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Cancer Treatment- From Despair To Hope!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ashish Goel 89% (10 ratings)
DNB Surgical Oncology, MS Surgery, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MNAMS
Oncologist, Noida  •  28 years experience

Has cancer become a more common disease than what it was a few years ago?

Yes, the incidence of cancer has increased over the last few years and there are several hypotheses to explain this.

  • First, there is increasing awareness and diagnosis of cancer. 
  • Secondly, there is also a true increase in the incidence of cancer.

Why is there an increase in the incidence of cancer?

  • Several factors are to be blamed for this increasing incidence including changes in lifestyle, more sedentary lifestyle and less physical activity. The increasing use of tobacco and alcohol, delay in marriage and childbirth, less childbearing (especially relevant to breast cancer). Other factors include a change in 
  • Dietary practices such as consumption of red meats, excessive use of spices and chilies and 
  • Contamination of food items with pesticides to some extent. 

How much role does genetics play in cancer occurrence in an individual?

Less that 5% of cancers are attributed to genetic predisposition (i. E. Personal or family history of cancer) in an individual. 

Is cancer preventable?

Some cancers are certainly preventable such as those cancers related to consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Some viral infections such as hepatitis and HPV infection predispose to the liver and cervical cancers and therefore can be prevented by use of vaccination against these viral infections. 

Which all cancers are related to tobacco consumption?

Both smoked and chewed tobacco can lead to the development of cancers including cancer of mouth, Tongue, throat, voice box, food pipe and lung. 

If I have never used tobacco am I still at risk of developing oral cancer?

Although more than ninety percent of oral cancers result from tobacco consumption, chronic injury by sharp teeth can lead to mucosal injury and can predispose to development of oral cancer even in people, Who have never smoked or consumed chewed tobacco. 

What has changed in the last few years in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers?

1. The concept of multidisciplinary team and tumor board discussion for all cases ensures the correct sequence and best modality for treatment of cancers.
2. Availability of newer histopathological techniques, such as immunohistochemistry, liquid biopsy and next-generation sequencing for personalized treatment of cancer. 
3. Better staging tools such as pet-ct and other new imaging modalities.
4. Advances in surgery cancer surgery have become less mutilating and more and more organ conservation. There is an emphasis on reconstruction, cosmetic and functional outcome. Chest and abdominal surgeries are now performed by minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery.
5. Personalized cancer treatment, e. G. Two women with similar stage breast cancer may be treated differently based on their molecular and genetic factors. 
6. Use of precision based radiation therapy techniques (imrt, igrt etc) allows better 
Treatment outcomes with minimal side effects. 
7. Availability of targeted therapy and immunotherapy offers better disease outcomes with fewer side effects.

How do I take care of myself to prevent cancer?

Adopt a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. All cancers are not preventable so it is advisable to go for regular check-ups and screening for cancers. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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