What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow or spread uncontrollably to the other parts of body. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body. Normally, human cells grow and multiply to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes this order breaks down causing abnormality of cells division causing damaged cells to grow when they should die and make new. These cells may form tumours, which are lumps of tissues. Types of tumours
Tumours can be cancerous or non cancerous as well.
Cancerous tumours spread into nearby tissues and can travel to distant places in the body to form new tumours. Many cancers form solid tumours but cancers of the blood, such as leukaemia, generally do not.
As we understand that cancer occurs when the normal cells in our body grow in uncontrolled way. This abnormal growth of cells can become cancer and if the cancerous cells took the major part of the organ then the organ can no longer work.
Causes of Cancer
The exact cause of cancers are unknown and there is not a single cause for any type of cancer. But there are some factors that helps in developing cancers.Tobacco use is the cause of 22% of cancer deaths. Another 10% are due to obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity or excessive drinking of alcohol. Other factors include certain infections, exposure to environmental pollutants that are harmful for our bodies.
15% of cancers are due to infections such as Hepatitis-B, Hepatitis-C and HIV. Approximately 5-10% of cancer are due to inherited genetic defects. Cancers can be detected by certain signs and symptoms.
Best available Cancer Treatment in Mumbai
There are majorly two ways to cure cancer.
What is Surgery?
The goal of the surgery is to remove the cancer as much of the cancer as possible.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment for cancer patients. In this drug treatment powerful chemicals are used to kill fast-growing cells in body. Since cancer cells grow and multiply ver rapidly than any other cells in the body. Most types of cancers are treated using different chemotherapy drugs. These drugs are either used alone or in combination with other chemotherapy drugs. As we know that chemotherapy is an effective and the most used way to treat cancer, we should also know that it carries a risk of side effects. Because everything comes with a cost of something.
Benefits of Chemotherapy
*Chemotherapy helps in shrinking/reducing the cancer or in simple terms it helps to slow down the rate of growth of cancer.
*Chemotherapy also prevents cancer to spread any further.
*It helps in reducing pain in the area and other problems caused by the tumour.
*It cures cancer completely in most cases.
As we are aware that drugs have some side effects. And different drugs causes different side effects. Same is the case with the chemotherapy drugs. Most of the side effects are short terms though. They will begin to o once the treatment is completed. Some general side effects of chemotherapy are listed down below.
• Tiredness and weakness
• Reduced platelets
• Risk of getting infection due to pure immunity
• Loss of Appetite
Procedure of Chemotherapy
As we know that chemotherapy is a serious treatment for a serious disease, it’s important to know everything about it before going through it. Patient undergoes a series of tests to help determine whether you are healthy enough for the chemotherapy. These tests include heart examination and various blood tests to determine the health of your body. These tests also helps the doctor to decide which kind of chemotherapy to be used in your treatment. Doctor may also recommend you to visit your dentist before beginning the treatment as the chemotherapy affects your body’s ability to heal. If there is any kind of infection in your gums or teeth ,it could possibly spread throughout your body causing numbers of complications.
Chemotherapy is mostly given in the form of pills but in some cases it is also given directly into your veins by injection or an IV. Let’s discuss further about the ways of chemotherapy in detail.
ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY MEDICATION
In this procedure pills are given directly to be swallowed by patient. They come in variety of oral forms such as pills ,tablets ,capsules ,liquid all of which can be absorbed by the stomach or under the tongue.
INTRA MUSCULAR CHEMOTHERAPY INJECTIONS
In this type of chemotherapy IM injections are given into the muscles. In this absorption of medication is more rapid than the oral form but slower than sub lingual. Most chemotherapy are not given in this form because of the harshness of the chemicals used.
Intravenous chemotherapy allows for rapid entry into the body’s circulation ,where it is carried throughout the body in the blood stream. This is the most common method of chemotherapy, since most chemo drugs are easily absorbed through the blood stream.
Chemotherapy drugs are categorised based on their mode of action. There are a few main categories that we should be aware of. Like for breast cancer, lung cancer ,sarcoma we use Alkylating agents. And to treat leukaemia , pancreatic cancer ,ovarian cancer , Lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer we use Plant alkaloids. And to prevent side effects or allergic reaction from chemotherapy we use Corticosteroids.
Duration of Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy often involves several sessions of treatment. It shows the amount of time that comes between the start of one round of chemotherapy to the start of next.
Chemotherapy usually lasts for around 3-6 months in general. However it also depends on the type of cancer. It can be shorter or longer accordingly.
How much it costs?
Chemotherapy costs in India differ from place to place and doctor to doctor.
The minimum price comes somewhere around INR 3000 and it goes up to INR 50,000.
However the cost depends on several other factors as well such as age of the patient, medical condition of patient, type of hospital and the admission room that you opted for.
You may need one or more than one treatment to cure or help with your cancer. Sometimes cancer can’t be cured when detected in its advance stage , in such cases treatments can relieve symptoms and help the patient to feel comfortable and it may also prolong life.
Types of Cancer
Some of the most common cancers are as listed below.
Cancer is always named for the part of the body where it starts, even if it spreads to the other body parts.
1. Bladder Cancer: As we know bladder is responsible for holding the urine after it is produced by the kidneys. Many symptoms of bladder cancer may relate of urinal abnormalities. Bladder cancer risk factors include smoking, genetic mutations, and exposure to some dyes or chemicals.
2. Breast Cancer: Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different types of breast cancer. Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer, some people do not have symptoms at all. Regular mammography are the best tests doctors have to find breast cancer early.
3. Cervical Cancer: When cancer starts in cervix, it is called cervical cancer. The cervix connects the vagina to the upper part of the uterus.All woman are at risk for cervical cancer.
4. Head and neck cancer: Head and neck cancer develops in mouth, throat, lips, sinuses, or nose. Most cases are caused by tobacco, alcohol or infection with HPV.
5. Kidney Cancer: The kidneys are bean shaped organs that remove waste and extra water and produce urine. Kidney cancers primarily affects older adults.
6. Liver Cancer: The liver is an organ that helps digest food and get rid of toxins. Certain diseases, infections, or alcohol use may cause liver cancer.
7. Lung Cancer: There are few different types of lung cancer, each of which may be treated with different methods. Major risk factor is smoking .
8. Skin Cancer: There are many types of skin cancer, which may be treated through different methods. Sun exposure is a major risk factor for skin cancer.
9. Thyroid Cancer: The thyroid is a gland that sits at the base of the neck and is responsible for making certain hormones. Thyroid cancer is more common in women than men.
There are number of other cancers as well but these are most common and have higher probability of occurring.