Cancer also termed as malignancy, is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body. There are more than 200 different types of cancer, including lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma, just to name a few. All these cancer varieties result in cell growth in an abnormal proportion in the respective parts of the body, and the condition may eventually spread into other tissues through blood and lymph vessels.
There is a multitude of cancer causes, some of the primary cancer-related or causative agents include, exposure to chemicals and toxic compounds, ionizing radiation, a few pathogens, and human genetics.
Symptoms of cancer vary according to the type of cancer; although general signs and symptoms include excessive tiredness, sudden weight loss, change in the skin color, alteration in bowel or bladder function, chronic cough, or unusual bleeding.
In order to treat any type of cancer, a number of screening tests and diagnostic procedures such as biopsy are performed. Biopsy results help in determining the type, extent of cancer spread (which stage ), treatment protocols, prognosis (chance of survival) etc.
Cancer Treatments depends on the type and stage of cancer, the common treatment plans include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, commonly in some combination.
Several home remedies and alternative treatment procedures can inhibit the abnormal growth, however, patients are expected to consult and discuss these with their cancer specialists.
Cancer refers to cells that grow enormously and attack other tissues. Popularly known as malignant or tumor cells, these abnormal cells infiltrate normal body tissues.
Due to the uncontrolled growth and division of the abnormal cells, a mass forms. Quite often, these cancer cells can break away from this mass of cells and lodge in the other parts of the body by traversing through the blood and lymph systems. This may cause an uncontrolled growth cycle to begin away from the site of origin, spreading throughout the body and spreading uncontrollably leading eventually to individual's death. This process, wherein the abnormality develops leading to a malignant growth (secondary) at a distance from a primary site of cancer, is called as metastasis.
As already stated, cancer type can be divided into more than 200 categories, there a few that one should be aware of:
1. Prostate cancer: Prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system is responsible for producing the liquid that moves sperm. Abnormal cell growth in this gland can lead to prostate cancer. Symptoms like frequent urination, blood in the urine, and pain experienced during passing urine are quite common in people with prostate cancer. Possible reasons for this cancer can be related to the body's genetics; other risks factors include, poor diet, medication exposure, infection in the prostate, etc.
2. Lung Cancer: Also called as lung carcinoma, lung cancer is a malignant lung tumor that causes an uncontrollable division or growth in lung tissues. It can be segregated into many types; the most common type is the non-small cell lung cancer, which begins in the alveoli and spreads elsewhere. People on the onset/later stage of this disease experience a host of symptoms like coughing, coughing of blood, fever, weakness, shortness of breath, bone pains and more. Smoking, inhalation of radon gas, exposure to asbestos, or inherited factors are the possible causes of lung cancer.
3. Breast Cancer: Breast cancer is another type of cancer that arises in the breast tissues of both male and female. Symptoms like a development of a lump in the breast, a change in the shape of the breast, etc. can appear in people with breast cancer. Breast cancer results in humans as a result of risk factors like poor lifestyle, genetics and medical conditions. It is one of the most common cancer in females.
4. Leukemia: This cancer result in the growth of abnormal white blood cells; it usually starts in the bone marrow. patients with leukemia experiences bleeding and bruising issues, chronic fatigue, and an enhanced risk of infections. Exposure to radiation, non-ionizing radiation, smoking, and genetic condition can put a person (mostly children) at risk.
5. Colorectal Cancer: Commonly called as colon cancer or bowel cancer, colorectal cancer develops in the colon or rectum. The signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer include, blood in the stool, a change in bowel movements, loss of weight and chronic fatigue. Normally reasons like inflammatory bowel disease, diets high in nitrates and genetic factors can lead to colorectal cancer.
Apart from this, brain tumors, oral cancers and lymphoma are also common forms of cancers.
Depending on the type of cancer, signs and symptoms vary. For instance (as already mentioned above) the presence of breast cancer may be felt as a lump in the breast while a colorectal cancer may present with symptoms of extreme fatigue or irregular bowel movements.
After a detailed survey of patients with various cancer types, the American Cancer Society has listed seven red flags which may include:
1. A sudden alteration in bowel or bladder habits
2. Peculiar bleeding or discharge, like secretions from the nipple.
3. An irreparable sore throat
4. Development of a lump in breast, testicles, or elsewhere
5. Chronic indigestion and swallowing difficulties
6. A clear change in the wart or mole's size, color, shape, or thickness
7. A chronic cough and hoarseness of voice.
Often, a few cancers are detected during routine screening tests. And, there are many that are discovered when the concerned individual develops a set of symptoms for which he seems medical advice.
The first step of examination includes a physical test along with a detailed medical history. Next, a complete blood count, electrolyte levels and, in some cases, other blood studies can be performed to gain additional information.
Furthermore, imaging studies such as X-rays, CT and MRI scans, and ultrasound are helpful in determining and detecting abnormal growth in the body. Other than this, tests like endoscopy, radionuclide scanning are used to detect cancerous growth in the body.
Definitive diagnosis is offered by biopsy; it can be utilized to determine the type of cancer, which in turn helps to stage cancer. By cancer staging, clinicians and researchers estimate how extensive the cancer is in the body of the respective patient.
Treatment options are advised to patients, on the basis of the type and stage of cancer. in some cases, diagnosis and treatment occur on a parallel basis. On the other hand, there are many cases, wherein, the patients are put under a unique sequenced treatment or protocol. A majority of these involves, surgery, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or combination treatments.
Apart from these, palliative therapy, such as pain medications and anti-nausea medications, are utilized by doctors with the intent to treat the cancer and improve the quality of life of the terminally ill cancer patient.
Research claims that cancer can be cured (or the extent of damage can be minimized) by including broccoli, grapes, ginseng, soybeans, green tea, aloe Vera, and lycopene in the daily diet. Further, treatments like acupuncture, vitamins, and dietary supplements have brought significant improvements in patients with cancer.
To battle cancer, patients are strongly recommended to follow a strict schedule (balanced diet and exercise) while continuing the formal course of treatments.
Word of Caution: Prior to opting for these alternative plans, make sure to contact a physician or a cancer specialist.
An oncologist treats cancer. He or she may be a specialist in radiation therapy, medical oncologist or a surgeon. Furthermore, depending upon where cancer is located, it can be treated by specialists such as ob-gyn specialists (treats uterine cancer), immunologist (treat cancer in the immune system).
Primary care physician and primary oncologist will help the patient to carve out an effective treatment plan to ensure best results and inter-disciplinary coordination.
With treatment facilities on par with International counterparts, access to best equipment, medications and doctors, India at present has emerged as one of the leading nations among the top medical tourism destinations. A few colossal reasons amount to this fact- Premium quality, cost-effective medical treatment, compassionate care and service, and expertise available at the top-notch hospitals within a particular price range as per ones needs and requirements.
Patients around the world are flying to India to receive world-class cancer treatments at affordable costs. Listed among the best treatments in the world with the standard quality of services, cancer treatments in India is attracting a growing number of patients across. As a matter of fact, currently, it ranks among the world’s best medical destination for colon cancer, liver cancer (HCC) and Blood Cancer treatment and surgery.
With modern technology and advanced medical care, a lot of premier-grade healthcare facilities are offering best-quality cancer treatments to global patients (who hail from advanced and not-so-advanced countries, both) at affordable costs. Some of the best cancer hospitals in India are - Wockhardt, Max healthcare, Manipal Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Nanavati Hospital, Columbia Asia etc.
The cost of treatment procedures for treating cancer is dependent on the type, extent or spread and nature of the cancer being diagnosed. Along with this, several other factors such as the site of the primary tumor, tumor size and number of tumors, cell type and tumor grade and the presence or absence of metastasis prove significant for the doctor in estimating the costs involved in the treatment.
In general, the cost of treatments procedures are:
Radiation Therapy: starting from USD 2000
Chemotherapy: starting from USD 500 per cycle
Surgery: starting from USD 3000
Immunotherapy: starting from USD 1200
Medical tourism in India is on an upswing.
With countless medical travel companies offering their services to patients (local as well as global) in India, choosing the best is a hard row to hoe. One should compare following set of attributes before selecting one:
1. Quality, cost (the packages involved) of the treatment protocols.
2. Communication & Availability (24x7 chat support and daily clinical updates).
3. Experienced guidance and support.
4. Tele-consultation and regular feedback.
5. Complimentary and additional services including query management, selection of hospital/physician, finalization of your treatment plan and travel desk services.
One such company that meets the growing demands of patients is Medmonks. With the constant support of professionals at Medmonks working day and night, the road to recovery for patients with cancer is less traumatic - involving less money, less stress, with optimal clinical outcomes guaranteed.
When it comes to cancer treatments, we pledge to advocate for the best treatment facilities and best doctors which reflects on the progress results of our previous patients (see the testimonials).
Our aim is to annihilate cancer from within- Help us do our bit.
top Best Oncologist in India
Dr Rajeev Agarwal
Dr. Rajeev Agarwal is currently associated with Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram, India as a Director in the Surgical Oncology department.
He has completed his MBBS as well as MS from GSVM MeView Details
Dr Nitin Sood
Dr. Nitin Soodis currently associated with Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram as an Associate Director in Haematology Department.
He has completed his MBBSfrom Mysore University, MD from UniverView Details