Cancer cure has entered a new era. Now it is possible to cure certain cancers without damaging healthy cells, says DR. SUDEEP GUPTA.
Cancer or the ‘Big C’, as it is fearfully referred to, is no longer considered a death sentence. The number of individuals who have survived cancer has considerably increased over the years. Certain adult cancers have a survival rate of 70% or more, while a few childhood cancers may boast of a greater cure rate.
In the last few years the medical science has achieved a lot many successes to cure and prevent a number of diseases – Cancer is one among them. Countries like America have taken it so seriously that they have declared ‘War Against Cancer’. The results of collective efforts, that are taking place across globe, are very promising and it seems that we are very close to conquer this disease. The medical science has been able to cure up to 80 per Cancers if they are diagnosed in early stage.
Breast cancer is now completely curable. Cancer cure has entered a new era. Now it is possible to cure certain cancers without damaging healthy cells. With the help of improved therapy more and more people are able to get complete cure. The advancements in the field of medical science have enabled survival of more than 10 per cent cancer victims in their last stage. The greatest advancements have been in the area of childhood cancers. Childhood leukemia used to kill about 80 percent of kids with the disease. Today more than 80 percent survive. Similarly, testicular cancer once claimed 95 percent of its victims; today upwards of 95 percent survive. Overall, during the mid-1970s, the five-year survival rate among adults for all cancers combined was 50 percent; today it is about 65 percent.
Cancer is always treated as a dreaded disease. People have seen patient dying. But in most cases death occur due to too late diagnosis. If it is diagnosed in advanced stage the likelihood of survival becomes low. Therefore it is always advised to rush to the doctor when you find slightest symptoms. Timely detection is the surest way to get it cure. I would say instead of hiding this disease one should go to the doctor and take proper medication. Generally people know about only few cancers such as breast, lung, liver, bone and blood cancer whereas there are about 200 types of cancers and all these cancers have different initial symptoms and stages.
Normally there are three types of Cancer treatment- Chemotherapy, Radiation and Surgery. All these therapies are becoming better and better with new developments. These developments have made it less painful and accurate for patients. Now there is no need to fear from Chemotherapy. Earlier patients suffered vomiting, nausea, change of skin complexion, anemia and infection etc. after receiving chemotherapy. Now certain medicines are available in market which attack only cancer cells and they do not affect other parts of body. Similarly radiology has become safer. The X-rays have become more targeted and they do not damage healthy cells in the body. Likewise in the surgery field various improvements have taken place. For example earlier surgeons used to remove entire breast in case of breast cancer now they are able to remove tumor and the affected area and the breast remain intact. Patients who are in fourth stage of cancer have to bear less pain, thanks to advanced medicines. There are certain gels and lotions that may give pain relief upto 72 hours.
Symptoms of Cancer
Cancer is a broad term that encompasses over one hundred different types of cancer. Although each type has its own set of characteristics, there are some cancer symptoms that occur in many types of cancer. It is important to note that some types of cancer do not present any symptoms until they are in advanced stages. This is why cancer screening and risk assessment are vital for cancer prevention and early detection. A broad spectrum of non-specific cancer symptoms may include:
Persistent Fatigue: Fatigue is one of the most commonly experienced cancer symptoms. It is usually more common when the cancer is advanced, but still occurs in the early stages of some cancers. Anaemia is commonly the culprit – a condition that is associated with many types of cancer, especially types affecting the bowel.
Unintentional Weight Loss: While it may be a welcome surprise to lose weight without trying, it can be a red flag for many illnesses, including cancer. Losing 10 pounds or more unintentionally definitely warrants a visit to the doctor. This type of weight loss can occur with or without loss of appetite. Remember, weight loss can be a symptom of cancer, but is also a symptom of many other illnesses, too.
Pain: Typically, pain is not an early symptom of cancer, except in some cancer types like those that spread to the bone. Pain generally occurs when cancer spreads and begins to affect other organs and nerves. Lower back pain is cancer symptom that is associated with ovarian cancer and colon cancer. Shoulder pain can also be a symptom of lung cancer. Pain in the form of headaches can be associated with brain tumours (malignant and benign). Stomach pains can be related to types of cancer, like stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and many others. Stomach pain can be a very vague symptom because so many illnesses can cause stomach pain.
Bowel Changes: If you experience constipation, diarrhoea, blood in the stools, gas, thinner stools, or just a general overall change in bowel habits, see your doctor. These symptoms are most commonly associated with colon cancer, but are also related to other cancer types.
Chronic Cough: A persistent, new cough or a cough that won’t go away or becomes worse needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Blood and/or mucus may accompany the cough and can be caused many conditions. In relation to cancer, a chronic cough with blood or mucus can be symptom of lung cancer.
Keep in mind that these are very general, vague symptoms of cancer. If you have one or two of these symptoms, it is not a red flag for cancer but more an indication to your doctor to run certain medical tests. The symptoms listed above are experienced by most people with cancer at various stages of their disease, but are also linked to many other non-cancerous conditions.