When is Cancer treatment required?
Cancer, a commonly known disease is an abnormal growth of cells that can occur in any part of the body. This uncontrolled growth is often malignant and can adversely affect the normal cells of the body. Cancer can occur anywhere in the body like breast, lungs, liver, colon and others.
Based on the type and the stage of the cancer, the treatment varies. However, the commonly practiced treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Types of Cancer
Cancer types mainly depend on factors like gender, age, race, genetics, and environmental aspects. Though some cancer causes are still unknown yet exposure to chemical components can be a major reason for this disease. Genetics too has a significant role in certain types of cancer like breast cancer, prostate cancer. Apart from this a person’s lifestyle (like alcohol consumption, excessive smoking, and obesity) also triggers this malignant disease.
The three most commonly prevalent Cancer affecting men and women across all countries are:
- Prostrate, lung and colorectal cancer in men
- Breast, lung and colorectal cancer in women
- Leukemia, brain tumors in children.
Available Cancer Treatments & Therapies
- IMRT Radiation Therapy
- Biological Therapy / Immunotherapy
- Hormone Therapy
- Combination Therapy
- Adjuvant Therapy
- Neoadjuvant Therapy
- Prostate Cancer Treatment
- Leukemia Treatment
Different methods to perform Cancer treatment
Cancer treatment generally commences with a biopsy test which helps the doctors to detect the stage of the cancer and the extent of its spread. The common type of treatment that is rendered to the affected patients includes:
- Surgery – Often doctors conduct surgeries to remove the part of the body that is affected by cancer. Lung, breast, colon, and other types of cancer use surgery as a part of the treatment process. Surgery can be done via minimally invasive methods like laser method where laser beams are used to remove the cancer cells, cryosurgery where liquid nitrogen is made usage of that kills the malignant cells and laparoscopic surgery which includes a small incision in the skin through which robotic instruments are used to reach the affected are like kidney, ovaries, prostate and thereby helps in breaking the abnormal cells.
- Radiation therapy – Depending upon the type of the cancer, some patients are not operated and undergo radiation therapy for a considerable time period as an important part of the treatment process. High frequency of radiation is used to kill the cancer cells and reduce the size of the malignant tumor. However, radiation possesses long term bodily side effects.
- Chemotherapy – The other type of treatment offered to cancer patients are chemotherapy where the dosage of chemo is injected into the patient’s blood via a channel inserted generally in the wrist. The dose might differ according to the type and severity of the cancer in the patient.
- Hormone therapy – Patients after they have undergone the surgery and are going through chemo or radiation therapy are sometimes prescribed hormone therapy also. This is an effective treatment in dealing with and curtailing the growth of breast or prostate cancer which are triggered by hormonal changes.
- Stem Cell Transplant – This procedure helps in restoring the blood- forming stem cell in the patient’s body. This is often given to those people who have undergone a high dose of either chemo or radiation therapy.
How cancer treatment is done?
Cancer surgery often helps in removing the cancerous tumor and other metastatic growth in the body. However, it might not always be possible for the oncologist to remove the entire tumor as this might cause damage to the other healthy parts of the patient’s body. In such cases after the surgical procedure which is done through large incisions in the body, the patient is advised chemotherapy or radiation therapy depending upon the tumor’s size in order to shrink it. Reconstructive surgeries are also performed like in cases of breast cancer, where after a mastectomy a breast reconstruction surgery is conducted. Minimally invasive approaches can also be used while operating for less pain and a quicker recovery. In certain cancer patients radioactive metals are inserted inside the body to impart a dose of radiation. This technique is known as brachytherapy.
Precautions / Points to remember
Certain aspects should be kept in mind while a patient is undergoing cancer treatment. These precautionary methods include:
- Often during chemotherapy, a patient might have tendencies to throw up. The container in which the patient pukes should not be used for any other purpose and disposed off when the therapy is over.
- Cleanliness should be maintained and prescribed medicines should be taken properly.
- Skin irritations may occur along with loss of hair while chemotherapy is on. Thus, the skin should be hydrated from time to time.
- In case of a patient is undergoing internal radiation therapy, then a healthy person should at least keep a 6 feet distance from him as the patient tends to give off radiation.
- The patient should minimize contact with pregnant women, children and infants.
Success rate of Cancer treatment
Prognosis of cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. Survival rates of cancer depend on the type of the cancer and the individual patient’s health. For instance, if detected at the first stage of lung cancer, then a survival rate of 52% persists. For bladder cancer, the statistics is around 78%. If a patient’s health is fine apart from the abnormal growth, then the person has higher chances of recovery. Cancer can reoccur also in the same place or might be detected in the other part of the body also.
Cost of Cancer treatment in India?
Cancer treatment is reasonably low in India compared to western countries. On an average for a six months treatment the cost would be around USD 4000. Inclusive of the therapies and the medications the cost sums upto USD 10000 . The cost depends upon the type of cancer also, as treatment procedures differ accordingly. For example, a patient suffering from breast cancer might need targeted medications which might cost around USD 1200
Top Indian hospitals for cancer treatment
Some of the best hospitals in India catering to cancer patients are:
- MAX Hospital , Delhi
- Apollo Cancer Institute, Chennai
- Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon
- Dharamshila Cancer Hospital, New Delhi
- Medanta-The Medicity, Gurgaon
- Columbia Asia, Yeshwantpur
- Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon
- Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai
- Global Health City, Chennai
- Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
Best oncology surgeons in India
Some of the proficient oncologists providing effective treatment to cancer patients include:
- Anshuman Kumar (Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi)
- Rajesh Mistry ( Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai)
- Anthony Vijay Pais ( Narayana Institute of Cardiac Science, Bangalore)
- Sabhyata Gupta ( Medanta, Gurgaon)
- Kamran Ahmed Khan ( Global Hospitals, Mumbai)
- Vedant Kabra (Fortis Memorial Research Hospital, Gurgaon )
- Sameer Kaul ( Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi)
- Sanjay Dudhat ( Nanavati Hospital, Vile Parle)
- Ramesh Sarin (Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Delhi)