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Understanding and Coping With Chemotherapy Side Effects

Understanding and Coping With Chemotherapy Side Effects

Chemotherapy, also called ‘Chemo’ is a part of cancer treatment procedure that uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. It targets those cells that divide and grow quickly in the body just as cancerous cells. But, as it wipes out the cancer cells, some healthy tissues/cells also get damaged by the chemotherapy. This results in undesirable side effects that patients often have to cope with.

Onco Life Cancer Centre is one of the renowned cancer hospitals known for offering best cancer treatments in the country. People looking for good oncologists for cancer treatment in Pune-Satara region highly prefer our services as we have successfully handled scores of cancer cases over the years. Our team of veteran doctors has helped many patients win their battle against cancer and resume normal healthy life.

Here we bring you to some vital information about chemotherapy, its side effects and how to manage it. Hope it helps you!

What Does Chemotherapy Do?

This depends upon the type and stage of cancer. However, chemotherapy is generally used in cancer treatment to achieve the following:

  • Cure: In some cases, the doctors use chemotherapy to destroy all the cancerous cells such that they never grow back again. Although it works in some cases, relapse of cancerous cells is unavoidable in several others.
  • Control: In some cases, the oncologist applies chemotherapy just to control the cancerous cells from spreading to the other parts of the body or slow the growth of cancer tumor.
  • Ease the Symptoms: When it can’t cure or control the spread of cancer, chemotherapy is used to shrink the tumor that causes pain.

While in some cases Chemotherapy can be used alone to destroy the cancerous tumor, in most of the other cases it is used in combination with other treatments like surgery, radiation therapy and biological therapy.

What are the Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is associated with different types of side effects. While most of the chemotherapy side effects go away shortly after the treatment, some side effects persist for several months or even longer. Your doctor generally gives you an idea of the side effects you are likely to have.

Some of the most common side effects of chemotherapy the patients often face are:

  • Anemia
  • Bowel problems
  • Fertility issues
  • Fatigue
  • Hair/Nail/Skin changes
  • Infection/Fever
  • Memory loss
  • Menopause and menopausal symptoms
  • Mouth and throat sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Cognitive and mental health problems like depression &anxiety

How to Manage the Side Effects?

Each patient reacts differently to chemotherapy and its potential side effects. Fortunately, the doctors including cancer specialist in Pune, Mumbai and other major cities are now more confident in battling against these side effects. Here are some tips often suggested by these experts for overcoming the Chemo side effects:

  • Eat smaller meals at regular intervals rather than three big ones.
  • Avoid food with strong smell as it may bring on nausea.
  • Take rest and get enough sleep.
  • Include light exercise and meditation in your daily routine.
  • Keep your brain active; attend classes &lectures, solve puzzles etc
  • Consider trying acupuncture as some studies suggest this may help reduce tiredness after Chemo.
  • Use a daily planner to manage and remember your important appointments, names, addresses, numbers and to-do lists.
  • Take prescribed medicines without fail.
  • Follow doctors instructions and advices.

Apart from these, you also need to keep your doctor informed about your progress. Maintain a journal to record all symptoms and share the same with the concerned doctor. This will help your health care team to handle your case in the best possible way and provide you relief. Some of the vital details that you can include in your journal are:

  • The date and time when side effect occurs
  • Its duration
  • Its intensity- for instance, if you experience pain, how strong is it on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least amount of pain and 10 the most intense.
  • How your daily activities are getting affected.
  • Other concerns that may crop up between appointments with your doctor.

Good communication with your respective doctor will help you get the right medical attention at the right time.

Important Developments

Last few decades have witnessed remarkable progress in the development of medical treatments including supportive care that help prevent & control the side effects of cancer therapy. These developments in the medical fraternity have:

  • Led to notable improvements in the management of symptoms associated with cancer treatment.
  • Have made chemotherapy to be delivered with greater accuracy and consistency.
  • Have expanded the cancer treatment reach.

If your radiation oncologist in Pune or other city recommends you for chemotherapy treatment, do not get stressed out rather, prepare yourself for the new phase that will be challenging yet crucial for restoring your valuable life.  Your will power and positivity will make a lot of difference in this journey so never lose them.

Six Simple Spices to Include in Your Diet to Lower Risk of Cancer by Onco Life Cancer Centre

Six Simple Spices to Include in Your Diet to Lower Risk of Cancer

Spices have always been an indispensable part of the Asian, and especially the Indian diet. They are the ones who add the distinct flavor and aroma to the Indian recipes. Little do we realize but these spices are not just appealing to the taste buds but also extremely tough against the gravest of disorders and diseases, one of them being cancer. Owing to their medicinal properties, spices such as turmeric, clove, and pepper are also used in Ayurveda an ingredient in medicines to cure ailments. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects of spices have been confirmed in many studies.

Spices, therefore, could be used to prevent and treat cancers, because oxidative stress, inflammatory stress, and immune response have been associated with the genesis, growth, and metastasis of cancers. If you are looking for a cancer specialist in Pune, ‘Onco Life Cancer Cantre’ is a leading cancer hospital in Satara. ‘Onco Life Cancer Cantre’ brings you a brief explaining the benefits of including these spices in your daily food.

  1. Garlic: Indian foods have always included garlic in the best possible way to add flavor and health benefits. The sulfur content in garlic, which gives it the typical pungent odor and taste, works wonder against cancer. Garlic compounds help with DNA repair, slow the growth of cancer cells, fight them and decrease inflammation. Reports found that eating garlic frequently lowers the risk of colorectal cancers.
  2. Turmeric: Curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Research also suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat cancer. Curcumin is known to have antioxidant properties, which means it decreases swelling and inflammation. Curcumin slows the spread of cells in especially breast cancer, which makes chemotherapy more effective and protects healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy. If you are looking for breast cancer treatment in Pune, visit Onco Life Cancer centre in Satara today.
  3. Ginger: Ginger is an anti-oxidant which makes it a natural cancer fighter. It is believed to be several thousand times more powerful than chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. The active compounds 6-Gingerol and 6-Shogaol exhibit anti-cancer properties against the gastrointestinal tract and help in killing down cancer cells.
  4. Black Pepper: Piperine in black pepper has been shown to improve health due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and disease-fighting qualities. Combining pepper with turmeric increases its potential health benefits by enhancing absorption and expediting the healing process. Piperine also helps desensitize a specific pain receptor in your body and reduce feelings of discomfort.
  5. Cinnamon: Apart from being recognized for its ability to reduce blood sugar and ease inflammation, studies also suggest cinnamon to block the spread of cancer cells. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells and expedites their death. According to a study, cinnamon contains the essential oil that suppresses the growth of head and neck cancer cells, and also significantly reduced tumor size.
  6. Oregano: This aromatic herb used commonly as a seasoning in pizzas contains carvacrol, an ingredient that is proven to be beneficial against prostate cancers. The oregano oil has the ability to selectively target cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells intact.

Onco Life Cancer Centre, Satara is a boon to those who are looking for a cancer hospital in Pune, Mumbai, Kolhapur and the rest of the regions. Visit the Onco Life Cancer Centre and consult with our doctors.

A brief guide to Immunotherapy by Onco Life Cancer Centre

Immunotherapy Treatment for Cancer – A Brief Guide

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that either empowers your immune system or stimulates it to fight against cancer. This treatment uses the body’s natural defenses to identify, attack, and kill cancerous cells. It is a subset of biological therapy that uses substances made from living organisms to treat cancer.

Your body’s immune system, made up of white blood cells, organs, and tissues of the lymph system, is inherently coded to specifically attack foreign bodies and cancerous cells; basically, anything that does not naturally belong in your system. Other therapies target & destroy all cells indiscriminately, whether healthy or cancerous. This makes immunotherapy superior and more natural as compared to other forms of treatment. Onco-Life Cancer Centre, Satara, and one of the best cancer hospital in Pune region tries to shed some light on Immunotherapy.

Types of Immunotherapy

These treatments can either help the immune system attack cancer directly or stimulate the immune system in an overall manner. Based on these two roles, immunotherapy can be of the following types:

  1. One that helps the immune system act directly against cancer
    • Checkpoint inhibitors: These drugs drive the immune system to respond more strongly to a tumor by not actually attacking them. They keep the T cells (a kind of WBC) from destroying the cancerous cells while restraining the capacity of cancerous cells to attack the immune system.
    • Adoptive cell transfer: This treatment uses T cells to fight cancer. These T cells are usually taken from the patient’s blood or tumor tissue. They are then grown in large numbers in a lab and given back to the patient to help the immune system fight cancer.
    • Monoclonal antibodies: Monoclonal antibodies, also known as therapeutic antibodies, are laboratory-produced molecules programmed to serve as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance or mimic the immune system’s attack on cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies perform various roles such as:
      • Flag the cancer cells and make them easily detectable by coating them
      • Trigger an immune system response to attack the outer wall of a cancer cell
      • Block the connection between a cancer cell and proteins that promote cell growth
      • Prevent Blood vessel growth, which in turn inhibits tumor growth
    • Treatment vaccines: They boost your immune system’s response to cancer cells. Treatment vaccines are different from the ones that help prevent disease. can be expensive. Onco-life cancer centre in Satara near Pune gives state-of-the-art facilities and services of expert doctors in a serene environment, that can be the closest alternative if you are looking for Cancer treatment in Pune.
  2. One that enhances the body’s immune response to fight cancer
    • Cytokines: These are proteins made by your cells. They play important roles in the body’s normal immune responses and also in the immune system’s ability to respond to cancer.
    • BCG: Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, is mostly used to treat bladder cancer. It is a weakened form of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis which is inserted directly into the bladder with a catheter. These bacteria cause an immune response against cancer cells.

What types of cancer can be treated by Immunotherapy?

There are four main types of cancer that can be treated with immunotherapy namely leukemia & lymphoma, lung cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer. There are other types of cancer too that can be treated with immunotherapy, but you will have to consult with a cancer specialist in Pune to find out.

Who is eligible for Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is eligible for people with advanced-stage cancers, or for those whose cancers have returned and metastasized after initial treatment. However, some people may not be able to receive immunotherapy due to prevailing health problems. You can consult with the doctors from Onco-Life Cancer Centre, who are among the best oncologist in Pune, and ascertain your eligibility for the treatment.  Contact Onco-Life Cancer centre today to know your options.

A guide to genetic testing for Hereditary Cancer Diagnosis by cancer specialist in Pune

Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer Diagnosis

Genetic testing is conducted to estimate the possibility of developing cancer in your lifetime. These tests help detect mutations in your DNA. If some of your family members or blood relatives were diagnosed with cancer, you become more likely to receive the genes too. Hence, genetic testing informs you whether cancer runs in your family. Genetic testing may help in the following:

  • Predicting the risk of a particular disease
  • Finding out whether your genes pose a cancer risk to your children
  • Provide information to prepare you in advance

Here is an article explaining the importance of genetic testing by ‘Onco Life Cancer Centre’, the preferred cancer specialist in Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, and adjacent regions.

Genetic tests are available only for certain types of cancer such as Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Thyroid, Prostate, Pancreatic, Melanoma, Stomach and kidney cancer. ‘Onco life Cancer Centre’ in Satara is one of the finest testing centres for people looking for a cancer hospital in Pune or nearby regions.

A point to note here is that Genetic tests do not say whether you will get cancer or not. They just tell you how much chance you have of getting cancer. This means, even if you have a 95% genetic chance of inheriting cancer, you can adopt certain preventive measures to avoid letting cancer happen to you.

What are the risk factors of genetic mutation?

An inherited gene mutation can cause cancer to be developed due to heredity from parent to child. The factors which increase the risk of hereditary cancer are as follows:

  • You have many first-degree relatives such as mother, father, sisters, brothers, children with cancer.
  • There is a single gene mutation which is a link to a group of cancer such as breast, ovarian, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers in your family.
  • One or several of the family members have more than one type of cancer.
  • One or several of the family members have had cancer at a very young age.
  • One or several of the family members have a rare type of cancer such as male breast cancer or eye cancer.
  • One or more family members have already had genetic testing that found a mutation.

Why is this test important?

These genetic tests are used as a guide for treating certain cancers. They help to inform a healthcare practitioner as to whether certain targeted cancer drugs may or may not work. Genes are made up of DNA, which is like the code required for the production of certain proteins. Alteration in the DNA, called as polymorphisms or mutations, can occur throughout the population. Mutations can affect all cells but can occur later in life due to exposures to radiation, toxins or any other unknown reasons, resulting in cancer.

In certain types of cancers, there may be a genetic mutation that leads to an increased amount of a particular protein present in the tumor tissue or to the production of a protein that has altered activity. Tumors with these mutations tend to grow and spread more aggressively and are more resistant to chemotherapy too. Genetic tests for cancer therapy detect the mutations, thereby identifying tumors that may be susceptible to targeted therapy. Conversely, genetic tests may also identify tumors that will not respond to targeted therapy.

The benefits of genetic testing

One of the advantages of knowing whether you have a genetic mutation or not is that you can work with your doctor to assess your cancer risks and facilitate preventive oncology. This can help prevent cancer completely or at least find it an early stage when it’s most treatable. This will not just inform you but will also prepare your family for themselves.

To get yourself tested, visit Onco Life Cancer Centre in Satara where the staff consists of the best of experienced cancer specialists, oncologists & hematologist in Pune and Mumbai.

Onco Life Cancer Centre - Preventive Oncology

Preventive Oncology-Taking Stand Against Cancer Risks

The term ‘cancer’ can be really scary, evoking feelings of anxiety and hopelessness in people who come in terms with it. Oncologists across the medical fraternity including the best cancer specialist in Pune and Mumbai, are of the opinion that fear of cancer affects people immensely because they remain oblivious to the early detection cures and most importantly the effective preventive measures available against cancer. Innumerable myths and doubts encircling cancer make it one of the deadliest diseases.

What is Preventive oncology?

Preventive oncology is any measure taken to prevent the development or progression of the malignant process. While cancer prevention concepts, coming under the preventive oncology are still evolving, there are some well-established facts that prove simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference!

  • Say ‘No’ to Tobacco: Usage of any form of tobacco places you on the collision path with cancer. Smoking or chewing of tobacco increases cancer risks of mouth, lungs, colon etc. Chemicals present in tobacco smoke damages the DNA of a body cell. This DNA controls the normal growth and functioning of a cell. So, when DNA is damaged, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancer tumor. Here it’s important to point out that secondhand smoke is equally harmful as you are likely to inhale the same amount of harmful chemicals as the smoker, making you prone to lung cancer. Avoid coming in contact with tobacco in any case. Take medical help if required, to quit tobacco as a preventive measure against cancer.
  • Stick to Healthy Diet: Your daily diet contributes significantly towards your health maintenance. While making the right selection at the grocery stores or at meals does not guarantee immunity against cancer, it can definitely go a long way in reducing cancer risks. Some of the basic guidelines suggested by the oncology departments, including the best oncologist in Pune are:
    • Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Opt for foods sourced from plants like whole grains and beans
    • Avoid using processed vegetable oils
    • Choose lower-calorie foods
    • Add more unsaturated fats from fish, nuts, avocados etc
    • Cut down processed meats etc.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight and Stay Active: Several medical researchers have drawn parallels between overweight/obesity and cancer risks. People who are overweight have a higher risk of various types of cancers like breast, colon, prostate, lungs and kidney. Hence, keep a check over your body weight. Physical activities too count as a preventive measure against cancer because it helps in weight control. It promotes hormonal balances and develops immune systems that are instrumental in reducing risks related to breast cancer and colon cancer.
  • Avoid Risky Behavior: It is highly recommended to avoid risky behaviors that may cause infections, leading to increased risk of cancer. For instance, it’s very important to limit sex partners and adopt precautions when having sex. Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV, is a contagious disease that is increasingly found to be the cause of many types of cancer and it spreads through skin to skin contact during vaginal, anal and oral sex. The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) also spreads from person to person through unprotected sex. It leads to long-term liver infections that can increase a person’s chance of developing liver cancer.
  • Vaccinations can be Effective: Certain types of cancers like cervical cancer and liver cancer are the result of viruses. Vaccines such as HPV and hepatitis B vaccine are given to people to protect their body from cancer-causing viruses. Preventive vaccinations for cancer are given before the virus attacks the body. If you want to know more about these vaccinations, you can consult the oncologists at Onco Life Cancer Centre. They are cancer experts who will guide you in the best interest.

Besides the above pointers, make sure to get regular medical tests and screenings done only at the best hospitals. Go for genetic testing to rule out the chances of developing cancer caused by an inherited gene mutation.

Onco Life Cancer Centre is one of the leading cancer hospitals offering the best services and is equally competent as any other top cancer hospital in Pune and Mumbai. If you want to know more about preventive measures against cancer for yourself or your loved ones, get in touch with us and we will apprise you with all the required info that you will appreciate.

Types of Blood Cancers and their Treatment Options by hematologist in Pune

Types of Blood Cancers and their Treatment Options

Our body is made up of millions of tiny blood cells that keep the body healthy by fighting against infections and repairing our body. Every day, every second the body is producing new cells and destroying the old ones. But, when certain abnormal blood cells start developing and hindering the production and functioning of healthy blood cells, there are possibilities of blood cancer. Blood cancer starts in the bone marrow that is the main source for blood production and if not treated on time may turn out to be fatal.

Doctors specializing in blood-related issues including blood cancer are called hematologists. For anyone looking for a renowned hematologist in Pune, Satara or other neighbouring regions, Onco Life Cancer Centre is the perfect destination that ensures the best treatment by the best doctors. Our team comprises of qualified doctors who have a sound background, having worked as a cancer specialist in Pune and Mumbai hospitals. Over the years they have successfully handled plenty of cases and given a new lease of life to several patients.

Types of Blood Cancers

Blood cancers have been broadly divided into the following major categories:

  • Leukemia: This blood cancer occurs when there is rampant growth of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow. These abnormal cells impede the bone marrow’s ability to produce red blood cells and platelets.
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: This type of cancer develops in the lymphatic system which is responsible for producing immunity cells. The cancer is caused by an overgrowth of lymphocytes, the type of white cells that help the body fight infections.
  • Hodgkin lymphoma: This cancer develops in the lymphatic system which is a network of glands and tissues spread across the body. In this case, B-Lymphocytes, a type of white cells start growing and getting collected in lymphatic systems like glands or nodes. It disturbs the healthy lymphocyte cells that have infection-fighting properties thus, making your body vulnerable to infections.
  • Myeloma or Multiple Myeloma: This is a kind of blood cancer that arises from plasma cells, a type of white cells developing in the bone marrow. These cancerous cells produce abnormal proteins that cause complications.

Treatment Options

Treatment for cancer depends on multiple factors like type and stage of cancer, age, pace at which it is progressing and more. Some of the most common treatments for blood cancer are:

  • Stem Cell Transplantation: In this case, healthy stem cells capable of generating fresh cells are infused into the body. These cells can be extracted from the bone marrow, circulating blood or umbilical cord blood.
  • Chemotherapy: It is one of the main treatments for blood cancer that uses anti-cancer drugs to kill the cancerous cells. The drugs that are swallowed or injected through the veins travel through the bloodstream and destroy the cancer-causing cells.  It is often used in combination with other therapies, for instance, sometimes it is recommended before stem cell transplantation.
  • Radiation: It uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells that have accumulated in brain, spleen or spinal fluid.  This is also used to relieve pain or discomfort in the areas affected by leukemia.

Despite the advancements in cancer treatments and its effectiveness, early diagnosis and prompt medical attention are most critical for the recovery.

There are some really good cancer hospitals like Onco Life Cancer Centre that are working towards creating success stories against cancer. Their services and the team of experts stand at par with the best hospitals offering cancer treatment in Pune, Mumbai and other Western regions. Their excellent services and effective treatments earned them the coveted award, “Best Super Specialty Cancer Hospital in Maharashtra- 2019, conferred by India Achievers Award & presented by Actress & United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza.

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.

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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.