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Life after breast cancer by breast specialist doctor in Pune

Life After Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting a large number of women across the globe. The diagnosis and treatment of this disease usually last for 8 months to 1 year. During this phase, the patients eagerly wait to get back to their routine life.

There are many hospitals offering breast cancer treatment in Pune and other Western regions but only a name like Onco Life Cancer Centre, the leading cancer hospital in Satara is making the cancer treatment a better experience for the cancer patients.

There is no denying the fact that with the advancements in the Oncology Department, breast cancer treatments have become a lot more sophisticated and effective. However, there still exist certain post-treatment issues that survivors find difficult to cope.

During the treatment, the patient’s body goes through various assaults of chemo drugs or radiations that take a toll on their health. Some even have to undergo surgery where the breast is either removed or conserved, subjected to the stage of cancer. These medical procedures make the body weak and it takes time for the patient to recover emotionally & physically.

The biggest challenge that most breast cancer survivors face is fatigue, resulting from chemotherapy and the accumulated effects of other treatments. It’s difficult for survivors to carry on with their daily physical chores like walking, exercising, climbing stairs, etc. Their capacity to work gets reduced and concentration level also subsides. Some patients also complain of Chemobrain wherein they are unable to focus & concentrate thus leading to agonizing frustration.

End of breast cancer treatment does not necessarily mark the end of the cancer journey. Instead, the survivors embark on a new journey altogether which requires them to make necessary adjustments to their lifestyle. This could include changes in eating habits, sleeping cycles, exercise regime, etc. When positive changes are incorporated in life such that they eventually become a New Normal, its easier to start afresh and live a happier life.

Besides making the necessary changes, taking initiatives like joining Cancer support groups can be very helpful. These groups provide a platform where you can connect with other cancer survivors. It’s the right place where you can share and learn about other people experiences.

Empowered with sound industry experience and expertise of best oncologist in Pune, Onco Life Cancer Centre today is known for its top-quality services. We have helped many patients successfully overcome their disease and to stand for the cause. Know how our patients have become a source of inspiration for other survivors by clicking here.

Types of Stem Cell Transplant Treatments For Cancer Patients In India

Types of Stem Cell Transplant Treatments For Cancer Patients In India

A stem cell transplant, also called the bone marrow transplant, is a treatment on some types of cancer. It is effective against leukemia, multiple myeloma, or some types of lymphoma. Doctors also treat some blood diseases with stem cell transplants.

There are 2 main types of transplants. They are named based on who gives the stem cells.

  • Autologous: The stem cells come from the same person who will get the transplant.
  • Allogenic: The stem cells come from a matched related or unrelated donor.

There’s also a third type called as Syngeneic transplant, where the stem cells are fetched from your identical twin, in case you have one. Onco-Life Cancer Centre has an expert team of hematologist in Pune, Mumbai, Satara region who will guide you in your decision.

Autologous:

In this type, your own stem cells are extracted from your blood or bone marrow and frozen into a facility before they are exposed to chemotherapy or radiation treatments and get destroyed in the process. After you are administered with high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation to kill the cancerous cells, the stem cells are thawed and given back to you.

Benefits

The advantage of autologous stem cell transplant is that you get your own cells back, which is easier for your body to accept without dispute. You don’t have to worry about contracting an infection from the donor. However, there is still a possibility of graft failure where your cells are unable to produce blood cells as they should. Also, the autologous transplant does not produce the “graft-versus-cancer” effect, which will be explained further.

Risks

One major concern of an autologous transplant is the possibility of involuntarily collecting cancerous cells along with stem cells and later putting them back into the body. Another disadvantage is that your immune system remains the same as before, which means cancer can fight its way back into the system.

On the positive side though, technological advancement has now made it possible to treat the stem cells, rid them of cancer and strengthen them before inserting them back. This process is called ‘purging’.

Allogenic:

Allogeneic stem cell transplants use cells from a donor, whose tissue type closely matches with the patient. The most ideal donor is a close family member, such as a brother or a sister. Transplants with a MUD (matched unrelated donor) are usually riskier than those with a relative who is a good match.

Blood extracted from the placenta and umbilical cord called the ‘cord blood’ of newborns is a newer source of stem cells for ‘allogenic’ transplant. Even a small volume has a high amount of healthy stem cells that multiply rapidly. But often, this amount is good enough only for kids and young adults but not for aged patients. One solution on this is to artificially stimulate cell growth in a lab. Also, a rare method involves dual cord blood transplant where blood from 2 cords is combined and used for one adult.

Benefits

Graft vs Cancer Effect – The donor stem cells produce their own immune cells, which could help kill any cancer cells that remain after high-dose treatment. Another advantage is that the cancer-free donors can donate more cells whenever required, unlike the autologous procedure.

Risks

The transplanted donor stem cells could die or be destroyed by the patient’s body before settling in the bone marrow. Another risk is the ‘graft-versus-host’ where the immune cells from the donor may not just attack the cancer cells but also the healthy cells in the patient’s body. Graft-versus-host condition can, however, be treated with steroids or other drugs that suppress your immune system.

Who requires stem cell transplant?

Stem cell transplant is required to treat people with certain types of leukemia, lymphomas, and cancers such as that of the testicles. They may also be used for neuroblastoma and multiple myeloma.

It is very important that the donor and recipient are a close match to avoid graft rejection. Graft rejection happens when the recipient’s immune system recognizes the donor cells as foreign and tries to destroy them mistaking them of bacteria or virus. Graft rejection can lead to graft failure, but it’s rare when the donor and recipient are well matched.

If you are looking for medical advice on stem cell treatment or need a consultation, visit Onco-Life Cancer Centre, Satara. Onco-Life Cancer Centre is regarded as one of the foremost oncology centers for cancer treatment in Pune & adjoining area having on board, one of the best oncologist in Pune.

What Cancer Patients Need to Know Before Undergoing Stem Cell Transplant - Onco Life Cancer Centre

What Cancer Patients Need to Know Before Undergoing Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cells are the components present in your body, which bring forth all other specialized cells such as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells or bone cells. No other cell in the body has the regenerating ability as stem cells. The most known types of blood cells being

  • White Blood cells – Which fight infection
  • Red Blood cells – Which transport oxygen throughout your body
  • Platelets – Which help the blood clot and prevent bleeding to death.

All the above cells are required to maintain a healthy body

What is a Stem Cell Transplant

Stem cell transplant is the clinical process of obtaining healthy blood-forming stem cells, procured either from your own body or from some other person’s, in order to replace the lost stem cells in your body. The stem cells are derived from the donor’s bloodstream, bone marrow or the umbilical cord. Stem cells are introduced into your bloodstream using a needle. Once in your blood, they have to travel to the bone marrow where they fill the void created by the lost cells.

When is a Stem Cell Transplant Recommended

A stem cell transplant is done when:

  • Your bone marrow or stem cells have failed to create any more blood cells.
  • Your bone marrow or blood cells have become infected.
  • You have a disease such as ‘cancer’ which can only be cured with high doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, which destroys both, cancer and your stem cells.

Before you go for a treatment, it is highly advised to consult your family doctor or a medical expert. If you are looking for a cancer specialist in Pune, Mumbai, Satara, then visit Onco-Life Cancer Centre – A state of art Super Specialty Cancer Hospital with second NABH Accreditation.

Stem cell transplants play a significant role in fighting against certain blood cancers, such as multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and leukemia. A stem cell transplant may add years to your life and in some cases, even cure blood cancers.

How Stem Cell Therapy Works

Stem Cells present in the bone marrow produce blood cells such as the White blood cells, Red blood cells and also the platelets. Cancer cells feed on your bone marrow and damage it. Ironically, the chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which is used to kill the cancerous cells, also ends up destroying the stem cells present in the bone marrow.  A stem cell transplant recovers the damage, by planting new, cancer free and healthy cells, in place of destroyed ones to let them reproduce further.

Note that these stem cells may be derived from your own blood where cancer has not yet reached or from another person –  a donor who needs to match your blood type.

What to Expect Before the Stem Cell Transplant

  • The patient or the donor will be administered special injections four or five days before drawing the blood. These injections will lodge the blood-forming stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream in order to enable extraction of stem cells via the blood.
  • Once extracted, the stem cells will be frozen to keep them preserved
  • The patient will then undergo a conditioning treatment which is a high or low dose chemotherapy/radiation therapy which indiscriminately kills all the cells including cancer and stem cells. Onco-Life Cancer Center has an expert team of radiation oncologist in Pune, Mumbai, Satara region at your service.

What to Expect During the Stem Cell Transplant

  • The patient will be required to remain seated on a chair for several hours as the process of infusion of new stem cells take place
  • The infusion is done using a surgical port in the patient’s neck called the central line
  • The patient will be under observation and will be monitored for any indications of fever, chills, hives or a drop in blood pressure.
  • Mild side effects such as headache, nausea, and shortness of breath are common.

What to Expect After the Stem Cell Transplant

  • After two to four weeks, the new stem cells graft to the bone marrow and first starts manufacturing new white blood cells, followed by platelets, then red blood cells.
  • In the case of donor blood cells, antibiotics will be provided for the body to accept the new cells without rejection
  • The patient will be required to stay hospitalized in a clean place and under observation for a month in order to avoid any external infection. Visitors will be asked to wear masks.

About two months post the transplant, the doctor may take a sample of bone marrow from the patient’s hip to check the production of all types of blood cells.

Before you undergo the treatment, consult with your doctor to know the possibilities. Visit Onco-life, a highly trusted name for cancer treatment in Pune, Mumbai, Satara, and entire Western Maharashtra.

Types of oncologists and their specialities by Onco Life Cancer Centre

Types of Oncologists and Their Specialties in Oncology

Who is an Oncologist?

Oncology is the specialized branch of medicine devoted to the field of cancer including diagnosis, treatments, and researches. Doctors who treat cancer patients are known as oncologists. Cancer treatment involves various medical procedures and hence, requires a speciality team.

Catering to the growing concerns of the cancer patients, there are few recommended cancer hospitals across the country, known for their reliable and affordable treatments. Onco-Life cancer centre is one such hospital, working persistently for the cancer patients, with its qualified team of cancer specialist in Pune.

Role of Oncologist

An oncologist’s role is centered around the complete cancer treatment. Starting from the diagnosis, an oncologist continues with his/her following responsibilities:

  • Explaining to the patient about cancer diagnosed, including the stage.
  • Apprising about the treatment options available
  • Offering quality and compassionate care, thus keeping the patient at ease.
  • Assisting the patient to handle cancer symptoms and side effects in the best way.
  • Maintaining follow-ups even after the treatment.

Types of Oncologists

Depending upon the nature, stage, and location of cancer, there are different oncologists offering their specialized services for cancer treatment. The field of oncology has three main divisions-medical, surgical and radiation. There are also several sub-specialities.

Medical Oncologist

Medical Oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer using chemotherapy and other medications like targeted therapy or immunotherapy. He is the primary health care provider for a cancer patient who leads the development of the patient’s treatment. He works in conjunction with the other medical departments for best results. A medical oncologist is also the responsible head who continues with the follow-ups and checkups of the patients, post-treatment.

Surgical Oncologist

A surgical oncologist is a surgeon who specializes in the surgical removal of cancerous tumors. They are basically general surgeon who undertake additional training in oncology and related surgical procedures. They are also specialized in performing certain types of biopsies to help diagnose cancer.

Radiation Oncologist

Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer through radiation therapy. Radiation therapy employs high-energy X-rays to kill the cancerous cells. At times when it’s not possible to completely destroy the cancer cells, oncologists use the radiations to reduce the tumor or slow the tumor growth without affecting the neighbouring tissues. This is called palliative therapy. The main objective of the therapy is to improve the patient’s quality of life by controlling the tumors growth and its related symptoms.

At times the radiation oncologists also undertake brachytherapy to treat the cancer patients. In this therapy, radioactive sources are implanted directly into or next to the tumor. Depending upon the type of cancer, the radiation radioactive sources may be left in the place permanently or removed at the end of each treatment session.

Other Sub-specialties

Gynecologic Oncologist

Gynecologic oncologists are doctors who treat cancers related to the female reproductive system. This includes ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and more. They are trained obstetrician-gynaecologist who take additional fellowship training to sub-specialize in oncology.

Pediatric Oncologist

A pediatric oncologist specializes in cancer treatment of children. There are some cancers that mostly affect children and young teenagers like brain tumors, leukemia, osteosarcoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma.

Hematologist-Oncologist

Hematologist oncologists are into diagnosing and treating blood cancers that may include leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Neuro-Oncologist

Neuro-oncologists are dedicated to the treatment of cancers related to brain, spine and peripheral nerves.

Onco-Life Cancer Centre is a one-stop destination for those who are looking for the best cancer treatment. We take pride to have the services of best oncologist in Pune who have to their credit several successful cancer stories.

Different Types of Breast Cancer Treatments

Different Types of Breast Cancer Treatments

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting a large number of women all across the globe. Over the years, to combat the disease, the members of medical fraternity including breast specialist doctor in Pune, Mumbai, Satara and other cities of Maharashtra have always come forward to adapt the advanced techniques, revolutionizing the cancer treatment.

The type of treatment a cancer patient needs primarily depends upon the type of cancer and the stage of cancer. However, in most of the cases, patients are referred to a combination of treatments for best results.

Following are the medical treatments that a breast cancer patient may have to undergo:

  • Surgical Operation: The main objective of breast cancer surgery is to remove the cancerous tumor from the breast. If the cancer cells are spread to the lymph nodes, then the doctor may also remove the lymph nodes in the underarm area (auxiliary nodes).There are two types of surgeries recommended by the surgeons depending upon the case. These are:
    1. Lumpectomy: Only the breast tumor is removed along with a small strip of normal tissue around. The remaining portion of the breast remains intact. This is also known as breast-conserving surgery.
    2. Mastectomy: In mastectomy, the surgeon recommends to remove the entire breast (this includes the nipple and areola). This is true in most cases, barring exceptions.
  • Chemotherapy: This treatment aims to destroy the cancer cells through the use of drugs that are directly injected into the veins through a needle or by pills. In certain cases, a combination of both can also be applied. Chemotherapy is often recommended as an addition to other treatments like surgery, radiation or hormone therapy. It is an effective therapy that enhances the possibility of a cure, reduces the risk of relapsing, mitigates the symptoms and can also contribute towards a better quality of life of the patient.
  • Hormonal Therapy: Hormonal therapy is used to block the hormones that help the cancerous cells to grow. The therapy is recommended only in those cases where breast cancers are found to have receptors for the naturally occurring hormones. It is often a post-surgery recommendation that aims to mitigate the risk of relapse. This treatment is also used to shrink a tumor prior to the surgery to ensure optimum results.
  • Biological Therapy: This treatment uses the body’s immune system to target and destroy the cancer cells. The therapy induces the immune system to recognize and kill the cancer cells. It may also be used for controlling the growth of the tumor and preventing the spread of cancerous cells.
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy for breast cancer uses high-energy X-rays and other particles to kill cancer cells. The treatment is highly effective on rapidly growing cancer cells that are susceptible to the effects of radiation therapy. The primary aim of radiation therapy is to kill any surviving cancerous cells that remained in or around the breast or lymph nodes after surgery.
  • Other Complementary Medications: Apart from the above mentioned standard breast cancer treatments, there are certain prescribed medicines and health practices which when included in everyday life can go a long way in improving the health of the patient. Practices like meditation and yoga and supplements like vitamins and herbs are often healthy ways to counter any health-damaging impacts.

We, at Onco-Life Cancer Centre (located in Satara, 100kms from Pune) have been successfully catering to patients, coming from districts far and wide. We are known for our state-of-the art facilities and services that are at par with any other cancer hospital in Pune.

Wondering which treatment is right for you?

With so many options available for cancer treatment, patients may have difficulty in choosing the right one. A cancer specialist is the right person who can explain the pros and cons of each treatment. We, at Onco-life Cancer Centre offer services of highly experienced doctors who can help patients understand their case better and hence, plan their treatment accordingly.

While there are many cancer centers across the country, breast cancer treatments in Pune, Satara, Mumbai are highly sought-after for their quality services and cost-effectiveness.

Cancer care in rural India - cancer hospital in Pune

Cancer Care In Rural India

In India, nearly 70% of the country's population lives in rural areas. Even so, the healthcare facilities in these areas, especially for cancer, are not adequate.

Rural cancer patients face various challenges in receiving care, including limited availability of cancer treatments and cancer support providers (oncologists, social workers, mental healthcare providers, palliative care specialists, etc.), transportation barriers, financial issues, and limited access to clinical trials. Oncologists and other cancer care providers experience parallel challenges in delivering care to their rural cancer patients. The cancer treatments are not cheap & it becomes difficult for the patients to afford those. For instance, only a Pet CT scan in Pune can cost you anywhere around 15k to 30k Rupees in a private hospital, not to talk about other expensive tests. The government schemes are indeed available but the prices set by them under those schemes do not enable the Healthcare provider to deliver the highest quality treatment. Besides the unmet material & infrastructure needs, patients with cancer have psychosocial issues that are often not sufficiently met in rural areas because of the dearth of social workers and providers of mental health care.

Lately, a number of promising strategies & interventions have been developed to transcend the issue of travelling long distances. Tele-medicine, tele-oncology, outreach clinics, virtual tumor boards, etc. are the options which can fill the gap.

Rural area healthcare also faces a great challenge due to lack of education & awareness which makes it difficult for the consultants to gain their trust & faith with the line of treatment & procedure. Many of these rural population then opt for alternative treatment such as Ayurveda, homoeopathy & other natural therapies.

More than 90% of the Rural population does not have Health Insurance. Insurance Companies in India have now slowly started shifting their focus to Rural Areas after realizing the potential & Urban Market getting saturated.

Amongst the rural women, the major concern is the fear of social stigma, especially with cancer. They have a household to look after & don’t want to cause a burden to their family so they ignore the symptoms. They also fear of what people might think if they are diagnosed with Cancer. In various parts, the lack of awareness of cancer is so much that if someone is diagnosed with cancer, people cut all ties with them, do not touch or be around them thinking it is contagious. Believe it or not, it yet exists in various rural areas. Some are even asked to abandon the village they have been living in.

Onco-Life Cancer Centre’s CEO Mr. Uday Deshmukh realized this gap over a decade ago & hence Onco-Life came into existence. He created such a mix where the hospital could provide not only the best of treatment which you would expect from top major city hospitals but also at extremely affordable rates. Even with government schemes, they could yet function as effectively. Onco-Life Cancer Centre, which is located in Satara, approximately 100 km from Pune, not only caters to entire Satara district, but also to other adjoining districts such as Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur, Karad etc. The Satara Centre has various state of art facilities which can be availed at a price which is at par with any other cancer hospital in Pune. Onco-Life Cancer Centre also has various patients coming in from Major cities like Pune & Mumbai.

Mr. Uday Deshmukh’s vision has always been to provide the treatment of International standards to our people at affordable rates & wants maximum people to benefit from it. Onco-Life has opened in Chiplun as well. He plans to open more 5 centres in Maharashtra in the next 3 years from now. It is just a start to revolutionize the healthcare system in rural areas of India.

Hematologist in Pune - Onco Life Hospital

The Basics of Hematology & Common Blood Disorders

Cancer tops the chart when it comes to the most dreaded diseases; at ONCO-Life Hospital which is recognized as the cancer specialist in Pune and surrounding areas like Satara, you will be successful in finding comprehensive treatment for this deadly disease. Now that you know where to get the best treatment for this fatal ailment, it would also make sense for you to know that there are several types of cancers and the most dangerous amongst them is leukemia or blood cancer. This form of cancer is caused by unnatural growth of abnormal blood cells which ultimately transforms into cancerous tumors. When a person is diagnosed with this disease they need to seek the help of an expert like ONCO-Life Hospital, we have a reputation that defines us as the best hematologist in Pune.

What exactly is hematology?

Hematology in simple words is the study of human blood and its major aim is to discover and rectify any and every problem that affects the patient’s white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, blood vessels, bone marrow, lymph node, spleen or the proteins that are required for the clotting & bleeding processes. A specialist in this field is known as a hematologist; when a person is diagnosed with a blood disorder he will be referred to a hematologist who will study the symptoms of disease and provide with a treatment plan that is in sync with individualistic symptoms.

The study of blood can be effectively employed to treat a number of blood disorders, listed below are a few commonly observed blood disorders that most people suffer from:

  • Anemia:
    Anemia is a widespread form of blood disorder which is observed when the body is short of red blood cells. This ailment can also occur if the red blood cells in the body fail to function properly. Red blood cells are extremely important as they are the carriers of hemoglobin inside the body. There are many factors that add up to the risk of an individual getting afflicted with anemia; an unhealthy diet, intestinal issues or even chronic diseases can be the root cause. The treatment plan for this disease depends completely on what triggers it in the patient and it will be decided upon by the hematologist who will then draft a symptom specific treatment plan.
  • Bleeding disorders:
    A bleeding disorder can be explained as a disease wherein the blood does not clot properly leading to incessant loss of blood. For example, if people suffering from this ailment give themselves a small cut, they will experience excessive bleeding which could turn fatal. A Bleeding disorder is often a result of limited blood clotting factors and hence it can be treated with a blood transfusion. Hematology will help the patient in making up for what is missing in their body.

The clinical hematology services provided at ONCO-Life Hospital can treat all of the aforementioned diseases and more. We are not just limited to being a cancer specialist, our service portfolio includes PET CT scan, radiation oncology, breast cancer treatment, pathology, tumour treatment and a lot more. For us, every patient’s well-being is of paramount importance and we try to provide each & every individual who walks in our door with a service that they will remember & cherish for a lifetime!

Managing Depression Post Cancer Treatment at Onco Life Cancer Hospital Satara

Cancer & Depression: An Insight into the Aftermath of Cancer Treatment

Cancer is one ailment that can change your life as you know it! It can make an immense impact on your physical as well as mental well-being irrespective of what your age or stage in life is. We at ONCO Life Cancer Center understand this better than anyone as we are experts in this arena. Over the years we have made a name for ourselves by providing the best cancer treatment near Pune in areas like Satara and the likes.

We are well acquainted with the fact that living with cancer can prove to be quite taxing. Your day-to-day schedule undergoes a 360-degree shift physically, mentally and emotionally. When an individual is diagnosed with cancer there are a myriad of thoughts that run through their mind due to which even the physical being of that person gets adversely affected.

After diagnosis comes the treatment part, which without a doubt is the most difficult procedure a cancer patient goes through. The intensity of the treatment causes clouded thinking, weakness, nausea or fatigue. However, this is not the worse; whilst battling with physical impacts they are also faced with mental disorders like stress, fear and anxiety.

The mental symptoms tend to seem petty and fairly unimportant at first but as time passes they will pile up and start creating mental complications that are very hard to cope with. If not paid attention to at the right time these symptoms might result into a case of clinical depression. As a cancer specialist near Pune we at ONCO Life Hospital believe that it is our responsibility to provide certain tips on how to identify if your near or dear one is on the verge of post-cancer depression, so read on and get attentive if you find any of the below-listed symptoms:

  • Losing interest in things that they once enjoyed doing.
  • Irregular sleep patterns, oversleeping or insomnia.
  • Feeling hopeless, empty and sad.
  • Nausea, stomach ache or digestive issues.
  • Changes in moods, which might include agitation or restlessness.
  • Feeling fatigued, exhausted or tired most of the times
  • When the thinking process, speaking or movement starts getting slower than usual.
  • Having trouble in thinking or concentrating.

Now that you know how to identify depression symptoms, you also need to know how to help them handle it, make sure to do the following things:

  • Encourage them to accept their feelings and also convince them that whatever they are feeling is in no way wrong.
  • Get them medical help at the earliest; if they hesitate to seek the help from a professional ask them to talk to the people who they trust the most. This will help them in processing, accepting and validating their feelings.
  • Motivate them to focus on their physical well-being as individuals suffering from depression tend to vent the negativity out on their physical self and end up getting in a negative health pattern.

Now that you have understood the overall effect that cancer has on the patient and their psyche we are sure that you will help them win the battle with depression. Furthermore, if you are looking for a cancer hospital in Pune you can come to us without a second thought to get more information regarding this matter as Onco Life Hospital, Satara has the expertise, knowledge and technical know-how to guide you through the entire process in an effective and efficient manner.

Everything you need to know about Radiation Therapy for Cancer before Treatment.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy uses waves of electronically generated radiation to treat cancers and tumors, as well as some other conditions.

This Radiation breaks up the DNA of cancer cells in a way that disrupts their growth and division and can even kill them.

The form of radiation used in cancer therapy is a high-energy type known as ionizing radiation.

Radiation therapy are of 2 types;

External beam radiation therapy.

During this type of radiation, the high-energy beams come from a machine outside of your body that aims the beams at a precise point on your body. The beams are guided & planned as per the CT Scan image taken.

Internal Radiation Therapy

This Radiation treatment is known as brachytherapy radiation in which radioactive implant is placed inside your body close to the tumour.

Sometimes the patient only is given radiation treatment, otherwise they are given concurrent treatment along with Chemotherapy or surgery (Pre or Post)

More than 70% patients need Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment in India.

How does radiation therapy work on people with cancer?

  • Your doctor may suggest radiation therapy at different times during your cancer treatment and for different reasons, including:
  • As the only treatment for cancer
  • Before surgery, to shrink a cancerous tumour (neoadjuvant therapy)
  • After surgery, to stop the growth of any remaining cancer cells (adjuvant therapy)
  • In combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, to destroy cancer cells (Con-current)
  • In advanced cancer to alleviate symptoms caused by the cancer. (Palliative treatment)

What are the Side effects?

The side effects of radiation therapy occur when non-cancerous cells are also affected by the treatment.

Side effects varies from patient to patient depending on their case history & other factors.

Short-term side effects

  • Short-term effects of radiation treatment are:
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • skin irritation, including swelling, blisters, and a sunburned or tanned appearance
  • Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhoea
  • Occurs Rarely- a drop in the number of white blood cells or platelets

Long-term side effects

Long-term effects also depend on the site of treatment and can include:

  • Stiffening and restricted movement: After neck therapy, for example, the jaw can stiffen. This can occur as a result of tissue scarring. Exercises may be advised after cancer surgery and radiation therapy to help loosen movement.
  • Skin effects: These include delayed wound healing and a spidery red or purple appearance caused by dilated capillary blood vessels. There can be skin darkening as well on the affected area but eventually subsides.
  • Diarrhoea and bleeding: These can occur when abdomen receives radiation therapy.

Not all of the above are likely to occur with radiation therapy. The likelihood of getting any one of the longer-term side effects depends largely on the individual& the treatment facility they are being treated in.

 Are there Special Dietary Needs for patients?

Radiation can cause side effects that makes it difficult to eat Problems such as mouth sores, nausea and throat problems can occur. Since your body uses a lot of energy to heal during radiation therapy, it is important that you eat enough calories and protein rich foods to maintain your weight during treatment& to avoid fatigue. You can consult an Inhouse Nutritionist for a proper diet plan as it can vary from patient to patient

Work Routine during Radiation Therapy

Many people are able to work full-time during radiation therapy. Few of them can work only part-time or not at all. How much you are able to work depends on how you feel. Ask your doctor or nurse what you may expect from the treatment you will have beforehand.

Cancer in India- Why is this disease on an exponential rise in the past few decades?

The cancer burden in India has more than doubled over the last 26 years. The highest increase among all therapy areas, with breast cancer being the most common among Indian women, according to a recent report.

To understand the rise in this disease, we must understand the core…There is a myriad of chemicals in our environment. They make up everything around us, including our bodies. While chemicals like carbon and oxygen are essential to life, there are some that are toxic and cancer-causing known as carcinogens. These carcinogens damage DNA and the way cells work. Our bodies are engineered with built-in defenses to stop and correct the damage. However, sometimes these safety mechanisms fail to allow uncontrolled cell growth, known as cancer. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells hide from the immune system and create tumors that have their own blood supply while invading other organs.

Scientists are constantly researching chemicals individually to see if they trigger cancer. The research shows that a series of chemical changes produce properties that eventually cause cancer. With various new chemicals being produced for commercial use, scientists have determined that a combination of these may lead to a cascade that affects healthy cells and makes them cancerous.

While it may not be possible to avoid all consumer chemicals, there are things we can do to reduce our risk of contracting the disease.

Thousands of women face breast cancer despite eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco and alcohol consumption and exercising often. This is because environmental pollutants and stress play a significant role. Chemicals in food, water and homes can alter the way breast cells mature. It is believed that curtailing environmental pollutants and simplifying our food supply chain could help in cutting the risk. More ways to mitigate the risk is by cutting down on fast foods, canned foods, eating lower fat meat and dairy products and making the switch to organics. Due to the obesity, lack of exercise and a proper diet, colon and rectal cancers are also escalating in number. Processed meat, which increases the exposure to N-nitroso compounds are known to cause colorectal cancers.

The best way to prevent this disease from developing and taking over our bodies it is imperative to:-

  • Eat rich, fibrous vegetables and fruits that are full of anti-oxidants
  • Reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and radiation
  • Curtailing alcohol consumption
  • Eliminating tobacco
  • Keeping a check on stress levels
  • Consume only low-fat dairy and meats