'I Am and I Will' is the theme of World Cancer Day
Studies worldwide suggest that men are 40% more likely to die from cancer and they are 16% more likely to get the disease than women
The World Cancer Day is held on February 4. The theme for this year is 'I Am and I Will', an empowering call for personal commitment to reduce the growing impact of cancer. Cancer mortality is higher among men than it is among women, yet awareness about cancer is low in men.
Experts opine on the types of cancer and the need for leading a healthy lifestyle.
Dr Kirti Chaddha, Sr. Vice President – GRL Operations & Medical Affairs and Sr. Consultant Oncopathologist, MD, PDCC (Oncopath & Oncohemat), Metropolis Healthcare Ltd
In Maharashtra, we have seen the age-groups of 51-60 and 61-70 are more prone to cancer than others. In females, the incidences of breast cancer are rising. The exact cause of rising breast cancer is not known. However, there are benefits for women who exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, do not smoke and have a low intake of alcohol.
Breast cancer cannot be prevented, but if it is diagnosed early then it becomes easier to treat. Under doctor’s supervision, or through home-screening, the regular breast screening from the age of 30 onwards would be beneficial.
Dr Vishal Sehgal, Medical Director, Portea Medical
People diagnosed with cancer need more than just treatment – they need to come to terms with their disease and requisite emotional and physical support. This is known as palliative care. When given in a timely manner, it can help in improving the patient’s quality of life and of their families. Palliative care in some cancer patients, when used as a supportive form of therapy in early stages along with other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, is also known to prolong life.
A diagnosis of cancer is accompanied with associated problems such as depression, anxiety, and fear. In palliative care, experts counsel and support patients and make referrals to mental health professionals. There are also other things that a patient’s family may need to address including financial and legal issues, or insurance. This is also an area where palliative care specialists assist and help in coordinating with relevant professionals. Last but not the least, through palliative care, cancer patients are guided to come to terms with their condition and are able to make better sense of their thoughts and fears.
Dr Donald Babu, Surgical Oncologist, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital
Studies conducted worldwide show that men are 40% more likely to die from Cancer, it was also observed that men are 16% more likely to get the disease than women. However, there is no substantial biological reason as to why men should be more susceptible; let’s look at two possible explanations for this phenomenon. Lifestyle factors include unrestrained smoking, drinking, rapidly increasing weight, and no exercise; all of these are noted risk factors for several types of Cancer. Secondly, men also tend to hide their symptoms, or simply don’t understand the symptoms, which means by the time they are diagnosed with Cancer, it is in advanced stages. Also, women tend to be in frequent contact with health professionals, as against males, which means their health related queries are never answered or at a much later time. Men need to take charge of their health too, six-monthly or yearly check-ups are important, speaking to your doctor about unusual symptoms is important, and lastly, being aware of risks associated with Cancer is important.
Mangesh Kamath, Medical Oncologist, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bangalore
Bengaluru has the highest incidence of cancer cases of all the cities in India. The Population based cancer registry at Bengaluru quotes the city to have around 125 cancer cases per Lakh population in the city. The modern city lifestyle which includes pollution, stress, unhealthy and processed food culture, sedentary living and obesity, abuse of alcohol and tobacco are notably the commonest reasons for this cancer epidemic. These are also cancers such as cancer of the Cervix and Liver which can be significantly prevented by vaccination. Avoiding these preventable causes is easier said than done in this fast-paced urban life. However, there is no other way but to address and avoid these causes so that we can prevent cancer from affecting