Chemotherapy can be frightening, and the very thought of going through it can be an ordeal for most people. Many resources and tips can be used to minimize the discomfort and lessen the burden. Let us have a look at a few of these.
Chemotherapy treatment can be emotionally daunting. Having a few precautions like the ones stated above can make all the difference in how successful we are in coping with it.
Cancer is amongst the most fatal diseases and the second most common cause of death in India after cardiac problems. It is caused by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells and can happen in any part of the body. The five most common types of cancer in Indian population are breast, cervical, oral cavity, lung and colorectal. As per WHO, India is one of those countries which has the highest number of cancer patients. Here are some facts related to cancer in India:
What causes cancer?
There can be a lot of reasons that cells mutate in the body. Some of the reasons that can lead to it are:
Treatment of cancer
There are a number of treatments that are available to treat cancer. The kind of treatment that can be opted, depends upon the type and stage of cancer. Few of the common methods are- surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and biological therapy. The cost associated with cancer treatment is usually very high, and having a health insurance in such cases is required.
Some of the Cancer treatment hospitals in Delhi are listed below.
Healthcare Global Enterprises Ltd (HCG), is one of India’s largest chain of hospitals, with more than 20 comprehensive cancer centers across India. HCG has advanced cancer care facilities and that can help patients better treatment & can also help improve the quality of life among cancer patients. Karkardooma center is headed by Dr. Randeep Singh, a well-reputed Oncologist.
Consultation fees: ₹1000
Rockland Hospitals Limited (RHL) was initially set up in Dec 2004 and has a dedicated department for cancer patients. There is a team of renowned oncologists who have a wide experience in treating different types of cancer. The hospital also has all the advanced cancer treatments and services that help in better diagnosis and also in better treatment with reduced pain.
Consultation fees: ₹150 - ₹1200
Batra Hospital and Medical Research cancer center is amongst the best cancer hospitals in Delhi. It provides all three specialities- medical, radiation & surgical, under one roof. The center is one of the leading department with the highest standards.
Consultation fees: ₹700
Oncology or cancer care center at Bhagat Chandra Hospital is headed by highly experienced doctors. The cancer care unit has the latest and advanced technologies for cancer screening & early cancer detection. The center also provided complete treatment & management of the disease.
Consultation fees: ₹1000
Max hospital is known for its personalized and holistic approach for cancer treatment. They are equipped with latest technologies like EUS for real-time cancer staging, SBRT for Radiation therapy, tumor board and molecular oncology. They also have a dedicated day care chemotherapy centre, that is quite helpful while you are on chemo cycle.
Consultation fees: ₹1000
Action Balaji hospital is known for its world class cancer facilities. The center is equipped with latest technology & equipments to provide the best possible treatment of this deadly disease.
Consultation fees: ₹400 - ₹1050
Metro hospitals is known for its team of oncologist, which consists of medical oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists. They have best in class infrastructure and comprehensive facilities that help in better diagnosis, management and treatment of cancer.
Consultation fees: ₹200 - ₹1000
PSRI cancer center provides best healthcare facility with the most advanced medical technology available anywhere in the world.they have a team of highly trained doctors of international repute along with researchers that work together, helping the patients with new and best treatment.
Consultation fees: ₹300 - ₹1200
9. BLK Hospital, Pusa Road, Delhi
At BLK cancer care, the focus is on personalized and comprehensive care to cure cancer. The team of specialists here follows the international standards of care and treatment. They use the latest technology and the most innovative, advanced therapies to diagnose and treat all types of cancer.
Consultation fees: ₹1500
The Department of Medical Oncology at Venkateshwar Hospital is known for its compassionate and world class treatment. They have the latest diagnostic & treatment machines like PET-CT scanning, 3 Tesla MRI, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics.
Consultation fees: ₹800
With cancer incidence on the rise, more and more people are receiving chemotherapy. This is, however, not without its set of side effects. These side effects have a bearing on both the physical as well as the emotional health of the patient. There were some reasons due to which chemotherapy side effects were often ignored.
Cancer assumes a bigger disease condition, and so side effects of chemotherapy (or anything else for that matter) assumes a much smaller role. Discussions always revolve around how the situation of the cancer is, and chemotherapy assumes a less role.
All these necessitated the need for a systematic assessment tool. This has multiple benefits as below.
The Chemotherapy Symptom Assessment Scale (C-SAS) contains a checklist that contains symptoms which arise only out of chemotherapy treatment.
Objectives: The C-SAS tool aims to:
Challenges: Though the C-SAS is quite useful, there are still challenges to it, as below.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The challenge of a mouth cancer diet is your ability to eat enough of the right nutritional foods even while living with the side effects of treatment. To meet the challenge you may need to change the way you eat your food.
Body reactions to treatment
Once you are under surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, many of your body's healthy cells may be damaged or destroyed. Your body needs a higher amount of nutrition to repair the cells. Without this nutritional boost, you could face malnutrition. Malnutrition occurs when your body is forced to pull nutritional supplies from your fat or muscle tissue, because it is not getting enough in the food you eat and drink.
Often people stop eating or only eat a limited variety of foods when going through cancer treatment. This prevents them from getting the nutrition they need.
You need to maintain a diet rich in nutritional foods including:
Fruits and vegetables
Whole grain breads and cereals
Lean chicken, turkey and fish
Low-fat dairy products
You should cut back on salt, fat, alcohol and sugar. These items not only affect blood pressure, kidney function and your heart - but tests have shown that sugars can actually feed a tumor.Lack of interest in eating
You will probably find that the treatments you are receiving make it difficult to eat the proper foods. You may be experiencing:
The national cancer institute reports that about one-third of all cancer deaths are due to malnutrition. Your survival depends on your ability to maintain proper nutritional levels, even when side effects are debilitating.
Mouth cancer diet tips on specific mouth cancer diet exists. Your doctor or dietician will recommend that you concentrate on developing an eating plan that makes sure you receive vitamins and minerals your body will need to have a balanced diet.
You may find it difficult to eat with oral cancer. Nausea, soreness and loss of appetite may take away your will to eat, but these difficulties can be overcome with a few healthy eating tips:
Eat small meals.
Eat the most when your feel the best, such as in the morning or mid-day.
Rinse your mouth before eating to get rid of any unusual tastes.
Take very small bites and chew the food until it is liquefied in your mouth.
*eating after radiation
As radiation treatments continue, you may find that you are unable to tolerate some foods and that your mouth is too sensitive to enjoy eating. You can combat this by:
Avoiding acidic or strongly spiced foods
Using plastic utensils if you are experiencing metallic tastes
Trying soft or moist foods that are easier to chew and swallow. Poaching fish in liquids or adding creams and gravies to foods will make them easier to chew and swallow.
Avoiding foods that adhere to the roof or sides of the mouth
Eating after chemo
Sip fluids throughout the day, particularly if your mouth is blistered.
Avoid strong aromas that might increase your nausea.
Avoid hot foods, particularly those with steam. Steam carries nausea-producing aromas.
If eating or chewing solid food becomes too painful, sip nutritional supplement drinks such as boost or ensure.
Make blender drinks from fresh fruits combined with soy or whey protein powders.
Extra nutritional insurance with supplements
Your doctor and dietician will want you to get as many nutrients as possible from whole foods; however, they may also recommend that you supplement your eating by adding powdered or liquid nutritional supplements to blender drinks. Be sure and ask them for their ideas on what you should be eating and in what quantities.
Fill your plate
Divide your plate into quarters.
Fill half your plate with vegetables (five or more servings of fruits and veggies daily).
Fill a quarter of your plate with protein foods.
Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains or starchy vegetables.
Eating the right proportion of carbs, proteins, and fat is beneficial.
Eat protein at every meal.
Aim for 30 to 45 grams of fiber daily.
Focus on healthy fats, such as fatty fish, avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and plant-based oils.
Eat less than 30 percent of your calories from fat (fewer than 67 grams daily for a 2, 000-calorie diet).
Add foods that are beneficial for fighting cancer because they are rich in phytochemicals and/or antioxidants (with the exception of water, which helps hydrate).
Fill half your plate with a variety of fruits and veggies. John hopkins medicine says fruits and veggies containing cancer-fighting phytochemicals (which help inhibit cancer cell growth) include:
Colorful produce source
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi, watercress, bok choy, collards, rutabaga, mustard greens, and brussels sprouts
Carotenoids, which are found in green, orange, and dark yellow fruits and veggies
Cucurbitaceous (plants from the gourd family) fruits and veggies, such as muskmelon, watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber, and squash
Umbelliferous (aromatic flowering plants) vegetables, such as carrots, celery, parsnip, and parsley
Solanaceous (nightshade) vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplant
Other cancer-fighting fruits and veggies including citrus fruits, berries, apples, broccoli sprouts, legumes, garlic, shallots, leeks, and onions
Add the following phytochemical-rich herbs and spices to your diet to flavor food, as recommended by john hopkins medicine and ucsf medical center:
Choose protein-rich foods at each meal (especially plant proteins), including:
Nonfat greek yogurt
Soy products (tofu, tempeh) - note: soy appears to be beneficial for breast cancer patients, but specific amount recommendation aren't established
Nuts and seeds
Eat up to 30 percent of your total calories from fat (67 grams or less daily for a 2, 000-calorie diet).
Choose healthy fats, such as:
Fill 1/4 your plate with whole grains and starchy vegetables, such as:
Hydrate your body with:
Antioxidant-rich green tea
Ok, so now that cancer has been diagnosed, and the uncomfortable news that chemotherapy has to be undergone has been put across to the patient, what does a person do? What are his options? Can his/her life ever get back the same meaning and luxury as it had before? These are some of the common queries that would get formed in the mind of the person before undergoing chemotherapy. While chemotherapy itself can be physically daunting, preparing for it and acknowledging it can reduce the hardships and make us less vulnerable. There are also a series of questions to ask the physician before opting for it.
Before that, there is one basic fact that we should acknowledge. It is simply that chemotherapy is not 100% efficient. It has never been, and there are reasons it could never be. The simple fact being that chemotherapy destroys healthy cells along with cancerous cells. It is not selective in killing cancerous cells. The treatment also hampers the immune system to an extent thus making the body prone to a wide variety of infections and diseases. This can inflict serious damage if not properly prepared for. Now let us take a look at some important questions and queries that should be asked to a physician before opting for a chemotherapy treatment.
12 Things you must ask your doctor
1. Why is chemotherapy being recommended for me?
This is the first question to ask and to know why it has been suggested for you instead of other alternative methods.
2. How successful is it for my type of cancer?
Chemotherapy has to be successful or at least minimize the symptoms to an extent. Else there is no reason for you to undergo chemotherapy. Make sure that this aspect is discussed in detail with the physician.
3. What are the side effects?
This is one of the most important queries to be addressed. Chemotherapy is always with side effects - both short term and long term. They have to be addressed before opting for the treatment.
4. What will the treatment involve?
It is mandatory to know the treatment plan and the type of drugs that will be used.
5. What will be the duration of each treatment?
It is important to know the length of each treatment and duration. Some of the treatments have to be done in the hospital, and proper planning needs to be done before each cycle.
6. How many sessions will the chemotherapy treatment consist of?
A key point to be addressed is the number of sessions needed to make the chemotherapy a success.
7. What are the drugs that would be taken?
Knowing the drugs will play a significant role in identifying the disease. Kindly ensure that the physician discusses in detail about the types of drug used.
8. Are there any other drugs that could be used for fewer side effects?
Consult with your physician about your aversions and check if there are other drugs that can minimize the side effects.
9. What would be the other treatment along with the chemotherapy?
Get to know the other treatments that you have to undertake along with chemotherapy. Usually, these types of treatments would be taken to minimize the side effects.
10. Are there any other drugs that are undergoing trials that could be prescribed for me?
This is a general awareness, and since research is always done for improving the treatment, the doctor can advise on the new types of drugs that are available in the market.
11. Is there any alternative treatment available than chemotherapy?
Alternative treatments are mostly rare but you can check across with the physician to get a general awareness.
12. Who is the emergency contact person if I get unwell during treatment?
Have the contact number always with you. There can be some side effects and illness that have to be addressed without losing time when undergoing the treatment.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!