female hormone called estrogen in a man’s body. This disease results in a lack of sexual desire, lump in the affected area, etc. Even less serious testicular cancer might show these symptoms. An oncologist should be immediately consulted if one or more of these symptoms surfaces.
What are the treatment options?
Testicular cancer is mostly cured with the help of a surgery. A follow-up radiation and chemotherapy is suggested by doctors to destroy the surrounding cells. It is done to ensure that the cancer cells do not spread easily and the chance of recurrence is minimal. The rate of cure depends on early detection.
Does testicular cancer affect sexuality?
In most of the cases, testicular cancer is detected in one testicle. If this is the case, the other testicle produces all the hormones needed for sexual drive. It also does not affect sex drive, beard and muscularity. There is also a large section of patients who reported of a difficult sexual life after the surgery. There can be some discomfort in the scrotum as well. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
My 55-year-old husband has been having BPH (prostate sized nearly 96 gms) problem for 3 years was on urimax-D.He lately developed a mobile bladder stone of nearly 1. 2 cm which caused a couple of bleeding episodes. Was on 3-month medication but now has been recommended surgery --TURP and lithoparaxy. Is it the final resort? If so which are known hospitals in Delhi NCR for laser based prostate surgery which is less invasive and faster recovery time. Please advise. His other parameters are absolutely fine.
The pancreas is a gland located in the abdominal region that performs two main functions for the body: produces digestive juices and the hormone insulin which regulates the blood sugar levels. The part which produces the digestive juices is exocrine and the insulin-producing part is the endocrine portion. Pancreatic cancer, which is an uncontrolled growth of the pancreas cells, often starts in the exocrine portion and is known as the pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The one which develops in the endocrine portion is known as neuroendocrine cancer or islet cell tumors.
Though not clearly established, the following factors are believed to up the risk of pancreatic cancer.
- Family history
- Prolonged uncontrolled diabetes
- Pancreatic conditions like inherited pancreatitis
- Chronic inflammation of the pancreas
Pancreatic condition is of insidious onset, and the exact period of onset cannot be determined. The symptoms also are nonspecific abdominal symptoms, which do not pinpoint to the pancreas per se.
- Jaundice, which includes yellowing of the skin and whites of the white. This is because the growth of the pancreas puts pressure on the liver and bile ducts, and so hampers bile flow
- Weight loss, which was unintended. This is due to a bloated feeling plus inability to digest the foods
- Severe pain, which can be difficult and may even require regular injections to control
- Fluctuating sugar levels, which is unexplained
- Onset of diabetes, which is associated with weight loss and jaundice
- Increased tendency for blood clots
- Loss of appetite
- Bowel obstruction due to blockage from the growing pancreas
The above symptoms could lead to further investigation that includes a few important tests, like the following.
- Blood tests
- Insulin levels
- CT scan
- Laparoscopy, both to look for the extent of the disease and to do a biopsy, which can be used for confirming the type of cancer
- Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography: A dye is injected into the pancreas to study the spread of the dye, which will also help identify the diseased portion.
Pancreatic cancer is very aggressive, usually not detected early, and has a very poor prognosis. So, if there is a family history or one has a prolonged pancreatic condition, it is advisable to go for annual screening to help with early detection and intervention. Once identified, treatment would include a combination of the three modalities – surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Surgery often may be followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation.
The prognosis for pancreatic cancer is very poor. Only about 25% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live past the first year. Early detection in people with risk factor remains the best way to improve prognosis. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Cancer is the most dangerous disease noticeable throughout the world. The most common type of cancer that affects men is prostate cancer. Prostate is a small exocrine gland situated directly below the bladder and in front of the rectum. This is gland is approximately in size of a walnut and plays an important role in production of a milky fluid during orgasm of sex in which the semen travels. During the climax stage of the prostate gland is forced to push the fluid and remove the semen out of the reproductive structures.
Prostate gland is a slow progressive disease which makes many males left unidentified even the presence of prostate cancer even until they die. 6 out of 100 male over the age of 60 are getting prostate cancer. Though prostate cancer can be cured at a better rate when compared to other type of cancer it is always best to stay protected. Prevention is always better than cure. Here are few tips to keep your prostate healthy.
Signs and symptoms of prostate cancer-
During the early stages of prostate cancer there are usually no symptoms. Most men at this stage find out they have prostate cancer after a routine check up or blood test. When symptoms do exist, they are usually one or more of the following:
The patient urinates more often
The patient gets up at night more often to urinate
He may find it hard to start urinating
He may find it hard to keep urinating once he has started
There may be blood in the urine
Urination might be painful
Ejaculation may be painful (less common)
Achieving or maintaining an erection may be difficult (less common).
If the prostate cancer is advanced the following symptoms are also possible:
Bone pain, often in the spine (vertebrae), pelvis, or ribs
The proximal part of the femur can be painful
Ways to have a healthy prostate –
Diet and weight – the most important factor is the diet to maintain a healthy weight. Avoid fatty food items and take fats from vegetables than from animals. Avoid dairy products and increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Exercise – have a regular practise of doing exercise at least for 30mins a day. This really helps you to keep your body fit.
Be precautious – if you have a family history of prostate cancer or if you feel you are at high risk of getting prostate cancer talk with your doctor about it and take preventive drugs as per the doctor’s advice.
Red foods – research shows that men who consume red foods like watermelon, tomato and other red fruits are at lower risk of getting prostate cancer as they contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene
Caffeine – three to four cups of coffee per day reduces your risk of getting prostate cancer.
- Stop smoking – if you are at high risk of getting prostate cancer it is best advised to quit smoking and alcohol.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!