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Cancer Tips

Blood Cancer Awareness Month - Facts You Need To Know About Blood Cancer!

Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Singh 92% (193ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
Blood Cancer Awareness Month - Facts You Need To Know About Blood Cancer!

Cancer like most other diseases has the best rates of recovery with early detection and intervention. As there are no regular health screenings for blood cancer, only the awareness about the early warning signs can save your life. September is designated as the Blood Cancer Awareness Month, to ensure every individual is equipped to fight against blood cancer right from the start. Here are 4 vital facts you must know to win your fight against blood cancer.

India has the third-highest number of reported blood cancer patients affecting over 70,000 of the population

Despite the advancements in knowledge of the nature and treatment of blood cancer, problems of blood cancer patients in India are specific to that of a developing country. The low number of registered patients combined with a lack of awareness and access to holistic healthcare results in a high mortality rate.

Lymphoma is more common than Leukemia or Myeloma

In India, 64% of the blood cancer patients present with lymphoma or abnormalities in the cells of the lymphatic system. 25% of the patients present with leukaemia or cancer of the lymphocytes while 11 % of the patients suffer from myeloma that affects the platelets. In the absence of regular health screenings for blood cancer, it is important to look out for the warning signs.

For patients below 25 years of age, common presentations are stomach and joint pain which can indicateLymphoblastic Leukaemia. Between 25-49, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is more likely with symptoms like fatigue, bleeding, and repeated infections. Above 50, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemiais common with presentations like weight loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue.

Cancer has warning signs-look out for these

Cancer can give itself away through certain symptoms-

  • Sudden swelling of gums
  • Recurrent infections
  • Excess bleeding
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low back pain in the elderly
  • Generalized weakness
  • Prolonged fever

Risk of blood cancer increases with the consumption of tobacco and alcohol

It is predicted that a reduction in the sale of tobacco and alcohol can reduce the burden of blood cancer by up to 30%. Such substances weaken the immune system and can cause abnormalities in the DNA structure of cells resulting in a mutation. Alcohol is known to interfere with the production of new blood cells in the body. Other factors that increase the predisposition to blood cancer are family history, exposure to radiation common in the urban environment, and age.

Despite improvements in medical science and research, the fight against blood cancer it is an uphill task. It can be physically and psychologically challenging for patients without the right support system. The financial burden of treatment is another challenge altogether. However, with regular screenings and keeping an eye for the warning signs from the body, it is not an impossible mission.

How To Reduce The Chances Of Blood Cancer?

Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Singh 92% (193ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
How To Reduce The Chances Of Blood Cancer?

Blood Cancer Awareness Month is observed every September to spread awareness about prevention, early warning signs, and treatment procedures of blood cancer. Like any other disease prevention is better than cure, but it is especially true for fatal conditions such as blood cancer. Here is a list of all the things you can do to ensure you are not a victim of blood cancer.

Live a Disciplined and Balanced Life

This is the single most important thing in preventing any disorder and blood cancer is no exception. Living a healthy life with a proper workout schedule and sleep schedule is the key to a disease-free life. Ensure you are eating a balanced diet and are including vitamins, minerals and fibres in the form of fruits and vegetables. Limit the consumption of processed food.

Adopt the Organic Life

Non-organic food items are drenched in fertilizers and pesticides such as variants of benzene. These are known carcinogens in large quantities and augment cancerous growths in your body. Adopting organic food alternatives helps you reduce, if not completely eliminate, putting such chemical compounds in your body.

Steer clear from Smoking

Tobacco is a known carcinogen and can cause several forms of cancer, including blood cancer. It not only puts you at risk, it progressively intensifies your chances of developing cancer.

Learn About Your Family History

Knowing your family history with cancer can help you determine your risk of developing any form of cancer and be more vigilant for the early signs of cancer. It is essential that you do not self-diagnose or medicate yourself and consult your physician, giving him/her an accurate family history and symptoms you are showing.

Know the Symptoms

  • Fever accompanied by chills
  • Loss of appetite and/or nausea
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Pain in bone and joints
  • Sudden weight loss
  • General discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anaemia
  • Persistent infections
  • Bruising, bleeding and skin rashes
  • Swollen lymph nodes in neck, underarms or pubic region

Although following these tips significantly reduce your likelihood of developing blood cancer, there are other factors such as family predisposition, genetic anomalies, exposure to radiation, consumption of certain drugs and food, etc. that can cause blood cancer. It is therefore essential to keep an eye out for the various symptoms of blood cancer and consult your physician at the earliest. It is easy to rule out the early warning signs of blood cancer or be in denial, but one must always remember that early detection is the key to surviving cancer.

How Will You Know If You Have Blood Cancer?

Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Singh 92% (193ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
How Will You Know If You Have Blood Cancer?

Unlike some forms of cancer, blood cancer has no regular screening tests presently. The doctors solely depend on patients coming in with the warning signs before sending them to sophisticated testing centers. Therefore, a large load of early detection of blood cancer lies with us knowing what the warning signs are.

Different forms of blood cancer have different symptoms

There are broadly three forms of blood cancer-

  1. Leukaemia: This form of blood cancer causes abnormalities in the bone marrow, which start producing cancerous white blood cells.
  2. Lymphoma: This is the cancer of the lymphatic system responsible for the immunity of the body.
  3. Myeloma: This blood cancer is caused due to abnormally multiplying plasma cells that deteriorate the immune system of the body.

However, all forms of blood cancer have some common warning symptoms including-

  • Bleeding and bruising, especially of gums
  • Low back pain in the elderly
  • Persistent infections and fever
  • Excessive and uncontrolled bleeding
  • Shortness of breath
  • General weakness and body aches

The symptoms change with age

Since different types of blood cancer become more likely at different ages, the symptoms also vary with age. Below 25 years of age, Lymphoblastic Leukaemia is more common and have symptoms including stomach and joint pain which can indicate. Between the ages of 25-49, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is a common presentation with symptoms such as fatigue, bruising, and recurrent infections. At ages more than 50, the patients present with sudden weight loss, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue, indicating a possible Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia.

Your symptoms vary with the stage of the blood cancer

Stage 1:

Stage 1 blood cancer shows enlargement in the lymph nodes is observed from the sudden increase in lymphocytes in the body, a common indication of infection in the body. The risk is minimum, and the chances of recovery are maximum at this stage. Usually, the cancer is yet to spread to various parts of the body and mostly localized.

Stage 2

The spread begins at this stage. The lymphocyte count increases rapidly causing enlargement of organs like the liver, spleen and lymph nodes.

Stage 3

The risk becomes significant at this stage with the liver and spleen extremely enlarged. Anaemia is a common presentation.

Stage 4:

In this final stage of cancer, the immune system of the body shatters and the platelet count drops resulting in severe anaemia. The cancerous cells have by now spread to the lungs and other vital organs. Chances of survival at this stage are extremely bleak.

As evident, early detection and treatment is key to surviving blood cancer. Since the symptoms are commonplace, people tend to ignore them until matter become grave and even fatal. It is best to consult a specialist, especially if you have a family history of cancer, to increase your odds of early detection while you still have a fighting chance.

How Is Blood Cancer Detected?

Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Singh 92% (193ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
How Is Blood Cancer Detected?

Despite the progress of medical science, the detection of blood cancer is largely dependent on the early warning signs. The diagnostic tests available are often sophisticated and are not included in regular health screenings.

What are the common symptoms?

  • Fever with chills
  • Frequent infections
  • Body aches
  • Nausea with loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Low back pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Swollen but painless lymph nodes

If you report with early signs of blood cancer the chances are your doctor will ask you for these tests.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

This is the first test blood test ordered for suspected blood cancer patients. The number of different types of blood cells is measured in a sample of the blood. Too many or too few of the various types of blood cells indicate abnormalities and cancerous growth.

Diagnostic Scans

X-ray, MRI, PET, and CT scans are sometimes ordered by the doctor to gauge the extent and stage of cancer. This test is more commonly ordered for patients suspected of suffering from multiple myelomas.

  • Flow Cytometry - A small sample of blood is tested for the presence and concentration of different types of protein markers to identify the type of blood cancer
  • Tumour marker tests - Tumour markers are introduced in your bloodstream that detects the presence of tumour cells, but this test is not completely reliable as several factors may influence the results.
  • Blood protein testing - Electrophoresis is ordered to inspect the different proteins in the blood sample. The presence of abnormalities immunoglobulins in the blood indicates blood cancer multiple myeloma. This test usually needs to be followed up with a bone marrow biopsy to confirm the results.
  • Biopsy - Typically, a bone marrow biopsy is ordered to confirm blood cancers. In this method, a small amount of bone marrow tissue is removed and tested for anomalies. This is the most definitive diagnosis for any form of cancer, including blood cancer. However, biopsies are expensive and time-consuming tests reserve for the final verdict.

Methods of early detection of blood cancer have evolved to be sophisticated and accurate even in the very early stages. With awareness and regular medical check-ups, early detection of cancer has become more and more likely.

1 person found this helpful

What Are The Types Of Blood Cancer?

Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Singh 92% (193ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
What Are The Types Of Blood Cancer?

Blood cancer is a complex condition that affects the blood cells and the bone marrow, which is the source of blood cells. Originating in the bone marrow, the affected blood cells grow uncontrolled and are unable to perform the normal functions including combating diseases. This destroys the immune system of the body that can ultimately prove fatal. Since not many people know much about this form of cancer, the Blood Cancer Awareness Month is organized every year in September by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to spread the required awareness.

Here are the major types of blood cancer-

  • Leukaemia

Found in the blood and bone marrow this results in the rapid production of white blood cells with abnormal attributes. The body loses its ability to fight infection due to the abnormal white blood cells and the bone marrow is not able to supply the body with red blood cells and platelets.

The main types of leukaemia are

Acute lymphocytic leukaemia affects lymphocytes in the bone marrow and advances rapidly. It is the most commonly affects children between 3 and 5 and adults over age 75 years with a family history of genetic disorders.

Acute myeloid leukaemia affects the myeloid cells first and spread throughout the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It is more common in men over age 65. Habits like smoking or blood disorders like myelodysplasia or polycythemia increase the chances of this.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia starts in the bone marrow with lymphocytes. Although it has a slow growth, most people remain asymptomatic until it is already too late. It is more common in ages above 70.

Chronic myeloid leukaemia begins in myeloid cells and grows slowly. It is an aftereffect of exposure to large amounts of radiation.

  • Lymphoma

This affects the lymphatic system responsible for the production of immune cells called lymphocytes and the removal of excess fluids from the body. The lymphocytes produced multiply unchecked in the lymph nodes and tissues but are unable to battle infections.

The two types of lymphoma are-

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma: cancer originates from the lymphocytes in the lymphatic system and deteriorates the capabilities of the body to fight infections.

Hodgkin lymphoma: a blood cancer that originates in the B cells or T cell of the lymphatic system and is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cell. It is more common than the Non-Hodgkin variety.

Lymphomas are more common for people with weak immune systems and between the ages of 15 to 35 and more than 50 years.

  • Myeloma

This type of blood cancer affects the plasma cells responsible for the production of antibodies essential to fight diseases and infections. The weakened immune system makes even the slightest infections fatal for the patient.

Myeloma is characterized by rapid growth that kills off the healthy blood cells that attempt to supply antibodies and always occurs in more than one place. This condition is known as multiple myeloma and is common for men over 50 years, who are obese or have a family history.

India ranks third after the United States and China in the number of registered blood cancer patients. As with all forms of cancer, early detection is key to the effectiveness of treatment and chances of survival. Therefore, the knowledge of the various types of blood cancer equips you to detect the warning signs that could potentially save your life.

Robotic Rectal Cancer Resection Surgery - In Detail About It!

MBBS, MS - Gen Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Mumbai
Robotic Rectal Cancer Resection Surgery - In Detail About It!

Minimal invasive surgery for rectal cancers has gained immense popularity and acceptance over open surgery in the last decade. Modern laparoscopic surgery is associated with minimal blood loss and pain with better short-term outcomes. The procedure ensures a speedy recovery and a decreased hospital stay. However, laparoscopic surgery has also been linked to high conversion rates (up to 29%) to open surgery, and those who were converted showed suboptimal outcomes. 

To overcome the limitations of laparoscopic surgery, a relatively new technique was introduced – known as Robotic-assisted colorectal procedure with the Da Vinci technology. 

What is the Da Vinci Robotic Rectal Cancer Resection? 

The Da Vinci technology is an innovative surgical system that comprises of 3 components – the surgeon console, the patient cart, and the vision cart.

  • The surgeon sits on the console during the procedure and regulates the instruments after getting a detailed three-dimensional view of the anatomy. The instruments move like the hand of a human, only with a greater range of motion, which allows the surgeon to perform the procedure more efficiently. 

  • The patient cart rests on the operating table close to the patient. During the surgery, the used instruments move in real-time in response to the surgeon’s hand movements. 

  • The vision cart allows the various components of the system to communicate between themselves and supports the new-age 3D HD vision system. 

How does the procedure work for rectal cancer?

Surgeons use the innovative Da Vinci technology to remove all or part of your rectum through a few incisions. The surgeon sits at a console table right next to the patient and operates using small, wristed movements. The technology precisely translates every hand movement the surgeon makes in real-time to rotate and bend the instruments. A 3D high-definition camera provides your surgeon with a magnified view inside the body. He/she may use fluorescence imaging – this activates injected dye to light up and show the flow of blood to the colon, thus offering visualization beyond the human eye. This may prove helpful during the procedure. 

Why Opt for Robotic Rectal Cancer Resection?

A review of studies published in recent times suggest the potential benefits of robotic rectal cancer resection surgery, which include –

  • A shorter span of stay in the hospital, as compared to patients undergoing an open surgery or even a laparoscopic surgery

  • Minimal risk of complications

The new-age Da Vinci technology has made robotic rectal surgeries feasible in a single-phase and a single docking without changing the robotic arms.

2713 people found this helpful

All You Must Know About Signet Ring Cancer!

MBBS, MS - Gen Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Mumbai
All You Must Know About Signet Ring Cancer!

Signet ring cancer or Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma is a subtype of colorectal cancer. Accounting to 1% of all colorectal cancers, SRCC is an aggressive variant, which usually affects the younger population. 

Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma tumour develops in the peritoneum – the thin membrane lining the pelvic and abdominal cavities, and covering most of the abdominal viscera – and spreads gradually to the lymphatic permeation of the lungs and to ovaries. 

Diagnosis and Treatment - 

SRCC diagnosis arbitrarily requires that 25% or more of the tumour be composed of signet ring cells – these cells are most frequently associated with gastrointestinal or stomach cancer but may arise from any number of tissues, including the bladder, prostate, breast, gallbladder, colon, testis, and ovarian stroma. A biopsy is also performed to diagnose cancer. 

Most patients are diagnosed with Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma at an advanced stage due to the absence of specific symptoms. Usually, SRCC patients are administered combination chemotherapy, as with patients with any other form of gastric cancer. 

In rare cases, doctors may suggest removing stomach cancer using surgery. This is typically done when the disease has metastasized to affect other organs or parts of the body. 

As for the diet, nutritional support of stomach cancer is a vital component of the treatment. Many patients complain of malnourishment or of not being able to eat properly following diagnosis. Liquid supplements for nutrition are recommended if the patient is unable to take in food orally. Feeding tube placement may be needed if he/she is having difficulty swallowing.

Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma of the rectum and colon is a rare entity with a reported incidence of less than 1%. Since the particular type of cancer has an extremely poor prognosis, it is necessary to diagnose the disease early diagnosis and adopt an aggressive treatment strategy. Discuss the possible outcomes with your oncologist before going ahead with the treatment plan. 

2823 people found this helpful

Colon Polyps - What Are The Available Treatment Options?

Dr.Praveen Sharma 84% (65ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Colon Polyps - What Are The Available Treatment Options?

A polyp is a cauliflower-like growth on the skin or the mucosal surface. Colon is the medical term for the larger intestine and the rectum. A growth on the mucosal surface of this part of the intestine is known as a colon polyp. Although not visible, colon polyps is present with symptoms, which can lead to their diagnosis. The main cause for concern is that some colon polyps can turn into colorectal cancer, which is the third largest cancer in America.

Types: There are two main types of polyps

  1. Hyperplastic or inflammatory: These are benign growths and do not carry the risk of developing into cancer.
  2. Adenomas: These carry the risk of turning into cancer, and so early detection and intervention is essential.

Though not all polyps develop into tumors, yet all tumors develop from a polyp. There is a strong genetic component, which makes it worse. Someone with inflammatory bowel disease or Crohn’s disease is also at a higher risk of mucosal inflammation, which can induce dysplasia and then polyps.

Risk factors:

  1. Family history
  2. Inflammatory bowel disease
  3. Obesity
  4. Diet rich in processed meat and red meat
  5. Smoking
  6. Lack of physical activity
  7. Type 2 diabetes
  8. Being male, being African American

Symptoms: Though often silent, some symptoms which also appear only after the polyp has grown considerably include:

  1. Bleeding with stools – often small amounts intermittently, which is occult bleeding, not visible though
  2. Altered bowel habits (constipation, diarrhea)
  3. Abdominal pain and discomfort
  4. Unexplained weight loss
  5. Anemia (due to blood loss)

Diagnosis: If a person is at risk from medical history and has the above symptoms, then the following are done:

  1. Sigmoidoscopy – Viewing the colon and rectum to see if there are any polyps. A biopsy may also be taken to confirm cancerous growth.
  2. Colonoscopy – The entire colon is viewed to rule out polyps in other areas of the colon.
  3. CT scan of the abdomen which is non-invasive and can be used as the first step.

Treatment:

  1. If a polyp is diagnosed, then it needs to be removed.
  2. If it turns out cancerous, then detailed evaluation should be done to rule out spread to other areas. Additionally, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be required to completely eliminate the tumor and contain it.
  3. The surgical removal of the tumor would be planned depending on the stage of the tumor.
  4. Adapting a healthy lifestyle is very essential to managing polyps and preventing cancer. Quitting smoking, managing weight, eating healthy, and being physically active are some ways to prevent colorectal cancer.
  5. Repeat colonoscopy needs to be done to ensure these are not recurrent.
1436 people found this helpful

Liver Cancer (Hepatocellular Carcinoma)

Apurva Pande 89% (11ratings)
DM - Hepatology, MD - General Medicine, M. B. B. S.
Hepatologist, Bangalore

Who is at risk?
All patients having cirrhosis.
It happens in non cirrhotics too.

What causes of cirrhosis commonly lead to hcc?
Hepatitis b related cirrhosis (most likely), hepatitis c, alcoholic cirrhosis, nash.

Is liver cancer curable?
Yes if diagnosed at an early stage.

Is there any treatment option for advanced hcc?
Yes there are options which can prolong the survival.

How to screen?
All cirrhotics need to get and ultrasound once a year and a blood test called serum alfa fetoprotein.

2 people found this helpful

Mouth Cancer - Know How Homeopathy Can Help In Cure!

Dr.Sandeep Mishra 94% (190ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopathy Doctor, Kanpur
Mouth Cancer - Know How Homeopathy Can Help In Cure!

Oral cancer is commonly known as mouth cancer. It is a type of cancer that develops in any part of the mouth or oral cavity.

It may occur on the:

  • Gums

  • Tongue

  • Lips

  • The roof of the mouth

  • The inner lining of the cheeks

  • The floor of the mouth

  • Under the tongue

Oral cancer is painful and often fatal. It can happen due to various reasons. Cancerous tissues might grow right in the mouth or metastasize from a nearby location like the throat or the sinus cavity.

Causes and Risk Factors

The cause of cancer cannot be conclusively stated. But a high correlation with risk factors can be established. In the case of oral cancer, these are the risk factors:

Symptoms

Some common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Ulcers or lesions on the lips, tongue, cheek, gums, basically anywhere near the mouth.

  • Discoloration of the skin inside the mouth. Usually, it is red patches or white patches depending upon the type of cancer.

  • Pain and burning sensation as the tumor grows.

  • Pussy boils with a foul smell.

  • Difficulty swallowing.

  • Difficulty having anything hot or spicy.

  • Speech problems.

Diagnosis-

A biopsy is the only conclusive diagnosis for any type of cancer. Before that, a series of tests will follow as per procedure to rule out other diseases. In an advanced stage, however, when the signs are obvious, a mandatory biopsy will be done on an urgent basis.

Treatment-

There are many ways to treat oral cancer including Chemotherapy, Radiation therapy, surgery, etc. However, according to recent studies, Homeopathy is proved to be one of the most effective ways to treat oral cancer.

Surgery is painful, complicated, risky, and even successful surgeries are not necessarily a permanent solution. Even for those who do survive, crucial activities like eating, talking, chewing, often become impossible. The odds of chemo/radiation therapy or surgery succeeding are therefore not very good.

Homeopathy focuses on pain management and reducing symptoms. It is more therapeutic and helps the person deal with the symptoms in a calmer manner. Homeopathy does not eliminate cancer, but ensures minimal pain, overall comfort, and helps the other physiological process to remain normal.

Most homeopathic remedies are completely safe without any negative side effects. It can be harmful or risky if an individual is using it without other required therapies and diagnostic tests. One should undergo the

4190 people found this helpful
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