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Palliative care in cancer
Palliative care is a specialized form of medical care focused on improving the quality of life for people with serious illnesses, including cancer. It can be provided at any stage of cancer, and it can be offered alongside curative treatment. For cancer patients, it often includes pain management, symptom control, and support for emotional and psychological needs. It improves the overall quality of life for cancer patients, and may even extend their life expectancy. Palliative care is an important component of comprehensive cancer care, and should be considered as an essential part of a patient's treatment plan.
About the Speaker
Dr. Vijay Kumar Kontham
Consultant Radiation Oncologist and Pain and Palliative Care Physician Yashoda Hospitals
Understanding Gastric Cancer
Gastric cancer, often referred to as stomach cancer, is a malignancy that begins in the cells lining the stomach. Several factors increase the risk of developing gastric cancer, including infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, a family history of the disease, smoking, and a diet high in salty or smoked foods. Gastric cancer can be categorized into several types, with adenocarcinoma being the most common. Other rare types include lymphoma, stromal tumors, and carcinoid tumors. Early-stage gastric cancer often shows no symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include abdominal pain, indigestion, unintentional weight loss, and difficulty swallowing. Diagnosis typically involves endoscopy, where a flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the stomach to examine the lining and take biopsies. Imaging studies like CT scans and X-rays may also be used. Gastric cancer is staged to determine the extent of the disease. Stages range from 0 (limited to the inner lining) to IV (spread to distant organs). Treatment options depend on the stage and location of the cancer but may include surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapies, or immunotherapy.
Cancer prevention and early detection
Cancer prevention starts with adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid tobacco in all forms, as it is a major cause of several types of cancer, including lung, mouth, and throat cancers. Regular screening and early detection are crucial in detecting cancer at its earliest stages when treatment is most effective. Women should undergo regular breast self-examinations and mammograms to detect breast cancer early. Routine Pap tests can help detect cervical cancer in its early stages, offering a better chance of successful treatment. Regular dental check-ups are essential, as they may aid in the detection of oral cancers. Vaccinations against certain viruses, such as HPV and Hepatitis B, can help prevent infections linked to cancer. Limit exposure to environmental carcinogens, such as asbestos and industrial chemicals. Family history plays a role in cancer risk, so be aware of your family's medical history and discuss it with your doctor. Maintain a healthy weight, as obesity is linked to an increased risk of many cancers. Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. Avoid prolonged use of hormone replacement therapy unless necessary, as it may increase certain cancer risks.
HRD Evaluation in 4 types of Cancers
HRD (Homologous Recombination Deficiency) evaluation plays a crucial role in assessing the genetic characteristics and treatment strategies for various types of cancers. In breast cancer, it helps identify patients with DNA repair defects that may benefit from targeted therapies. In ovarian cancer aids in determining the potential responsiveness to PARP inhibitors, a class of drugs used in DNA repair-deficient tumors. In prostate cancer, it assists in identifying patients who may respond well to certain DNA-damaging agents or PARP inhibitors. Understanding HRD status in pancreatic cancer helps in identifying patients with defects in DNA repair pathways, which may influence treatment decisions. In lung cancer allows for the identification of patients who may benefit from DNA damage response-targeted therapies.
World Brain tumor day: Latest treatment techniques
World Brain Tumor Day is observed in order to raise awareness about brain tumors, educate the public, and support patients and their families. Brain tumors are abnormal growths that develop in the brain or spinal cord, and they can be both benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The latest treatment techniques for brain tumors involve a multidisciplinary approach, combining surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Let's explore these techniques in more detail. Surgical removal of the tumor is often the first line of treatment. Advancements in surgical techniques, such as neuro-navigation systems and intraoperative MRI, allow surgeons to precisely. In some cases, awake craniotomy is performed to remove tumors located near critical brain regions. Stereotactic radiosurgery delivers highly focused radiation beams to the tumor while minimizing exposure to healthy tissues. Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that uses protons instead of X-rays.