keralaayurvedashram

AYURVEDIC TREATMENT of Cancer

Cancer

AYURVEDA, A ray of hope for cancer patients

How herbs could be useful in a disease like cancer?

I believe cancer which is a worldwide terror is simpler to manage than common cold & cough provided it is managed at right time. The eight herbs, I use in a mixture are very effective in fighting cancer and I have used this herbal formulation in the management of brain cancer, breast cancer, colon & rectal cancer, abdominal cancer, urinary bladder and gall bladder tumor, liver cancer, lung cancer, bone cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer, etc. This therapy which I discovered 30 years back is now being accepted by countries like the US where it has been confirmed that these herbs are anti-cancer agents. The prestigious institutes like TATA Memorial Cancer Hospital----Mumbai, the AIMS Delhi & other prestigious hospitals from India as well as the US & UK have referred their terminal stage patients to me who have been successfully managed. I have been successfully managed. I have been to countries like England, Germany, Belgium and Durban etc. several times for management of cancer patients. A social organization from London has shot a film on my therapy. Also a half-an-hour live interview of mine has been telecast by Asia TV.

How did you know that the drug prepare by you is effective in the management of cancer?

When a patient suffering from tongue cancer approached me who was upset with the pain? I gave him this drug and after a few days he had recovered completely. One of my patient’s, Mr. Shinde who was working as postmaster at Aknlug (Maharashtra) came to me since he was suffering from cancer and the probability of his survival was zero. I undertook to manage his condition and he recovered completely after a few days therapy. This is how patients started approaching me for the management of cancer.

Is the drug prepared by you is absolutely safe for human consumption?

All medicine used by me are tested by the pharmacology department of All-India institute of Medical Sciences, new Delhi and Lyne, Martin & Radford, London, England, UK to be safe, toxic-free and without any side-effects. I now have patent and copyrights for these medicines in 180 countries.

Does your herbal therapy help reducing side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy?

Many cancer consultants (oncologists) too have used herbal drug to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Dr. Sunil Chakoo from Canada says, “I used herbal therapy along with chemotherapy and was amazed that patients had no side-effects at all “Dr. Suresh Regmi, Senior Oncologists, Government Hospital, Nepal also tried my herbal therapy along with chemotherapy on some of his patients and says,” I was overwhelmed to see that most of my patients had no side-effects of chemotherapy and their lifestyle has improved.” Dr. Regmi is now regularly using herbal drug on most of his cancer patients.

What is success rate of your

herbal therapy in cancer patients? To my experience of 30+years, 40% to 50% patients respond to my therapy where-in, the success rate ranges between 80% to 100%.

What is your mission?

I wish that no one should die of cancer and the herbal drug for management of cancer discovered by me should reach every section of society and mass suffering because of this disease should be benefited by its positive effects. And to accomplish my mission, I plan to establish branches of Dr. Nandlal Tiwari Cancer Research Centre (DNTRC) in all the states of India and overseas. I am also training other doctors to help me achieve my aim. Till now, I have trained Dr. Rosy Daniel, former director, Bristol Cancer Hospital – UK, Dr. Suresh Regmi, Senior Oncologist, Government Hospital—Nepal, Dr. Humaira Aziz Khan—Pakistan, Dr. Kiran Regmi—Nepal, Dr. Narayan Acharya, Medical Director in Nepal and Dr. Sunil Chakoo of Canada.

Soon , a virus that can treat cancer?

Trials Of Targeted Therapy To Begin in India in 2 Mnths.

New Delhi:

Trials will soon begin in India to treat cancer differently and selectively. This could eventually see a breakthrough in treatment of the dreaded C word and give hope to many. Called oncolytic virus, it’ II see certain live viruses being injected intravenously. These will then home into cancer cells, colonize and kill them.

This is the first time such trials will take place in India and the second time in the world where success is anticipated. Early trials in the UK have shown promising results.

The Indians trials will be in conjunction with Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. Cancer, incidentally, is the biggest killer in India after heart disease and it’s estimated there are 1.5-2 million cases at any given point in time. In the US, one million new cases crop up annually.

Oncolytic virus,

says DR Kushagra Katariya, CEO of Artemis, is a targeted therapy and can be used to treat all types of cancer. Unlike chemotherapy and radiation, conventional forms of treatment which kill healthy cells too, oncolytic virus doesn’t do this. “We hope the side effects of the former two—nausea, hair now, says Katariya. Doctors are also hoping that the after-effects on the body when a tumour brakes down, will be used in these trials, is called Vaccina, he says. Trials will start in two months on some 20-25 patients who suffer from cervical, head neck and lung cancer, he says. While

lung cancer

is the number one cancer killer in the world, neck and cervical cancer are more prevalent in India.

In Indian women, cervical cancer cases are ahead of even breast cancer. Incidentally, a conference, ASK’10 at Artemis between March 6-7 on head, neck and thoracic cancer, will also discuss these trials.

Early trials on nude mice, i.e. those whose conducted over the last three years by the University of California and Sloan-Kettering, to see if this virus works.

With no immunity, it was easy for researchers to inject cancer cells in the mice and see tumours growing in their thighs.

The virus was then injected into them and in a surprising and euphoric development, the tumours disappeared within four to eight weeks, says Katariya.

Dr kumar Prabhash, medical oncologist, Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mumbai, says oncolytic virus is a promising therapy for treating cancer.

Obese women at greater cancer risk

Being Overwieght Accounts For Up To 8% Of Disease: Experts

New Delhi: Two separate medical findings simultaneously released on Friday have sounded the tocsin for Indian women. In the first study, nearly 6 crore women in India above the age of 15 have been found to be overwieght, bordering on obesity. Shockingly, a separate study found obesity to be the leading cause of cancer these days, specially in women, with about one in 12 new cases of the disease due to excess weight. European researchers say obesity now accounts for up to 8% of cancers on the continent.

The first study, published inthe Journal of Nutrition, examined how many women in the reproductive age group in three south Asian countries -India, Nepal and Bangladesh-have become overweight/obese in a decade long period between 1996-2006. The prevalence of obesity in this age group of women increased by almost 6% in Bangaladesh, 8.5% in Nepal and 4% in India. Though India reported the lowest percentage increase, in absolute numbers of obese women, it is far higher than both Bangladesh and Nepal.

After reserching national data from eight demographic and health surveys that studied 19,211 women in Bangladesh, 19,354 in Nepal and 1.6 lakh women in India, experts found that the prevalence of overweight-obesity increased from 2.7% to 8.9% in Bangladesh, 1.6% to 10.1% in Nepal and 10.6% to 14.8% in India. These increases were observed in both rural and urban areas and were greater in rural areas.

Anoop Misra, director of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at Fortis Hospital, said the prevalence of overweight women had increased substantially in Bangladesh, Nepal, and India. India has around 39.42 crore women above age of 15, which means around 5.8 crore of these women are overweight and obese.This goes to show that women in India are at higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, primarily due to sedentary lifestyle.

Meanwhile, another, study has clearly said shedding some extra pounds could greatly protect women against cancer. Scientists say being overweight accounts for up to 14% of cancer deaths in men and 20% of cancer deaths in women. Some 20% to 30% of common cancers such as colon, postmenopausal breast, uterine and esophageal may be related to being overweight and to a lack of physical activity. Though scientists don't know why obesity increases cancer risk, they think it may be linked to hormones. Fat people produce more hormones, such as estroge, that help tumours thrive.

Chemotherapy no more a bar for motherhood

New Delhi:For thousands of young women cancer patients in India, the dream of becoming a mother remains what it essentially is - a dream. Their ovarian function is completely destroyed as they are immediately put on chemotherapy or radiotherapy. But doctors at Army Research and Referral Hospital have found a way to safeguard their desire to have children by cryopreserving their ovaries while they receive treatment.

Pioneering the technique in India, doctors are cryopreserving the ovarian cortex of young cancer patients before they are put on treatment."Chemotherapy and radiotherapy have a very negative effect on the ovaries. It destroys the health cells and primordial follicles in the ovaries. As a result, women are unable to conceive after treatment. We are protecting their ovaries from the dangerous side-effects of cancer treatment. When the patient turns disease-free, we implant these cortex back in their body," said Lt.General Dr.Naresh Kumar, commandant, Army Hospital.

Through this technique, ovaries of a patient are retrieved and cut into small pieces. Each piece of cortex is then gradually cryopreserved at-196°C. "The cprtex, which contains all primitive eggs, is cut into nearly 30-40 small pieces and cyropreserved. We send two samples for checking the density of follicles and to rule out presence of cancer cells. These pieces can be stored for decades," said Lt Col Dr Pankaj Talwar, IVF specialist, Army, Hospital. So far, the hospital has cryopreserved the ovaries of five female cancer patients who are in the age group of 15-35.

Doctors say that in most cases cancer treatment has to be started immediately. Thus, one can't wait for the patient's menstrual cycle to collect the eggs."Cancer cells multiply very fast and chances of metastasis are very high. That is why, patients are put on treatment immediately," added Dr.Talwar.

Explaining the process, he said,"Once the patient is disease-free and wants to conceive, we will implant one of the ovarian cortex pieces either in the forearm or abdominal wall under local anaesthesia. The graft can also be implanted at the ovarian fossa in pelvic cavity under general anaesthesia. It takes 2-3 months for the graft to become active and for the estrogen levels in the blood to rise. We then stimulate the graft with hormones to help follicles mature. Once eggs are mature, we take then out and achieve pregnancy through in-vitro fertilisation. The implant has a life of 6-9 months and can be left inside the body."Though doctors at Army Hospital are yet to implant a cryopreserved cortex piece in the patient, they are confident that the result would be positive.

Conceive After Cancer

In an attempt to help young women suffering from cancer conceive after treatment, doctors at Army Resear and Referral Hospital are cryopreserving the ovaries of these patients.

The Process

1. Ovaries are surgically removed and divided into two parts and the cortex, which has primordial follicles are cut into 13 to 40 small pieces.

2. The cryopreserved cortex is tested for cancer and also for density of oocytes.

The Thawing Process

3. These small pieces are then put in a special solution and cryopreserved at -196° C

4. When the patient is disease-free and wants to conceive, the cryopreserved cortex is thawed.

5. The cortex is implanted either in the forearm, lower abdominal wall or at the original site.

6. The patient is given hormones to help the primordial follicles mature.

7. The eggs are extracted and through IVF pregnancy is achieved.

  • Unlike other body cells, which multiply after chemotherapy is over,follicles in the ovaries can't grow again.
  • Size of primordial follicles: 70-80 microns
  • Once implanted the cryopreserved cortex have a life of 6-9 months
  • Cryopreserved cortexes can be preserved for decadesSize of mature follicles close to 2 cm
  • Countries which have successfully used this technique:France, Sweden, Belgium and Israel.
  • Only five live births have been achieved through this technique.


Deadly Statistics

7 million people die each year, from cancer, and 11 million new cases are diagnosed worldwide.

25 million people, worldwide are living with caner. Cancer claims more than twice as many lives as AIDS.

10 million people will die in 2020, if current trends contine.

80% -90% of cancer patients already suffer from advanced and incurable cancers at the time of diagnosis in developing countries.

3 of every five new cancer ases will occur in the developing world by 2020.

40% of the 11 million cancer cases that occur each year can be prevented by applying existing evidence based knowledge.

1/3 of all cancer cases could be cured, given early diagnosis and effective treatment

5 million people are killed by tobacco each year

1/4 of all cancer deaths are due to tobacco use

150 million premature deaths would be averted by tobacco consumption.

1,60,000 cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed each year.

90,000 children die of cancer.

80% of children with cancer live in developing countries where effective treatment is not available.

Pelvic disorders afflict a third of women

Women who had vaginal births had double the rate of pelvic disorders

One third of all women suffer from one or more pelvic disorders , including the tendency to urinate frequently, dropped pelvic organcs and incontinence,says a new study. It also found that women who have had vaginal births had double the rate of pelvic floor disorders compared t those who had Caesarean deliveries. Based on a study of 4,000 women aged between 25 and 80, the bulk of whom had given birth, the survey found a fourth of them suffered from anal incontinence, 15 per cent from stress urinary incontinence, 13 per cent from an overactive bladder and six per cent experienced dropping of pelvic organs.

"Many women think this is something they have to deal with as they age and that there isn't anything they can do about it, but that's not tue," said co-uthor Jean M Lawrence, of Kaiser Permanente's Department of Research and Evaluation in Southern California, where the study was conducted."One of the myths surrounding pelvic floor disorder is that it affects only older women, but the truth is these conditions are extremely prevalent."

Infusing ozone offers better result in

cancer treatment: Docs

Mumbai:Ali Amman from Byculla has possibly never heard of ozone, the gas that was passed between his ears through a catheter for threee munutes. A telltale silicone tube dangles from his throat, making it evident that cancer has ravaged his voice box. Ali obviously cannot explain in words how the ozone infusion felt, but his unlettered son Abbas manages, "Doctors say this will help his cancer treatment."

Ozone- the unstable gas that causes three atoms of oxygen and is usally associated with environmental disasters and smog-is slowly flowing into the world of medicine. Ali's ozone-infusion bout was followed by a session of radiation therapy at the clinic of an NGO, Indian Cancer Society, at the Lady Ratan Tata Medical Centre in Cooperage.

"We believe that ozone infusion just 30 minutes before radiation gets better results," says radiation cancer specialist Dr.Arvind Kulkarni of the NGO. He uses ozone at the NGO's Pune centre as well.

Even as ozone's ability to oxygenate diseased cells is tested every day in a handful of centres across the country, most allopathic doctors remain sceptical. "Where is the published data to support the claim?"asks a well-known oncologist.

Practitioners like Dr.Kulkarni and Dr.Mili Shah are, however, firm believers. "It is known that cancers are caused due to lack of oxygen in the tissues concerned," says Dr.Kulkarni, quoting a German scientist's Nobel-winning research. Infusing ozone treatment. But after three 20 minute sessions of ozone infusion, he managed to take the train to reach my clinic,"says Dr.Shah, who started the therapy about a year ago.

A look at the registry maintained at the Indian Cancer Society reveals the medical progress of many patients. Nalini's cancer treatment, which included a complete breast removal, had left her with complaints of numbness and constipation. "All compaints are better," reads her entry. Khalida, suffering from cervical cancer and heavy bleeding, walked in wearing a bedsheet instead of a sanitary napking."After four sessions of ozone infusions, her discharge stopped," says Dr.Shah.

It is not just cancer patients, patients with disorders like skin infections, sinusitis and arthritis can also benefit, said Dr Parul Saheba, who is in charge of the Ozone Promotion Cell operated by tycoon "Over the last five years, we have been promoting the cause of ozone. It is only now that the message seems to be precolating," says Dr.Saheba, who has trained 100 doctors across the country so far.'Ozone bars' are now available in 10 major cities such as New Delhi and Kolkata, with 16 centres in Mumbai itself.

Cancer specialist Dr.Rakesh Jalili from Tata Memorial Hospital says,"There was a lot of interest in Ozone therapy in the late seventies and eighties, but there never was a comprehensive study to prove its efficacy. There is now a renewed interest in it."

He points out that as cancer is a necrotising disease in which cells don't receive oxygen, theoretically there seems to be a possibility that Ozone could help. However, another cancer surgeon who didn't want to be identified says,"These are at best supportive therapies that ma or may not have a role in the actual cure."

THE THERAPY

Ozone is active oxygen(three particles of oxygen) present in nature in small amounts. However, it must not be inhaled. It's given as insuflations (introduction of gas by a small catheter) in rectum/vagina or ear; can be injected in saline drip; can be injected in and around joints, below the skin and applied as ozonated oil.

HOW DOES THE GAS HELP IN TREATING CANCER?

  • All living cells need oxygen. The cause of all cancers is the lack of oxygen at tissue level. In other words, by keeping optimum oxygen levels, cancer can be destroyed.
  • Ozone floods cancer cells with oxygen by making red bllod cells carry more oxygen to the tissues.
  • It improves blood circulation.
  • It induces white blood cells to produce lyphokines that boost immunity.
  • It's a germicidal.


OTHER USES

Ozone is also used to treat ailments such as open leg ulcers burns bedsors, arterial circulatory disorders, diseases of small and large intestines, age-related diseases, rheumatism, arthritis, cancer, chronic eczema, psoriasis, viral diseases like herpes, hepatitis, flu.

OZONE IS NO-NO FOR...

Persons with G6PD (protein) deficiency, active bleeding, ozone allergy.

BREAST CANCER

ON RISE , but so is awareness

It is a scary statistic: one in every 30 Mumbai women stands the risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. It is only three better in other metro cities. But in October, which is breast cancer awareness month, there is heartening news-more patients are coming earlier for treatment, resulting in better survival rates-say doctors.

Says Dr. Rajan Badwe, director of Tata Memorial Hospital and a renowned cancer surgeon,"When I joined the profession in 1982, the average size of the tumour was 6.5 cm. Now it is 2.5 cm." He says this is the result of better awareness about the disease as well as self-breat examination Dr. S.H.Advani, one of the country's best-known medical oncologists, points out that until a few years back 80% of the women coming for treatment were in state III or IV of the diseases in this has come down 60% with more women coming to us early," he adds.

Breat cancer, which has replaced cervical cancer as the leading cancer among women living in urban centres, is increasingly being viewed as a lifestyle disease. "Its incidence is increasing because of late marriages, later age of bearing children, fewer children, shorter lactation period and lack of physical exercise,"says Dr.Advani. While genetics do play a role in breast cancer, experts feel lifestyle contributes more.

Dr.B.B.Yeole of the Indian Cancer Society who is associated with the Indian Cancer Registry project says,"The 20 year-odd data from urban centres such as Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai shows incidence has more than doubled in this period. In rural centres such as Barshi near Sangli, however, it is still low." But the five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients in India has increased.

A Survivor's Story

Minu (name chnged) is a busy businesswoman. But four years back, it was different."At 33, with two miscarriages behind me, I learnt I had breast cancer,"she says. Seven months of chemotherapy and a breast conserving surgery later, she is cancer-free for three years. "I now work out and do pranayam for 45 minutes daily," she adds.

"This figure is now 50% in many cities which is good," he says.

Pointing to superior surgical and chemotherapy options now available, Dr Advani says, "Availability of gene-based therapy has been the biggest change in the field of breast cancer." He says thanks to drugs such as trastuzumab, there is no need for the age-old "lumpusum drug treatment.Tests show who will respond to which drug. This saves cost as well as time for the patient resulting in better outcomes, says Advani.

But doctors don't see the surge coming down soon."In the next 10 years the incidence in Mumbai will rise to 60 women in every 1,00,000 population getting the disease every year," says Dr. Badwe. The advice is standard: cutting down on obesity, early motherhood and breat-feeding for a year.

Ribbon Of Hope

About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells that occurs due to mutations, or abnormal changes in genes responsible for regulating to mutations, or abnormal changes in genes responsible for regulating growth of cells. Onely 5-10% of cacers are due to an abnormality inherited from parents. About 90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities as a result of aging and the war and tear of life.

Who is at risk?

All women are at risk, the risk factor increases with age Mumbai statistics suggest that about 1 out of every 30 women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.

Ways to reduce risk

*One should eat a balanced diet, not smoke, limit alcohol and exercise regularly. *It is advisable to undergo regualr screeing such as an annual mammogram and a breast examination.

Incidence Has Grown

The Indian Council of Medical Research brough out the 'Time Trends in Cancer Incidence Rates (1982-2005),' an analysis of cancer cases in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, which shows that breast cancer incidence has doubled in some cases.

Cancerous like its name...

In the second article in our four-part series on cancer, we focus on common cancers that affect men, their detection and prevention.

Cancer

is indeed like a crab. It catches hold of anybody who is unfortunate enough to be near its sharp unforgiving claws. Though cancer affects both men and women equally, there are some cancers that affect more men than women.

The cancers that most frequently affect men are lung, oral, colon, prostate and skin cancers. Knowing about these cancers and how they can be prevented can save your life.

Lung cancer

People who smoke are at the greatest risk of getting lung cancer and many other tobacco-related illnesses such as heart disease, stroke etc. Smoking and tobacco chewing is responssible for more than 80 percent of all lung cancers. Other risk factors include exposure to radon and asbestos.

Lung cancers is one of the few cancers that can often be prevented, because it is usually self-inflicted. If you are a smoker; quit now. If you don't smoke, don't ever start. If your friends and loved ones are smokers, help them to quit.

Prostate cancer

The chance of getting prostate cancer goes up as a man gets older. About two out of every three prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65, having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer also increases a man's risk of developing this disease, as does eating a diet high in animal fat.

Prostate cancer can usually be found in its early stages by having prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Talk to your doctor.

Get a PSA blood test and DRE every year starting when you are 50.


Colon Cancer :-

Most colorectal cancers (cancers of the colon and rectum) are found in people over age 50. People with personal or family history of the disease, or who have polyps in the colon or rectum or inflammatory bowel disease, are at greater risk than the rest, Eating a diet of mostly high-fat foods, being inactive also increase a person’s risk.

Colon cancer almost always starts with a polyp. Testing can fore they become cancerous. If precancerous polyps are removed, colon cancer can be prevented. Eating a low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables may also lower the risk of colon cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends one of these five testing options for all people beginning at age 50.

  • *Yearly faecal occult blood test (FOBT)


  • *Double contrast barium enema every five years.


  • *Colonoscopy every 10 years.


There are some cancers that affect men and women equally. Two of the most common are oral cancer and skin cancer.

Skin Cancer

People with fair have a greater risk of skin cancer than people with darker coloring, although anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun without protection is at risk. People who have had close family members with a melanoma and those who had severe sunburns occurring early in life are at higher risk for this type of skin cancer.

You can help prevent most skin cancers by avoiding long periods in the sun between 10 am and 4pm. Wear hats, long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses and use sunscreen with a SPF ( Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. Examine your skin regularly and have a skin exam during regular health check-ups.

Oral cancer

People who use tobacco are at the greatest risk for oral cancer. All types of tobacco use increases your risk for oral cancer, including smoking beedi or cigarettes, and chewing raw tobacco, gutka, paan and paan masala (with or without betel nut.) Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers in India, Women have been shown to be at higher risk than men.
Oral cancer can be detected in the early stages with an oral exam b your doctor. quitting all types of tobacco use greatly reduces your risk for oral cancer. The best prevention is to avoid tobacco altogether. Consult your doctor for ways and means to quit.

Blood tests may soon replace painful biopsy in India.

Removing Pain from cancer

Cancer therapy

can be without pain, althought it will still need some blood-letting.

Haematologist and oncologist Dr.Maher Arbitar from California has devised a family of blood tests that can replace the painful biopsy procedure, which helps monitor the progress of therapy in cancer patients.

Leumeta has been a successful tool in the US for diagnosis and treatment since 2006.Now, Dr Arbitar plans to introduce it in India.

Dr. Arbitar, who started research and clinical trials 10 years ago, met the city's leading years ago, met the city's leading oncologists and haematopathologists on Tuesday to discuss his research on cancer with the help of Leumeta.

Traditionally, a bone-marrow biopsy is used to diagnose certain forms of cancer and decide upon the therapy to treat them. "A bone-marrow biopsy is not only extremely painful but also expensive as well as risky, especially for children," Dr. Arbitar said. A large needle is used to pierce the bone to get to the bone marrow and extract cells for testing. Adults need just local anaesthesia for the procedure, but children have to be put under general anaesthesia, he said.

A biopsy may be required once every week. But since it is a very painful procedure, many patients sometimes go for the procedure once in three months, city oncologists said.

Leumeta can be a substitute for the painful biopsy procedure and can help treat acute and chronic leukemia, lymphomas, myelodysplastic syndrome and various other forms of cancer, he said.

Proteins and other"debris" specific to tumour cells get into the blood stream when the cells die. The blood tests determine their presence and help physicians to more efficiently manage the therapy, he said.

"In layman's terms, blood plasma has a 'fingerprint' of the tumour, which can be detected with the tests,' Dr Arbitar , director, Hematology and Oncology, Nichols Institute, California, said.

Currently, the tests require about 5 cc bllod. However, clinical trials are on to see if this equirement can be reduced to a drop of blood drawn from the finger."These tests may, in the near future, even be used to diagnose solid tumours in breat cancer, ovarian cancer, colon and prostrate cancer, etc,"Dr. Arbitar said.

"The cost for the tests may vary from Rs.3,000 to Rs.20,000 depending on the nature of the tests," said Ravi Desai, exective director, Quest Diagnostics India Pvt Ltd.

Qust Diagnostics, with it headquarters in the US, has the patent for Leumeta.

VITAL STATS

In the US, where about 100 in 100,000 people suffer from leukemia or lymphoma, Leumeta has been in use since 2006.

In India, more than six per cent of all cancers cases are lymphoma. Of the 20,000 fresh cases diagnosed at Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, every year, about 8% are leukemia/lymphoma.

Cancer gene code cracked

London:Two common forms of cancer have been genetically mapped for the first time, British Scientists said Wednesday, in a major breakthrough in understanding the diseases.

The maps have exposed the DNA mutations that lead to skin and lung cancers, in a discovery scientists said could transform the way these diseases are diagnosed and treated in coming years.

All cancers are caused by damage togenes-mutations in DNA that can be triggered by environmental factors such as tobacco smoke, harmful chemicals or ultraviolet radiaton, and causes cells to grow out of control.

Scientists from Britain's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have mapped this genetic damage from the tumours of two patients suffereing from lung cancer and malignant melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.

"This is a fundamental moment in cancer research. From here on we will think about cancers in a very different ways," said Professor Mike Stratton who led the institute's cancer genome project."Today for the first time, in two individual cancers-a melanoma and a lung cancer-we have provided the complete list of abnormalities in DNA in each of them," he told the BBC.

"We now see uncovered all the forces that have generated that cancer and we now see all the genes that are responsible for driving those two cancers,"he said.

The scientists'research, published in the journal Nature, also gained deeper insights into the way the body tries to repair the damage caused by the cancers and stop the disease spreading.

Stratton said the research could in future change the way cancers are treated-by using genetic maps to find the defects that caused them."We will be able to see how each cancer developed, what were the exposures, what were the enviornmental factors and that's going to be key for out understanding of how cancers develop," he said."And for out individual patients, we will see all the genes that are abnorml and are driving each cancer and that's really critical, because that will tell us which drugs are likely to have an effect on that particular cancer and which are not."

Peter Campbell, a cancer-genomics expert involved in the research, said the number of mutations discovered-33,345 for melanoma and 22,910 for lung cancer-was remarkable."It is amazing what you can see in these genomes," he said.

MAPPING MUTATIONS

WHAT SCIENTISTS DID

*They Compared the DNA sequence of tumour tissues with healthy ones to identify all changes (mutations)that occur in the cells of two deadly cancers-melanoma skin and lung

WHAT THEY FOUND

*The lung tumour carried more than 23,000 mutations and the melanoma had more than 33,000.

*A smoker develops one mutation for every 15 cigarettes smoked.

NEXT STEP

*Scientists now have to track specific mutations that lead to cancer.This would help in producing drugs to suppress these mutations.

*By about 2020, cancer patients could have their tumours analysed to find the genetic defects that drive them.

The big FAT truth about CANCER

Here's a fact: Obesity can lead to different types of cancer. Read on to know how you can reduce the risk before things go out of hand.

Doctors have long feared that being fact can give you cancer. But medical studies have confirmed it. Nearly a quarter of women in the world are obese and a third overweight. And the number increases as you get older, with 68 per cent of women aged between 55-64, overweight or obese. Women defined as overweight have a body mass index between 25 and 29.9, while a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. The relationship between BMI and cancer risk depends on age-the older you get, the more damaging the effects of being overweight.

HOW MUCH TOO MUCH?

The bad news is you don't have to be obese to be at an increased risk of cancer. Just being overweight with a BMI of 25-29 is dangerous.

>WHAT HAPPENS?

Obesity causes the body to produce more of the hormone oestrogen-an excess of which is linked to breast and ovarian cancer. Being fat also leads to an increase in insulin and this hormone also seems to encourage the growth of cancers.

WHICH CANCERS ARE TRIGGERED BY IT?

BREAST

Weight gain any time after 35 is linked to breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This is because when a woman's ovaries shut down after the menopause, fat cells become the main source of oestrogen production. So, heavier women are exposed to more oestrogen than before, which can fuel the growth of abnormal breast cells.


OVERIAN

Obese women have a two to four times greater risk of developing ovaian cancer than women of a healthy weight. Those who are obese get more aggressive cancers and are likely to die from the disease.

CERVICAL

Survival rates from cervical cancer are much lower among obese women than among their thinner counterparts.

COLON

Apple-shaped women, who store fat around their tummies, are more likely to have problems than the pear-shaped, who store fat on their hips and bottoms.

OESOPHAGEAL

Excess weight is a major risk factor in oesophageal cancer, with half of all cases caused by excess body fat. If your BMI is over 30 you have twice the risk.

KIDNEY

Doctors attribute more than a quarter of all kidney cancers to excess body weight. Obese women have two to four times the risk of slim women.

GALL BLADDER

An increased danger of gall bladder cancer has been found in obese women. This may be due to the higher frequency of gallstones in overweight women. They are considered a strong factor for developing cancer.

LUNG

Although smoking is by far the biggest risk factor, women whose BMI is in excess of 30 are twice as likely to develop the disease as those below 30.

LIVER CANCER

If you have a BMI of 30 or more, you have an increased likelihood of liver cirrhosis(a pre-cancerous condition) and you're four times more likely to develop liver cancer.

THYROID

This cancer occurs three times more often in women than men-specifically younger women of child-bearing age. Although its causes are uncertain, scientists believe high body fat may be a risk factor.

HOW CAN REDUCE CANCER RISK?

By losing weight, women can dramatically reduce their cancer risk. These seven simple changes will help shift excess kilos and boost your health, with minimal hassle...

CUT DOWN ON BOOZE

Zero alcohol is best for cancer prevention but, as moderate amounts can benefit the heart, women should limit their intake to one drink per day.

DOWNSIZE PORTIONS

Large portions are the biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain. You can lose half a stone in six weeks simply by reducing the amount you put on your plate.

SNACK ON SUPERFOODS

Eating six portions of plant-based cancer-fighting foods per day can reduce your risk. Good choices include blue berries, broccoli, green tea, dark chocolate, kiwis and red peppers.

SNEAK IN SOME EXERCISE

If you walk 10,000 steps each day you'll reduce your cancer risk by up to 30 per cent. Buy a pedometer to help count the steps and remember-you can break up your walking throughout the day. Short spurts are fine-10 minutes here, 20 minutes there.

THINK PROGRESS

Don't have an " all-or-nothing" attitude to weight loss. Studies show its "B grade" students that are the dieting success stories-people who lead a healthy lifestyle 80 per cent of the time-and leave themselves the other 20 to have fun and indulge.

CUT YOUR STRESS LEVELS

Identify what led to your weight gain and address it. Many women overeat because of stress and anxiety, so try to worry less. Take up youga, have regular massages or a scented bath. Set aside an hour per day of "me time".

DON'T GET ANY BIGGER!

You won't get slim overnight but you can stop gaining more weight. It's the extra halfstone the average woman adds each year that puts her in danger. Resolve not to put one extra inch on your waistline or a pond on the scales this year.

Head And Neck Cancers(

Source -Times of India, 29-12-2009)

They encompasses a wide range of tumours that occur in the head and neck region, including the nasal passages, sinuses, mouth, throat, larynx, swallowing passages, salivary glands and the thyroid glad. People who use tobacco or drink alcohol excessively are much more likely than others to develop the disease.

Oral Cancer

arises in the mouth. It includes the lips, the gums ad the area behind the wisdom teeth, the inside of the lips and cheeks, the floor and roof of the mouth, and the front two-thirds of the tongue.

Laryngeak Cancer

begins in the laryx or the voice box. It sits at the top of the trachea, the tract that leads to the lungs.

Nasal Cavity & Paranasal Sinus

are found in the tissues that line these hollow structures. The paranasal sinuses are hollow areas in the bones of the fae near the nose that produce mucus.

Nasopharyngeal Cancer

is found in the nasopharynx, the uppermost portion of the throat.

Oropharyngeal Cancer

is found in the section of the throat (oropharynx) located just beyond the mouth. The region includes the base of the tongue, the soft palate (the soft area just beyond the roof of the mouth), and the area around the tonsils.

Hypopharyngeal Cancer

is found in the hypopharynx, the uppermost portion of the oesophagus (the tube through which food travels to the stomach)

Salivary Gland Cancer

is found in the salivary glands, the structures the produce saliva to keep the mouth from drying, and aid in digestion of food

SYMPTOMS

A Sore in the mouth that won't heal or bleeds easily.

Frequent nosebleeds,ongoing nasal congestion, or chronic sinus infections that don't respond to treatment.

Persistent sore throat, hoarseness or a change in the voice.

Pain in the neck, throat or ears that won't go away.

Blood in the sputum.

Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or moving jaws or tongue.

Loosing of teeth.

Treatment

It may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. When Surgery is extensive, reonstruction of the area is often possible. For example, in case where the jaw bone is removed, a surgeon can fashion a new jaw using bone from the patient's own leg. Dental implants can be used to replace teeth.

Death Clock

According to Smokefree Mumbai Campaign, an endeavour of the BMC along with NGOs. Since Thursday, January 01,'98.

15,668 Mumbaikars have died due to smoking relate causes.

Raising Numbers

The excess number of deaths among adult somkers in 2010 will be about 930,000

That includes 580,000deaths among men and 90,000deaths among women between the ages of 30 and 69 years.

-Projection Based on Study in India and Canada.

Bidi Menace

6,00,000 lives are lost in India every year due to the bidi habit says the Bidi Monograph entitled, Bidi Smoking and Public health,released by the government of India in May 2008.

Battling to snuff out the growing gutka addiction

Mumbai: By banning smoking at public places on October 2,2008, health experts concede that awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco has certainly increased even if the habit hasn't actually dipped. But gutka, the desi avatar of tobacco, completely slipped out of the ban.

"It is most unfortunate but gutka is not getting tackled at all by the ban," says Dr.P.C. Gupta of Healis, an NGO that works with the Brihan mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on a smoke-free campaign for Mumbai.

Worse, it is easily among the fastest growing pan-India phenomenon."A survey of schoolchildren in a coastal village of Kerala showed a 29% prevalence of tobacco chewing while another survey in Mizoram showed the incidence at 56.5%," says Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi of Tata Memorial Hospital.

"The age for initiation for gutka consumption has been reported between 8 and 14 years in India. A survey done by the Indian Dental Association found that 10% -40% of school students and 70% of students in colleges in Mumbai chewgutka and paan masala," he adds.

According to Dr.Gupta, the abuse will only grow further if unchecked."While we don't have studies to directly establish the link, there is information coming in from clinics, hospitals and doctors about the increase in incidece of mouth cancer among the young. And this can be subjectively linked to the increase in tobacco chewing," he says.

Doctors feel that becausegutka is projected as a harmless mouth freshener, youngsters consume it in larger amounts and keep it in the mouth for a longer period of time.

At a recent press conference, the president of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, N. Alva, and Dr. Surendra Shastri of Tata Memorial Hospital spoke about how when family elders asked the young to pick up gutka, bidis or cigarettes, it indirectly set the tone for future abuse. India's cancer graph certainly looks daunting due to tobacco. According to estimates from a long-running study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year, there will be about 1 million tobacco deaths a year in India and about 70% of these deaths will be before old age.

"Currently, tobacco is responsible for one in five of all male deaths in middle age. Men who are cigarette smokers lose ten years of their lives, mainly as a result of tuberculosis, respiratory and heart diseases, and cancer," says Dr.Chaturvedi.

India sitting on a cancer bomb

By 2020, Country Likely To See 87,000 Additional Cases In Men Every Year

New Delhi:

India's projection for cancer among men in 2020 is now out and it isn't looking very good. The country will see a 20% overall increase-87,000 additional cases of cancer every year in men by 2020.

According to Indian Council of Medical Research's latest report, fresh case of cancer annually among men will increase from 4.47 lakh in 2008 to 5.34 lakh by 2020. Cancers in almost all sites will see an increase, except that of the oesophagus which will actually see a dip from 23,573 fresh cases in 2008 to 20,642 cases in 2020.

The report on cancer trends, that tracks the deadly disease over 24 years and is yet to be made public, says that incidence of mouth cancer will see the highest increase by almost 66% from 28,066 fresh cases per year to 46,785 in 2020. However, in absolute numbers, lung cancer will top the list with 51,194 new cases annually be 2020 as against 42,863 in 2008.

"Around 30% of all cancers in India are due to smoking and chewing tobacco and it will be the main cause for this increase in both lung nd mouth cancers.

Therefore, it is vital that India takes its present ban on smoking in public and pictorial warnings on tabacco packets seriously," said Dr.Vinod Raina, head of medical oncolgy at AIIMS.

Dr.Raina added, "However, the increase in the absolute number of cancer cases will be due to India's aging population. It is called age migration.Peak incidents of cancer is in 60s".

ICMR director general Dr VMKatoch told TOI"cancer becoming a huge burden in India and will require increased attention. With industrialisation in India increasing and the population ageing, it is but natural that numbers will increase." Cancer of the prostate and brain/nervous systems will see almost an equal amount of increase by around 19% in the next 12 years. Cases of prostate cancer will increase to 30,185 by 2020 as against 25,273 cases in 2008. Cancer of the brain/nervous system which recorded 18,238 cases in 2008 would increase to 21,782 during the same time.

Cancer of the tongue, larynx and stomach will all see an increase of around 16%. The number of liver cancers will increase from 14,062 cases in 2008 to 16,795 in 2020. A senior ICMR official told TOI,"This new data will help in reorienting the country's cancer control programme. We now know which cancers will require urgent attention. Cancer of the colon(11,236 cases in 2008-14,019 new cases in 2020) is following the parttern of the West due to low fibre diet."

Talking about what the government was doing to combat cancer, a health ministry official said it was ready with a National Cancer Fund-the first such financial pool for a single disease that will cover all costs incurred by below poverty line(BPL) patients affect by cancer. The Rs 100 crore fund was cleared by the finance ministry recently.

The Centre has also sanctioned Rs.2,500 crore under the 11 th five-year plan for the National Cancer Control Programme- a 10-fold increase compared to the 10th plan allocation of Rs. 250 crore.

Runaway Threat

  2008 2010 2015 2020
All Sites* 4,47,399 4,62,408 4,97,081 5,34,354
Lung 42,863 44,301 47,623 51,194
Mouth 28,066 30,921 38,380 46,785
Prostate 25,273 26,120 28,079 30,185
Brain/NS 18,238 18,850 20,263 21,782
Larynx 24,356 25,173 27,060 29,089
Rectum 11,738 12,132 13,041 14,019
Stomach 24,993 28,831 27,768 29,850


Hi-tech System will boost Cancer care

Mumbai:

cancer care in the city is all set to cross a new technological milestone with a revolutionary radiation therapy called Tomotheraphy making a foray. The high-tech system will be inaugurated at the ACTREC(Advanced Centre for treatment, Research and Education in Cancer) in Khargar, Navi Mumbai by BABA director Dr. S.K. Banerjee on Saturday.

A first-of-its-kind system in India, the Tomotheraphy system in India, the Tomotherapy system offers cancer patients the latest in radiotherapy. “It will be a boon to patients with difficult-to-treat cancers Which are close to sensitive organs. Conventional radiation therapy could injure nearby organs during the procedure,” said Dr. R Sarin, director of ACTREC, a specialized research wing of cancer hub Tata Memorial Centre.

Nearly 10 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer in India every year, and two-thirds of them need radiotherapy either for treatment of palliative purposes.

Installed three months ago, the system at Khargar has already served around 20 patients, with varying forms of cancer such as childhood tumours, brain tumours, brain tumours as well as head and neck cancers.

The Helical Tomotherapy Hi-Art system works on the principle of image-guided Intensity Modulated Radiation Theraphy(IMRT)and ensures a high degree of precision. Unlike the conventional LINAC which focuses beams on the tumour from different sides, in tomotherapy, a computer continuously guides the linear accelerator which can rotate a full 360 degrees and the couch on which the patient is placed to ensure that the beam is precisely focussed on the cancerous tumour which is then irradiated.

It uses the CT imaging technology to ensure that doctors closely zero in on the tumour. The procedure usually takes around 30 minutes and a patient may require several sessions.

Incidentally, Saturday’s function will be attended by Dr. Paul Reckwerdt, president of Tomotherapy who is credited with helping devise the system, and Dr. Minesh Mehta,an oncologist with the University of wiconsin, USA.

Tomotherapy Basics

* Nearly 10 lakh patients are diagnosed with caner in India every year, and two-thirds require radiotherapy.

* Tomotherapy, the newest generation of radiotherapy, will be inaugurated at ACTREC in Khargar.

* A 30-minute procedure, the system allows doctors to take a CT scan before radiation.

* Its precise radiation delivery minimizes radiation risk to surrounding organs.

Diabetes drug linked to cancer

Euroean Study Finds Many Using Lantus Insulin Diagnosed With Disease

Bangalore:

In a revelation that could shock millions of people around the globe and nearly 41 million diabetics in India, a study by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes has revealed a possible link between a long-acting insulin analogue, insulin glargine (brand name Lantus from Sanoscientis), and cancer:

The study, which has been published in Diabetologia,the association's journal, studied 3,40,935 diabetics in Germany Sweden, Scotland and Britain, and found that certain insulin analogues have a structure making them more likely to bind to the IGF-1 receptor, which is known to be involved in promoting tumour growth.

Sanofi Aventis, which manufactures Lantus Insulin, disputed the calim, saying no definitive conclusion can be drawn from the study. The disturbing result is that malignacies were found more frequently in patients treated with glargine than in those prescribed a comparable dose of human insulin. The research threw up a significant link between patients who had used Lantus insulin and those who had been diagnosed with cancer.

Significantly, compared with people using similar doses of human insulin, out of every 100 persons who used Lantus insulin over an average of about one and a half years, one additional person was diagnosed with cancer:

A statement from the company said: "Clinical studies which represent the gold standard of evidence, do not indicate an association between insulin glargine and cancer."

"Given the extensive clinical evidence covering over 70,000 patients and the results of post-marketing surveillance arising from 24 million patient-years of experience, Sanofi-Aventus," Jean-Pierre Lehner, the comapny's managing director and chief medical officer said."We consider that the results of these patient registries are not conclusive."

Morever, a statement from the American Daiabetes Association says four different population-based studies were reported and published in Diabetelogia and the data with in these studies and between these studies are cnflicting and confusing.

Untile more information is avaiable, the American Diabetes Association advises patients using insulin not to stop taking it.

Nailing rogue gene biggest cancer breakthrough

Researchers have prclaimed it to be the most important breakthrough in breast-cancer research in the last 30 years. A faulty gene linked to half of all such cancers is the most important discouvery in the disease since the 1970s.

The finding by University of Cambridge experts will help researchers understand how cancer develops and may lead to new treatments, reported the Telegraph.

Everyone is born with the gene, called NRG1, but in some people it gets damaged during their lifetime and this can lead to cancer developing, it has been found. The reason why the gene is damaged is lost has not been discovered. However, by identifying the gene, researchers hope they will be able to target therapies at specific cancers in the future.

In US, obesity causes 100k cancer cases a yr

Washington: Obesity causes more than 100,000 incidents of cancer in the US every year, the American Institute for Cancer Research said in estimates published on Friday.

The group, which funds research on the link between diet and the disease, said 49% of endrometrial cancers, which originate in the womb, and 35% of oesophageal cancers are linked to excess body fat.

“It’s clearer than ever that obesity’s impact is felt before, during and after cancer, it increases risk, makes treatment more difficult and shortens survival,” said Laurence Kolonel of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii.

Scientists have long seen a link between obesity and certain types of caner, but the study-extrapolated from US cancer incidence data-is among the first to conclude the link exists on such a scale.

Researchers have yet to pin down the exact link between obesity and cancer, but some have suggested that fat tissue may produce heightened levels of sex hormones that spur cancer growth or that fat lowers immune function.

If the link is proven to be true ,cancers could be expected to expected to balloon in tandem with US body sizes.

According to the government backed Centers for Disease Control, 34% of American adults aged 20 and over are obese.

‘Seeds of hope for Cancer Patients’

Seventy-year-old Sriram Das (name changed) was detected with an enlarged prostate during a routine test. Oncologist suggested the various options available to him, including a new form of treatment—prostate brachytherapy.

The Orissa resident is currently being treated at Hinduja Hospital for prostate cancer. However, he doesn’t know that the treatment he is undergoing is what science fiction books are made of.

Brachytherapy

involves implanting capsules-the doctors call them ‘iodine seeds’—in the prostate. These seeds leak out radiation, offering a kind of radiation, offering a kind of radiation therapy to treat the cancer. It is less invasive and has fewer side effects.

“ While brachytherapy has been used to treat breast, head and neck cancer this is the first time that this treatment is being offered for prostate cancer in India, “ said Dr. Vivek Anand, radiation oncologist, Hinduja Hospital.

However, not everyone can opt for this treatment which costs about Rs.2.5 lakh. “ It is beneficial for patients in early stages if cancer,” said Anand.

Over the past decade, the incidence of urban cancer has increased, reaching 150 per 1,00,000 people. Anand said that in Mumbai too, the incidence of prostate cancer is on the rise (9/1,00,000). “ This may be due to increase in life expectancy, awareness and early detection”.

The Procedure

The procedure involves a needle-point incision to place the encapsulated iodine seeds in the prostate. A CT scan then monitors the placement. Once placed, the seeds will continuously deliver radiation over a period of three to sex months.

Aspirin reduces colon cancer risk

People with a gentle susceptibility to colon cancer could cut their chances of developing the disease in half by taking a daily does of aspirin, researchers said on Monday.

The finding might lead to other treatments by helping researchers understand how aspirin combats colon cancer, one of the top three cancers in rich countries. Though aspirin has been used to treat minor aches and to alleviate fevers, it can irritate the stomach and intestines and cause major bleeding.

In the group that got aspirin, six people developed colon cancer, versus 16 in the group that got placebos, said Jhon Burn of Newcastle University in Britain, who led the study.

According to Strategic Analysis Inc, the clinical research in India is likely to exceed $318 million by 2010. No wonder contract research organizations have mushroomed in our country, from a handful in 1990 to more than 100 today.

Cancer specialists are also a coming together for the benefit of Indian Patients. Organisations such as Indian Cooper active Oncology Network (ICON) are good examples of the contributions being made. ICON’s doctors have been involved in 24 research projects thus far, and some of the data generated has received international acclaim.

More and more companies are developing magic bullets, or targeted therapy, for specific cancers. Clinical trials are the only way by which their usefulness can be evaluated for our patients.

This gives our patients an opportunity to benefit from newer molecules. Greater awareness, the removal of misconceptions and transparency will ensure that we continue to make the best use of this opportunity to help our cancer patients.

Stay vigilant

Tests and screenings

* Given the rising incidence of breast cancer among urban Indian women, doctors advise women over 40 to have a mammography done every year.

* Men over 50 must get a prostrate specific antigen (PSA) test done every year to check for prostate cancer.

* People over 40 must get yearly checkups. The package should include a stool test, blood test, X-ray, Sonography and pap smear test, or PSA. These will, in most cases reveal hidden cancers.

* Those with a family history of cancer must start regular checkups form the age of 35.

Telltale Signs * Lumps or thickening in the breasts or testicles.

* Change in the size or nature of a wart or a mole.

* Persistent skin sores.

* Persistent sore throat.

* Change in bowel or bladder habits.

* Persistent cough or discharge of blood while coughing.

* Constant indigestion.

* Trouble with swallowing.

* Unusual bleeding or vaginal discharge.

* Chronic fatigue

Cure Watch * Surgery : Doctors are working towards using minimally invasive procedure, and these could mean lesser time in hospitals for sufferers , and lower costs.

*

Radiation therapy

: Image-guided radiation therapy, newly introduced in the Us and some other countries, help doctor zero in on infected tissue.

*

Chemotherapy:

Clinical trials for ‘nanotechnology chemotherapy’ are expected to start in 2007. The technology instills small particles if iron oxide (nano- particles) that produce heat into a tumour, where they attack cancer cells. Surrounding tissue and organs are spread, minimizing severe side effects.

*

Hormone therapy :

One of the most significant discoveries in recent times has been the tamoxifen antiestrogen drug for breast cancer. This is supposed to reduce the chances of a relapse by about 50 per cent for women diagnosed with early breast cancer.

*

Oncology drugs:

Avastin (for colorectal cancer treatment ), Gleevec (leukemia), Herceptin and Letrozole( Breast cancer), Rituxan (non-Hodgkins lymphoma) and Tarceva( lung and pancreatic cancer) are some of the many new pharmaceutical drug offering hope to cancer patients. But they are all expensive, with some costing up to $100,000 (Rs.44.2 lakh) for a course of treatment that lasts a few months.

40% of Cancers can be prevented:

About 40% of the 12 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year could avert the killer disease by protecting themselves against infections and changing their lifestyles, experts said. A report by the Geneva-based international Union Against Cancer (UICC) says that cervical and liver cancer, both caused by infections which can be prevented with vaccines, should be top priorities for countries around the world.

Ethnic link to breast cancer worries docs

It is documented as the most diffucult form of breast cancer to treat. But, most worryingly, Her-2 positive-as this agressive form of breast cancer is know-is more common among Indian women than among their western counterparts.

It is this scary susceptibility that two Indian doctors will stydy in great detail over the next two years."We will study what are the risk factors among Indian women for developing Her-2-positive breast caner," says Dr Sudeep Gupta from Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, who will conduct the Mumbai leg of the study.

His research partner, Dr Shona Nag from Pune's Jehangir Hospital, says that the duo will study 1,000 women who for the first time walk into breast cancer clinics at Tata Memorial and Jehangir hospitals in the next few months. "While two-thirds will be recruited at Parel, the rest will be recriuted in Pune," she adds.

These women will be put through a battery of tests to map their rist factors. One point would be to assess how much of a role does their ethnicity play in deciding the type of breast cancer.

There are three types of breast cancer-namely hormone-postive, Her-2 positive and triple negative."In the West, hormone positive accounts for 60-65% of all breast cancer cases. In India, it accounts for only 40-50% of the cases," says Dr.Nag.

The more aggressive and more difficult to treat types- Her-2 positive and triple-negative - account for 20% and 15% respectively in the West. Says Dr.Gupta, "But in India, Her-2 positive accounts for 25% of the cases."

He adds,"We will try to understand if the disease pattern among our urban women is mimicking the West. Moreover, we will also look at whether rist factors such as being a vegetarian or a vegetarian or an infection is a trigger."

Incidentally, this study is sponsored by pharma major GSK as part of its Oncology International Ethnic Research Initiative. "Of the 3.2 billion women in the world, 90% are non-Caucasian. In 2002, there were more than one million new cases of breast cancer in the world, making it the most common cancer among women, with around 40% of cases in developing countries," says a company spokesperson about the reason for instituting the global study.

A SPOT OF BOTHER

Why Breast Cancer Is A Huge Worry

EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY, SAY SURVIVORS

*According to the National Cancer Registry, cancer of the breast has replaced cancer of the cervix as the leading site of cancer in all urbain population-based cancer registries, except Chennai, and the age adjusted rates of this cancer have also been on the rise. Among the Indian cities, Delhi had the highest rate of breast cancer.

*Breast cancer has taken over from cervical cancer as the number one cancer killing women living in Indian metros.

*Indian women get breast cancer a decade earlier than women in the West.

Rising Incidence

Incidence of breast cancer is 24 in every 1,00,000 (In the US, it is 92 women per 100,000)

Borivli resident Vishaka Shirke married young, at 22 years, and bore a son soon thereafter. Fifteen years later, at a cancer camp at a cancer camp at a neighbourhood temple, she was detected with a lump in her left breast.

"I never knew about lumps in breasts being cancerous," sys the mother of two, in Marathi. So when doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel told her to undergo a masectomy or breast removal surgery, she was reluctant. "I was worried how ghastly it would look and it took my mother a husband a few days to convince me. My mother said nobody would know about my masectomy just be looking at me," she recalls.

Today, four years later, she is glad she underwent the operation-"it saved my life", she says. However, she wonders why she had cancer, that too at such a young age."Tata doctors told me not only do urban women have a higher chance of getting breast cancer, but family history could play a role," says Vishaka. Now, she is an advocate against breast cancer."I tell my ffiends and relatives to not ignore any lump in their breasts. In fact, I took my younger sister recently for a check up," says the policeman's wife. She wants people to know that unlike chronic diseases like hypertension that"you take with yourself to heaven," cancer if detected early can be cured completely. "I am proof of that," she adds.

In hindsight, Vijaya is glad she signed up for the special cancer insurance bought out by the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA). "As per this medical insurance, I have to undergo medical check-up every year," says the 51-year-old entrepreneur and mother of a teenager.

It was at the check-up in June 2008 that a lump was discovered in her right breast. A series of tests thereafter showed that the lump was possibly nothing to worry about."I went on with my hectic schedule thereafter forgetting about the lump." It was only at the next yearly checkup that the lump again became a worry. Sonography and mammography scans showed that there indeed was something to worry about."Even as the radiologist was conducting the scan, he told me to immediately do a biopsy," recalls Vijaya(name changed)>

She has already undergone a breast-conserving surgery and cycles of chemotherapy and is undergoing radiation at Hinduja Hospital in Mahim."I have three more cycles left," she adds. Vijaya confesses that the initial shock about the Big C soon gave way to a wave of introspection."My family was very supportive, but I can't help feeling that I should have taken more care about my health or looked out for signs after the 2008 scan showed some lumps. I would perhaps have felt it growing,"she says.

B & docs use nanotech to treat cancer

Mumbai/Hyderabad:

If it does pas the muster, it could be India’s second’ nano’ success story. Only this nano creation is being unveiled in the field of healthcare thanks to collaboration between oncologists and scientists of the Indian Institute Of Technology-Bombay. In a step that has the potential to revolutionise treatment of retinoblastoma-a rare cancer of the retina that mainly affects children under two years of age - the IIT-B and doctors from Tata Memorial Hospital in parel and Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad have developed a nano-particle that could conquer the child killer.

Guntur-based teenager, Shirin Thakur, has been suffering recurrent retinoblastoma since she was two years old. Last week, she took the third shot of a special concoction-nono-particles of carboplatin that is commonly used to treat retinoblastoma-into the tissues around her left eye. Standing in an antiseptic corner of Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad along with her doctor, Dr. Debraj Shome, who has been working on the project for five years, the 17-year-old said: “I have been suffering from attacks of retinoblastoma in my left eye since I was two. Even in the US, they told me there is no hope but to remove my eye.” Now ,she has “Fuzzy” vision in the nearly blind eye. :My vision gets better every day”. .

Twelve-year-old Vasu, son of a farmer from Vijayawada, says he has been able to see better since September 2009, the time he became a part of the trial. If all goes well, there need not be any more reel-life Paarshas who, in the film shwaas, India’s entry to the Oscars in 2004, lost both his eyes due to retinoblastoma. .

CURE FOR RARE EYE CANCER IN SIGHT?

RETIONOBLASTOMA is a cancer that begins in the retina, the sensitive lining that helps us see. It most commonly affects young children.

INCIDENCE SIGNS
Children: The incidence is One in 10,000 to 15,000 births White color in the pupil
Eyes that appear to be looking In different directions
    • Eye redness
    • Eye swelling
NANO ROUTE

Doctors at Tata memorial Hospital in Parel, L V Prasad Eye Hospital and Apollo Hospitl in Hyderabad, with IIT-B’s scientists, have begun phased clinical trials of nano-paties of an existing drug used to treat retinoblastoma. Last week, Shirin Thakur(17) was injected with nano-particles of carboplatin. The injections were given at the tissues near the eye. Shirin says her vision “Gets better” with every passing day.

Surgery soft drinks linked To Cancer of the pancreas

Washington: People who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer , an unusual but deadly cancer; scientist said Monday.

People who drank mostly fruit juice instead of sodas did not have the same risk, the study of 60,000 people in Singapore found. Sugar may be to blame but people who drink sweetened sodas regularly often have other poor health habits, said Mark Pereira of the University of Minnesota, who led the study.

“ The high levels of sugar a soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, Which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth,” Pereira said.

“Insulin, which helps the body metabolize sugar, is made in the pancreas. Writing in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Pereira and colleagues said they followed 60,524 men and women in the Singapore Chinese Health study for14 years.

Over that time,140 of the volunteers developed pancreatic cancer. Those who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87% higher risk of being among those who got pancreatic cancer. Pereira said he believed the findings would apply elsewhere

“Singapore is a wealthy country with excellent health-care. Favorite pastimes are eating and shopping, so the findings and shopping, so the findings should apply to western countries ” he said.

But Susan mayne of Yalae Universtity in Connecticut was cautious. “The finding was based on a small number of case and it remains unclear whether it is a causal link or not”, said Mayne.

Tata doctors take on foodpipe Cancer

Hospital launches project to screen people, detect cancer early and reduce mortality

If you find swallowing painful or have a chronic cough, don’t ignore the symptom—in some case, it could be the beginning of life threatening oesophageal (foodpipe) cancer.

As most people do not make much of such symptoms until they turn in to a severe problem, the Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel has launched a study for early detection of cancers of the foodpipe. According to the hospital, only 20percent cases of this kind of cancer are cured, out of the 800 it gets annually.

Through the study-initially taken up in the Konkan area—doctor aim to screen more than one lakh people. They have already screened around 250 patients.

The Department of Atomic Energy has given the hospital Rs.20 crore to fund the study. As oesophageal cancer patients are mostly found in rural areas, hospital doctors are reaching even remote areas to check patients.

“The hospitals has specially designed mobile vans for trained healthcare workers to go to villages and carry out visual examination of the mouth and Barium Swallow tests. The vans have been equipped with machines that can digitally record images and transmit them via satellite to the Tata Memorial Hospital. Experienced radiologists will interpret the images and treat patients,” said Dr.C.S. Pramesh, associate professor of Thoracic Surgery at Tata Memorial who is chief investigator of the study.

“Most of the time, patients do not seek treatment early. This study will help us detect cancer in the early stages. Through the transmitted images, our radiologist Dr. Suyash Kulkarnui can confirm the diagnosis. A Barium Swallow test in volves X-rays after the patient has swallowed a special dye (barium),which marks its path through the body. This hardly takes 20 minutes, but can detect cancers of the throat and the foodpipe even of the patents shows no symptoms. Any person who has suspected or confirmed diagnosis of cancer will be further evaluated and treated at the Tata Memorial Hospital free of charge,” added DR. Pramesh.

Dr.Rajan Badwe, director of Tata Hospital and advisor of the study, said looking at an actual; reduction in mortality from common cancers. Cancer survival depends upon a combination of preventive measures, early detection and advances treatment.”

SYMPTONES

• Difficulty or pain while swallowing

• Severe weight loss back, behind the breastbone or between shoulder blades

• Pain in the through or back, behind the breastbone or between shoulder blades

• Hoarseness of voice or chronic cough

• Vomiting

• Coughing up blood.

RESERACHERS DISCOVER THAT KARELA CAN BEAT BREAST CANCER

Scientists of Indian origin find the extract of bitter gourd can cause breast cancer cells to die, leaving normal breast cells unharmed in a lab tests….

Bitter gourd extract, a common dietary supplement, exerts a significant effect against breast cancer cell growth and may eventually become a chemopreventive agent against breast cancer, according to results of a recent study.

“Our findings suggest that bitter gourd extract modulates several signal pathways that induces breast pathways that induces breast cancer cell death,” said researchers Ratna Ray, professor in the Department of pathology at Saint Louis University.

“This extract can be utilised as a dietary supplement for the prevention of breast cancer”.

Results of this study are published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Previous research has shown Momordica charanita, also known as bitter gourd and bitter melon, to have hypoglycemic and hypolipdidemic effects, according to Ray. Because of these effects, the is commonly used in folk medicines as a remedy for diabetes in locales such as India, China and Central America, according to the researchers.

Using human breast cancer cells and primary human mammary epithelial cells in a lab, Ray and colleagues found the mechanism of bitter melon extract significantly decreased proliferation, that is, cell growth and division, and induced death in breast cancer cells. These early results offer an encouraging path for research into breast cancer.

“Breast cancer

is a major killer among women around the world, and in that perspective, results from this study are quite significant, “said Rajesh Agrawal, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Scientist at the University of Colorado, Denver school of Pharmacy.

“This study may provide us with one more agent that could be used against breast cancer if additional studies hold true.”

According to Agrwal, the Cancer Research associate editor for this study, the simple design, clear-cut results and the importance of these findings in breast cancer prevention makes this different from previous research.

However, he stressed that” this study is only a step towards establishing the cancer preventive efficacy of bitter gourd against breast cancer.

“Additional studies are needed to further understand the molecular targets bitter gourd extract in cancer cells, as well as for establishing its efficacy.”

Agarwal gave a note of caution, stating that while these results do provide hope as an anti-cancer agent, it is important to establish the validity of these results in animal models before adding them to one’s diet to inhibit breast cancer cell growth.

Ray and colleagues are currently conducting follow-up studies using a number of cancer cell lines to examine the anti-proliferative effect of the extract. They are also planning a preclinical trial to evaluate its chemopreventive efficacy by oral administration.

Bitter melon extract is cultivated in Asia, Africa and South America. Extract of this vegetable is being popularised as a dietary supplement in Western Countries, since it is known to contain additional glycosides such as mormordin, vitamin C, carotenoids, flavanoids and polyphenols.

Cervical cancer drug majors vie for India pie

Global cervical cancer drugs majors Merck and Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) are battling it out in India, which is potentially the world's largest market for such drugs.

US-based Merck is confident that its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil will help it to secure a position among the country's top five drug companies in the next five years.The world's second largest drug manufacturer currently ranks 30th in domestiv sales.

"We expect Gardasil to play a key role in our India growth," says Naveen Rao, head of medical affairs for Merck's Asia Pacific Region. Merck wants Gardasil as catalyst for government's plan to immunise India's young women from cervical cancer.

Represented through its wholly owned subsidiary, MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, Merck will roll out one of its biggest clinical trial programmes involving about 20,000 girls shortly. The partner for this trial is the health ministry.

This mega-trial, which is on top of the statutory clinical trials required for getting a drug or vaccine approved for sale in the country, is aimed at convincing the government on the importance of the vaccine, and also the need for a national immunisation programme.

Merck is the only company other than GSK, which has developed a vaccine for cervical cancer. According to World Health Organization estimates, India registers over 130,000 new cervical cancer cases every year, with 74,000 women dying from the disease annually. According to medical experts, women are affected with the disease during their teens or early 20s. The vaccination should be given at a young age, they add.

According to offical census figures of 2001, almost 35 percent of India's one-billion plus population were women below 14 years.

India in super cyclotron club

Rs.100-Crore Device To Play Vital Role In Treating Cancer, Tumours

Kolkata:

India has joined the exclusive club of nations with superconducting cyclotron capability. Recently, the director of the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), Bikash Sinha, announced the successful completion of the RS.100 crore project-only the fifth in the world-that had been stalled for years due to sanctions following the Pokhran nuclear tests. The four other set-ups are in America and Europe.

The device accelerates charged particles clsoe to the speed of light and is vital for frontline basic and applied research in nuclear scinences. The radio isotopes and proton beams it generates can be used in critical medical applications like creating brain tumor and eye cancer. At present, there is no healthcare facility in India that offers non-invasive proton beam surgery, which pinpoints and destroys cancerous cells.

The device has a 100-tonne ironcore superconducting magnet with a magnetic field of 5 tesla (about 100,000) times the Earth's magnetic field) and an 8 tonne superconducting coil that is kept cooled at -269°C.

This has given the VECC the capability to develop futuristic energy storage and transport systems. It can be used to ensure unintwerrupted power supply by releasing energy stored in coils. It can also lead to transport systems that make travel lightning quick, in excess of 500 km/hr using magnetic levitation.

"The successful commissioning of the superconducting cyclotron is a huge achievement for Indian science asw there's no such facility in Asia, Australia, South America or Africa. Nealy 70% of the component and systems were indigenously developed. The embargo after the 1998 nuclear blasts delayed the project by three-four years but it also led to a lot of learning," said VECC executive director Rakesh Bhandari."India now ha s the knowhow to create magnets required for magnetic resonance imaging devices. It will also generate radio-isotopes used in gamma cameras for tumour and cancer diagnosis. Such isotopes will be generated commercially at the medical cyclotron being built at Rajarhat."

The scientists at VECC are now keen to build a fixed energy cyclotron that will emit proton beams to treat cancer.

INDIAN BITTER MELON MAY HARBOUR BREAST CANCER CURE

An extract from bitter melon, a vegetable common in India helps trigger a chain of events that kills breast cancer cells and prevents them from multiplying, claims an Indian-origin researcher at Saint Louis University.

Ratna Ray, PhD, professor in the department of pathology at Saint Louis University and lead researcher, said she was surprised that the extract from the bitter melon she cooks in stirfries inhib its the frowth of breast cancer cell.

"This is the first report describing the effect of bitter melon extract on cancer cells,"Ray said."We have shown that bitter melon extract significantly induced death in breast cancer cells and decreased their growth and spread."

The expert decided to study the bitter melon extract's impact on breast cancer cells because previous researches have shown that the substance lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Ray conducted her research using human breast cancer cells in vitor or in a controlled lab setting.

"There have been significant advances in breast cancer treatment, which have improved patient survival and quality of life. However women continue to die of the disease and new treatment strategies are essential. Cancer prevention by the use of naturally occurring dietary substances is considered a practical approach to reduce the ever-increasing incidence of cancer. Studying a high risk breast cancer population where bitter melon is taken as a dietary product will be an important area of future research,"Ray said.

She cautioned against seeing bitter melon extract as a miracle cure for breast cancer.

After Long fight, cancer drug gives sudden reprieve

For melanoma patients who signed on to try a drug known as PLX4032, the clinical trial was a last resort. Their bodies were riddled with tumours, leaving them almost just months to live.

But a few weeks after taking their first dose, nearly all of them began to recover. Lee Reyes of California, who had begun using a feeding tube because of a growth pressing against his throat, ate a cinnamon roll.

Randy Williams, who drove from Arkansas, to the Anderson Cancer Centre in Huston, said, "something's working, because nothing's hurting."

It was a sweet moment, in autumn 2008, for Dr Keith Flasherty, the University of Pennsylvania oncologist leading the drug's first clinical trial. A new kind of cancer therapy, it was tailored to a particular genetic mutation that was driving the disease, and after six years of disappointments, his faith in the promise of such a "targeted" approach finally seemed borne out. His collaborators at five other major cancer centres, melanoma clinicians who had tested dozens of potential therapies for their patients will no success, were equally elated.

The six doctors sent each other "before and after" CT scans of their patients. One was of Mark Bunting, 52, from Sandy, Utah. His initial scan in October showed the cancer in his bones, an incursion considered virtually impossible to reverse. After two months on the drug, it was gone.

The trial of PLX4032 offers a glimpse at how doctors, patients and drug developers nagigate a medical forntier at a time when more drugs tailored to the genetic profile of a cancer are being widely tested on humans for the first time.

Throughout the fall, the only two patients on the trial whose tumours continued to grow were the ones who did not have the particular genemutation for which the drug had been designed. By late December, tumours in the 11 patients who did have the mutation had shrunk.

The firms that owned it spent months devising a new formulation that could be absorbed at higher doses. The doctors hoped that by pupshing up the dose they could kill the cancer more effectively.

Kerri Adams, in Oklahoma City, woke up one morning covered in a rash. Another woman's hand swelled up, and she could not make a fist. A Philadelphia patient had horrible nausea and diarrhoea.

Maybe the drug, designed to turn off only the defective B-RAF protein, was, at high doses, also affecting its role in healthy cells. Or maybe it was interfering with other proteins the body needed to function properly. On their next meeting, the doctors agreed to dial back the dose. As the side effects began to subside, many patients felt they had beaten their cancer.

Tejaswini grew by 4 mm on Friday

Mumbai

: Friday's procedure at the P.D.Hinduju Hospital on Gude Tejaswini's right leg increased it by 4 mm in 16 minutes.

A fall while cycling two years ago in her backyard resulted in Tejaswini experiencing excruciating pain and developing a swelling that refused to heal for days. The child specialist suspected the worst and referred her to Tata Memorial Hospital., where she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a cancer of the bones affecting mostly children and adolescents during their growth age between 10 and 20 years).

*A majore chunk of her right thigh bone had to be sawed off to stop the spread of the tumour but her doctor, orthopaedic oncologist Manish Agrawal, managed to save the rest of her limb as well as her kneww joint. Doctors, however, could not save her growth plate in the knee cap (that determines the final length and shape of bones in adulthood).

But technology has come in handy, saving the girl from the pain of repeated surgeries to remove discrepancies between the length of the two legs. It also saves hospital cost and cuts down chances of infection.


Agrawal said technology now made it possible to avoid amputation in 80% of bone cancer patients. "So our priority is to ensure that they do not have to live with any handicap,"he said.

BONING UP ON NEW TECH

About 2,400 bone cases are diagnosed every year and just about one percent of all cancers is bone cancer. Osteosarcoma is the commonest type of primary bone cancer.

It makes up for 35% of bone cancer cases and primarily affects children and young adults between the ages of 10-25.

It often starts at the ends of bones, where new tissue forms as children grow. Knees are a common target.

HOW TECHNOLOGY WORKS?

Following surgery to remove cancerous tumour, the patient is fitted with the non-invasive expandable implant, which can be increased in size without cutting open the limb.

The implant has a magnet placed inside along with a motor and a gear system.

A coil from outside generates an electromagnetic field that turns the motor inside the implant.

The miniature gears allow the movement of the motor, which expands the limb and works like a screw driver.

Advantages

Repeated surgeries to manually increase the size of the a limb aren't required.


Apart from hospital stay, patient also saves on surgery complications and cost.

There is no pain or stiffness when the implant lengtheing is done.


Disadvantages

As a patient grows up, there are some chances that the implant may break.

For a child who's undergone the procedure, a new adult implant may be required after a few years.

The gears inside the implant can heat up during lengthening. Doctors have to be aware that it does not cause any damage to the soft tissues.

I TOOK BREAST CANCER HEAD ON, AND WON

Being a fitness freak, the dreaded disease caught Asha Karandikar by surprise. What followed was a six-month long battle to reclaim her life. She reconts her story

I am a single mom in Mumbai. That pretty much says a lot about my life. I have two kids, a son,16, and a 14 years -old daughter. Almost nine years ago, a stressful marriage resulted in painful separation, following which my husband refused to support our kids. My family couldn't bother less. So there I was, shuttling between a job, two kids and trying to build a home for myself.

THE DISCOVERY

One day, when taling to my friends, I casually mentioned feeling a hard marble-like lump in one side of my breast. They asked me not to take it lightly and go for a check-up. As the lump seemed suspicious, I was sent for more tests which confirmed cancer. My first reaction was that of utter disbelief, simply because I am quite health conscious, do yoga, and eat a healthy diet.

I was told that I would need to undergo an operation where my breast would be removed. 'No way', I thought. Being a marketing executive for a media company, I meet a lot of people every day and looks matter. I gave in after intense counselling by my doctor.

LEARNING CURVE

Every visit to the hospital ws a novel experience. Thankfully, I had my support systems, my friends shobha and Lalita. Last April, I finally underwent the operation. My office too was supportive and allowed me to take a long break. Then chemotherapy took over. The six painful sessions of chemotherapy where I was injected with multiple units of a red liquid , was terribly painful- I felt an acidic burning sensation when it entered my body the first time. Your stomach almost feels like a pot of chemicals! The side-effects started showing too. Each time I ran fingers through my hair, a bunch came off. One day, out of dire frustration, I sat and simply 'brushed' off all of them.

It isn't easy for a woman to lose her breast, her hair, and her health. But in a way I was lucky. Because my cancer was in the breast, I could feel the lump. Often in other forms of cancer(say, stomach cancer), it goes undetected for long.

STAYING POSITIVE

I knew I had to stay positive, else the treatment would take longer. In fact prolonged stress is one of the major reasons of cancer. Perhaps that was what caused it, in my case! I decided to take cancer head on, and win.

Being a working woman throught, being quarantied at home was the worst part. To deal with it, I took up meditation every morning, which helped calm me down. I was of course frightened, and often stood in front of the mirror and counselled myself, telling everything would be okay. Friends and my kids were a big, source of strength. Many times, I didn't need to cook because my friends took care of it. At time, my daughter would take my head in her lap and console me, just like a mother would. That's why even today, I call her 'mommy'. My son is quite mature and understood the situation well.

WAY AHEAD

The happiest day for me was when I rejoined office last November, right in the thick of work, just how I like it. My tryst with breast cancer only made me stronger. I have started living for today and let go off the grudges that I held. I advise everyone to go for an annual health check-up; it's very essential.

I have hit the gym to shed off the extra kilos that I had put on during treatment. My job is still as stressful, but I deal with it differently. I don't mull over things, but simply move on. My only agenda is to do better in my work and make something out of my talented kids. This is my second life, and I am ready to live it well.

HOPE FOR BRAIN TUMOUR PATIENTS IN NEW TREATMENT

Mumbai:

It's not terrific news, but it sure does spell hope for a dismal diagnosis. Doctors and researchers are cheering a new finding in the cruel of world of gliomas, considered the most virulent form of brain cancer. While the median survival rate for glioma patients is one year, new medical protocols are ensuring an 11% survival rate of more than five years for patients diagnosed with grade-IV gliomas.

Fifty-nine-year-old. Hitesh (name changed) is one of the few luky ones who was treated using the new protocol at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel eight years back. Diagnosed with glioma in March 2001, he was the third patient to be put on the new protocol of Temozolomide along with surgery and aggressive radiotherapy.
On Wednesday, Hitesh who teaches at one of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Techonology told TOI that apart from the rigours of the disease, he was glad that the treatment had worked well. "Brain tumours leave behind scars that take a toll on people's faculties,' he said.

But his doctor, neuro-oncologist Rakesh Jalali at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, considers Hitesh one of the best examples of the triumph of medicine. "He is cured. In India we can now boast of 11% survival rates, unheard of a few years back,'says the doctor, whose team presented the hospital's research at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in May 2009. In March 2009, data from a multi-centre European study published in the Lancet Oncology journal showed 9.8% survival rate of over five years for glioma patients.

Indeed, gliomas that unually strike Indians in their 50s (in the West, it strikes people in their mid-60s) are worrisome, say doctors. Consider their biochemistry. Most brain tumours that develop from cancerous glial cells are called gliomas. Unlike other cancers, glioma tumours grow in the confined space inside the head. In order to grow, most cancers push healthy cells aside, but due to space constraints, glioma tumors destroy normal brain cells. They do so by releasing large quantities of the neuro transmitter glutamate that is toxic to neurons and causes seizures in up to 80% of people with gliomas. Depending on the tumour's size and location, other symptoms could include paralysis, behaviour changes and dizziness. A glioma tumor is particularly damaging because it tends to quickly sprout and spread within the brain. Each year, approximately 18,000 Americans find out that they have a glioma and many die within 12 months. Neurosurgeon Dr.Anandh Balasubramaninam, formerly with NIMHANS in Bangalore and now with Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, believes a five-year survival rate for glioma patients is inded a significant development. "Thanks to advances in medicines, we now confidently tell our patients that two-year survival rates are 70-80%. But to think about five-year survival is indeed an advancement," he added.

Survivor Spreads Spirit of Hope


Mumbai: When his doctor diagnosed a glioma, Subhash C Mishra refused to be cowered down."My doctor called up to say that he would send an ambulance right away to take me to hospital," says the professor of mechanical engineering at IIT Guwahati. The 45-year-old professor instead got into his car and drove down to the doctor's clinic, discussed his condition and planned a trip to AIIMS for a surgery.

Post-surgery, he is in Mumbai for radiation therapy and on a mission."There is little awareness about brain tumour in society. I want to spread awareness about it even while helping patients to realise it is up to them to fight this foreign invasion of sorts on their brain," says Mishra, who volunteered to talk to patients at the Brain Tumour Foundation's get-together on Wednesday. He is in stage -III of tumour and will be back in February for a check.

At present, he is making a documentary film on his treatment that he plans to screen for his students at IIT-Guwahati. "I came to Tata Memorial Hosipital in Parel because I wanted to meet others with the same condition. I don't feel disturbed. I feel sympathetic," says the teacher.

BREAST CANCER IS GETTING YOUNGER

Doctors advise early detection to ward off the disease. Debarati Sen finds out more

A United States based organisation recently said that women should get a breast cancer scan only after 50 but Indian gynecologists feel differently. Dr.T.K.Sahi who has been working in the field of breast cancer awareness reveals,"Puberty maybe the best time to come for a breast examination."She explains, "At puberty many girls have confusions, worriers and fears about their developing breasts and remain emotionally distrubed. This has a negative impact on their personality. It is therefore better to have a breast check-up and get clarification on whether there is any cause for concern. I have had several such patients; many have been brought for check-up by their apprehensive mothers."Doctors unanimously agree that an early detection of cancer is important. Dr.Aditi Parmar says, "It is essential for high-risk patients who have a history of breast cancer in the family. Sono-mammography is the test that helps in detecting breast cancer."

The age group of patients suffering from breast cancer is just getting younger by the day feel most doctors."My youngest patient of breast cancer was a 19 year-old girl from Kankawli in Maharastra,"says Dr Sahi. She adds that when the 19-year-old came from Kankawli for the check-up, she had disseminated disease. "I always say, one should get a breast check not because you have a problem in the breasts but simply because you have breasts,"she emphasises and adds,"Only this approach can maximise cases of early detection and only early detection can lead to better management by doing breast conserving surgery and breast reconstruction." The youngest person to be affected by this disease is a 13-year-old Chinese child.

There are doctors who feel that post menopausal women are the ones who are most susceptible to the disease. Dr. Seema Malik says, "Women who are past their 40s and are menopausal should definitely go in for a routine examination."

She advocates self examination,"Awareness is important. Young women should opt for self-examination."

Elaborating more on the disease and the patients' chances of survival, Dr Parmar says,"Breast cancer is in a way the best cancer to have as there are very few chances of a relapse if detected in the early stages."Dr.Sahi, who has been passionately crusading awareness on this disease concludes,"Why does cancer have to be an excuse for attention to the breasts?Like any other organ in the body, the breasts also suffer aches , pains, lumps, bumps, infections, cramps and new growths, be it benign(non-cancerous) or malignant (Cancerous).If attention is focused on management of these conditions, cancers will definitely be picked up early."

Though cervical cancer is completely preventable, with screening exams and treatment, it continues to claim a considerable chunk of women population throughout the world. This Women’s Day show that you care about yourself and get yourself screened

CERVICAL SCREENING

The word cancer is no longer synonymous with a death sentence. In most cases cancer diagnosed at an early stage may be completely curable. The emphasis today is more on prevention and early diagnosis. This requires screening tests like cervical screening which enable early diagnosis.

Dr. Deepak Dave, Hon. Medical director Kasturba Health Society medical Research Centre, Mumbai and Chief, Gynecology & Obstetrics, BSES MG Hospital, Mumbai, says, “Cancer of the cervix (the lower part of the womb or the uterus) is the commonest cancer in women followed by cancer breast. Twenty percent of cancers that affect women are cancer cervix. Almost 1,20,000 new cases are seen every year in our country-Mumbai itself accounts for about 1500 new cases every year. It is also the commonest cause of cancer related deaths in Indian women.”

Treatment for early cancer of cervix is very well chalked out and has optimal results. In the West, where mass community based screening programmes were initiated and implemented deaths have been brought down by almost 50percent. These results have encouraged the initiation of mass cervical screening programmes.

Dr. Dave says that, “Interestingly the incidence of disease is higher when the age at first intercourse was less than 17 years.”

The American Cancer Society suggests that cervical screening should start as early as possible at 21 years of age. In women under twenty years of age cervical cancer is rare. The cervix is developing in the teenage years and can result in an abnormal smear result when there is nothing wrong.

Dr Dave explains, “It is necessary that women at high risk go through screening at least once a year; after the age of 35 years. If three consecutive reports are normal then the screening can be once in three years. The target group is women who have borne more babies, women with poor hygiene and women who are promiscuous. Repeated vaginal infections also make women susceptible to this disease.”

Regular gynecological check up helps detect changes in the cervix before cancer has been established. This required a good visualization of the cervix, a through vaginal examination and tests like the Pap smear or liquid-based cytology (LBC). These tests are to check the health of the cervix and to detect early changes in the cells of the cervix, which may develop into cancer in the future.

• “For a Pap smear,” Dr Ashwini explains, “The cells from the cervix are scraped using a wooden spatula and a fine cytobrush. In few women it picks up early changes in the cervix at a very early stage.”

• Dr Dave adds, “Pap Smear forms the backbone of any screening programme for a community. Introduction of this programme in a community has shown to reduce cervical cancer rated by 60-90 within 3 years of implementation.”

• Liquid based cytology (LBC) is a new way of preparing cervical samples for examination in the laboratory. The sample is a collected in a similar way to the conventional smear using a device which brushes the cells from the neck of the womb is used.”

Dr Ashwini reassures that, “It is not unusual to have an abnormal smear. Nearly all the abnormal smears show more than small changes in the cells of the cervix.” She reiterated, “Treatment, if needed, is simple and virtually hundred percent effective if diagnosed very early.

Dr Dave stressed that, “The importance of education cannot be stressed enough. In the West, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is prevented by vaccinating young girls about 13 years of age. However, the need to undergo Pap Test must be emphasized to the vulnerable women.”

The aim is to reduce the number of women who develop invasive a cervical cancer and the number of women who die from it. This required regularly screening of all women at risk so that conditions which might otherwise develop into invasive cancer can be identified and treated.

The results of early detection of cervical cancer are promising, meaning that complete cure is feasible. A Screening in Time Saves a Life.

Dr. Ashwini Bhalerao-Gandhi, Consultant Gynecologist, P.D. Hinduja National Hospital explains the risk factors for cervical cancer.

• Early marriage

• An exposure to sexual life at an early age

• Multiple sexual partners

• First pregnancy at a young age

• Multiple deliveries without proper spacing

• Sexually transmitted infections including infection with the human papilloma virus

• Use of tobacco in any form

Women suffering from one or more of the following complaints should consult a Gynecologist to rule out possibility of

cervical cancer.

• Chronic white discharge from vagina

• Foul smelling /blood stained discharge from vagina

• Bleeding after intercourse

• Irregular vaginal bleeding

• Bleeding from vagina after attaining menopause

Innovative technique for cancer op.

Mumbai: Until a week ago, Kalavati Madane(65) could barely swallow food or water, she needed saline drips to stay conscious. Doctors diagnosed oesophageal cancer. But on November 11, she had some relief at last, with minimally invasive and innovative surgery. Kolhapur oncosurgeon Dr. Suraj Pawar removed her diseased food pipe and stretched her stomach up to her windpipe.

“My procedure is easier for the surgeon. Also, the patient heals faster,” syas Dr. Pawar, who previously worked at Tata Memorial hospital, Parel.

Oesophageal cancer

patients in India often seek help too late. “ I hs a poor prognosis of about 35%, but if patiaents seek treatment early, prognosis could be as high as 85%,” says Dr C S Pramesh, head of thoracic surgery at Tata Memorial.

Dr. Pramesh concurs that Dr. Pawar’s technique appears beneficial to doctors and patients. However, he says one needs to wait and see if the method gains wider acceptance in the medical community.

Generally, the cancerous part is removed laparoscopically and the stomach is cut and sutures so it acts like a food pipe, said Dr. Pawar. Doctors make four to five holes in the chest, through which oerating instruments are passed to remove the cancer. “But the new technique needs only three holes. The patient has less pain and scarring, “said DR. Pawar.

Dr J Barve, consultant gastroenterologist at Lilavati and Nanavati Hospitals, said, “I think converting the stomach pouch into a pipe is a good idea”.

Detecting prostate cancer

Overall health status, and not age alone, is important when making decisions about screening.

The discussion about screening should occur

• At age 50 for men at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.

• At age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer (African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age(younger than age 65).

• At age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with several first-degree relatives who had prostate cancer at an early age).

• Those men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate specific antigen rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.

• Those men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate Specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE0 may also be done as a part of scenting.

• Men who choose to be tested and have a PSA,<2.5ng/ml, may only need to be retested every 2 years.

• Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/ml or higher

The exact cause of prostate cancer being unknown it is not possible to prevent most causes of the disease. The prognosis and treatment options depends on the stage of the disease, age and health of the individual, whether it is a newly diagnosed or a recurred diagnosed or a recurred problem, Gleason score and PSA levels.

OVERUSE OF CT SCANS LINKED TO FATAL CANCER

Health experts have warned that unjustified use of CT scans us increasingly becoming a reason behind cancers. A latest medical research has claimed that more than 400 new cases of cancer a year in Australia occur due to diagnostic radiology. However, it has not reduced the number of computerised to sonography scans growing about 12 per cent a year. Director of the Professional Services Review, Tony Webber, has published a recommendation for doctors to stop using CTs as a first-choice diagnosisi tool for problems such as lower-back pain.

“I have been alarmed at the number of these scans ordered without clinical justification”, Webber said in The Report to the Professions. Professor Mendelson, who heads radiology at Royal Peth Hospital, also warns against unjustified use of radiological procedures: although the risk of a CT scan is relatively small, a CT of the abdomen and pelvis may expose the patient to a dose of up to about 20 millisieverts and thus an increased risk of including a fatal cancer of one in 1000.

A study noted that 50 percent of senior medical students in Perth underestimated radiation does form commonly used radiological procedures.

Cancer remedy : Breast removal not always ideal

Barcelona: New research suggests that women with gene mutations that predispose them to breast cancer might not pay a huge price in survival if they choose to preserve their breast instead of having it removed.

In a small study that observed women with BRCA gene mutations and different types of cancer and treatments, patients had two to four times greater risk of a cancer reoccurrence if they had only the cancerous lump removed instead of the whole breast.

However, their survival rates after 15 years appeared roughly similar, although this type of study cannot prove that one treatment is as good as another.

Results were presented on Friday at breast cancer conference in Barcelona.

o Large studies have established that having lumpectomy followed by radiation may be as effective as a mastectomy for women with early-stage breast cancers. However, it’s not known if this is true for women with genes that predispose them to cancer. Lumpectomies also are sometimes followed by chemotherapy and hormone treatment such as tamoxifen depending on the size, type and spread of the cancer.

Sex virus tied to rise in neck, head cancers


Call For Vaccination Grows

London:

The number of head and neck cancers linked to a virus spread by oral sex is rising rapidly and suggests boys as well as girls should be offered protection through vaccination doctors said on Friday.

Despite an overall slight decline in head and neck cancers in recent years, cases of a particular from called oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma have increased sharply, particularly in the developed world. This growth seems to be linked to cancers caused by the human papillopmavirus (HPV), scientists said in a report in the British Medical Journal.

Two vaccines—Cervarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, and ,Gardasil, made by Merck & co-can prevent HPV, which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Many rich nations have launched HPV immunization programs for girls to try to protect them from the common sexually transmitted virus before they become sexually active.

The scientists, led by Hisham Mehanna of the Institute of Head and Neck Studies at University hospital Coventry said while including boys in immunization plans has been seen as too expensive, it may be time to look again.

A recent study found the risk of developing oropharyngeal carcinoma was linked to a history of six or more lifetime sexual partners, four or more lifetime oral sex partners, and, for men, an earlier age at first sexual intercourse.

“Sexual transmission of HPV---through orogenital intercourse---might be the reason for the increase in incidence of HPV related oropharyngeal carcinoma,” wrote Mehanna.

TOBACCO ISN’T COOL


Government claims to earn thousand of crores from tobacco but does not realize that it spends many times.

Tobacco is the only legally available consumer product in the world that kills even when used as per the manufacture’s specifications. Tobacco usage is strongly associated with several lethal disease and numerous chronic disabilities. International classification of Diseases (ICD-10) has notified tobacco dependence as a disease. The addictive strength of this product can be guessed from the fact that Indian tobacco companies continued to run in profit despite strong pack warnings.

The international Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization has categorized tobacco as a category I carcinogen (confirmed human carcinogen.) Tobacco is consumed in many forms in India such as cigarette, beedi, hukka, cigar, paan, jarda, snuff, surti, naswar, masheri ,etc Tobacco usage significantly increases the risks of many cancers such as cancer of lungs, mouth, esophagus, larynx, pharynx, salivary glands, urinary bladder, kidneys, uterine cervix, breast, pancreas and colon. If someone uses tobacco he has 50 times more chances of getting mouth. Cancer, 12 times more likely to die from lung cancer, 10 times more likely to die from some form of ling disease, 10 times more likely to die from cancer of the larynx, 6 times more likely to die of heart disease and twice more likely to die of a stroke. Tobacco, as per an ICMR study conducted in 1996, was responsible for 42 lakh cases of chronic obstructive lung disease as well as about 1.5 lakh new cancers in India!

Government claims to earn thousand d of cores from tobacco but does not realize that it spends many times more money in treating patients with tobacco related disease. Despite progress in health care, mere 2% of Indian adults quite the habit-of-ten only after falling ill. Nearly half of the cancers in India men are due to tobacco usage. Men who are cigarette smokers lose ten years of their lives, mainly as a result of tuberculosis, respiratory and heart disease, and cancer.

During the 2010s there will be about I Million tobacco deaths a year in India and about 70% of these deaths will be before old age. Tobacco kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, homicide, suicide, motor vehicle crashes, and fires combined. Tobacco is predicated to account for 13% of all deaths in India by 2025. Currently, tobacco is responsible for 1 in 5 of all male deaths in middle age. Unlike alcohol, there is no safe level of smoking, and consumption of a few cigarettes / bidis per day increases the risks of dying prematurely by up to 50%. There is a plethora of evidence on the hazards of tobacco even in the public domain.

MULL OVER THE FOLLOWING FACTS AND PREPARE TO QUIT

• Trust the statistics that smokers on an average die a decade earlier than non-smokers.

• Don’t try to fool yourself with popular myths and anecdotes that encourage smokers.

• Don’t live in the world of denial that smoking is safe.

• Try to hammer it in your mind that reduction (from 10 to 2 per day ahs got no beneficial impact.

• Drive it out of your mind that smoking improves creativity and performances.

• Youngsters should remember that most women do not like smokers especially when it comes to marriage. It is no more “cool” or macho.

• Smoking does not reduce wait or suppresses appetite – a common myth amongst women. On the contrary, it make a women look older prematurely.

• Middle aged and elderly should remember that smoking will make your “old age” pathetic when you will be riddled with dozens of smoking related ailments.

• The children of current era are very conscious and well informed—they do not like smoking by parents.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL CESSATION • Decide a date for quitting – child’s birthday, anniversary, new year etc. • Announce your decision to quit to everybody around you. It is better that you plan quitting with a colleague. A sense of competition may do the trick.

• If you have kids, tell them that you have decide to quit. Most of the time that is the greatest encouragement. Always keep their pictures and look at it whenever there is an urge.

• Throw all packets, match box, lighter, ash tray that may remind you of the habit.

• On the day of quitting, take is as a serious challenge that you would like to win.

• Try to remain surrounded by good friends for next few days.

• It is not a bad idea to stay at a friend’s or relative’s house for first one week. Living in your own house may be a constant reminder of your past habit.

• Keep reminding yourself, whenever you get a craving that it is good for your child, parents, wife, girl friend etc. conscience yourself that you are making a huge sacrifice for your dear ones.

Indoor air pollution

A major public health concern in women

The commonly known and well advertised risk factors for the cancer are tobacco smoking, tobacco chewing, some infectious agent (like HPV) and dietary factors. However, one risk factor of great concern to women, particularly in India and developing countries is indoor air pollution for woman in India are twofold, passive smoking by male members of the family and use of slid fuels like wood, crop residue, animal dung, coal etc. for cooking . Many studies have confirmed the increased risk of

lung cancer

among wives of smoking at home increases the risk of developing lung cancer among those who regularly come in contact with the secondary tobacco smoke.

However indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels is a significant public health concern in rural India where a substantial proportion of the population relies exclusively on such fuels for cooking and heating. India, more than 70 per cent of the total population uses slid fuels for cooking. It has been estimated that this may account for up to 4-6 per cent of the national burden of disease. A recent monograph on indoor air pollution by the International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC concluded that indoor air pollution from coal usage is a known human carcinogen, while that from biomass (primarily wood ) is a probable human carcinogen. Indoor air pollution because of long duration of exposure to coal results in increased risk of lung, hypophharynx and larynx cancer. A study conducted by an Indian group observed by an Indian group observed a seven fold increased in risk of developing lung cancer associated with coal usage. It is important to high-light and spread the message of the risk of cancer caused by indoor air pollution, as these risks are completely avoidable. In this age of modern technology and clean fuels it should be of utmost priority to provide clean fuels to Indian kitchens.
This year about 1,00,000 Woman in India will hear the unthinkable words

“You have Breast cancer”

Breast cancer

is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in woman today and is the most common cancer among women.

It is important to understand the role of new marker like HER2 (Human epidermal growth factor receptor2)

HER2 over expression in breast cancer indicates a faster developing and a more serious disease.

HER2 study in Indian women revealed 25% of Breast Cancer over express HER2.

HER2 testing is done on cancer tissue. Patients who want their HER2 status checked should ask. Their cancer specialist to have testing done at the time of biopsy or surgery or on cancer tissue.

Your First step towards fighting CANCER is to quit tobacco.

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Seven Warning

Signals Of Cancer

Change in bowels habits

Asore that does not heal

Unusual bleeding or discharge

Thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere

Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing

Obvious change in wart or mole

Nagging cough or hoarseness

BREAST CANCER

The main risk factors associated with increased risk for developing breast cancer, other than obesity, are mainly life style factors and reproductive habits which are suggestive of a strong hormonal influence in development of breast cancer.

In developed countries, increasing age has been implicated as one of the main risk factors for higher incidence of breast cancer. The same is not so obvious in developing countries where the incidence is more younger women and peak incidence is seen is women between 40-49 years of age, a decade younger than in women in the west. The life time risk of developing breast cancer in women from developed countries such as the US is 1 in 8 women, as compared to 1 in 60 in rural areas in developing countries. Urban women in developing countries are already showing a trend towards the higher risk pattern (1 in 28 women life time risk in Mumbai) with urbanization and emancipation of women. These are mainly due to changing life styles, dietary habits and the reproductive habits of urban women in courtiers such as Indian.

Earlier onset of menarche and late menopause increases the overall reproductive life of a woman and therefore increases the risk of breast cancer. Early and multiple pregnancies are through to be protective. A full term pregnancy is necessary for this protection to be obvious and it takes nearly a decade to become evident. Once it appears, its effect appears to persist for a lifetime.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in all forms and combinations significantly increases the risk for developing breast cancer breast cancer incidence (1.63 times). It resulted in a sudden stoppage of use of HRT in the US, translating into a nearly 7 percent dip in the incidence of breast cancer in 2004. Thus, the effect of risk rapidly declines with stoppage of use of HRT ( and also oral contraceptive pills)

Breast feeding itself has also been shown to protect against breast cancer. A periods of breast cancer. A periods of breast feeding of at least three to six months is recommended for adequate protection against breast cancer. The familiar or hereditary breast cancer comprise only 5 percent of all breast cancer burden. Three-fourths of them have a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation.

Technically, the more correctable life style issues related to breast cancer prevention are namely diet-weight control, exercise, reproductive habits, and avoiding exogenous hormones. Simply put, planning the first child before the age of 30 years, breast feeding for a period of six months to one year, keeping weight in check with regular exercises avoiding smoking limiting fat in diet, and avoiding HRT are effective prevention measures.

PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF CANCERS IN INDIAN WOMEN

As India transits from developing to a developed country, new challenges in the healthcare sector are emerging in the form of non communicable disease like cancer, cardiovascular and diabetes, while older ones like malaria, tuberculosis and other infections remain uncontrolled. Since women constitute half of Indian’s population and have been somewhat unequal partners in its development, the challenge of providing equitable and universal healthcare to them is even greater.

Among the non-communicable disease, cancer is one of the most important, cause of death and suffering. There is hardly family without a close relative with this disease. The single most important risk factor for cancer, often under appreciated by both health professionals and public, is increasing age. As India ages, the number of cancer cases is going to sharply increase even if age specific incidence remains the same. On the other hand with a change in lifestyle, the incidence itself is increasing for some of the important cancers. Both these facts mean that the healthcare system should be ready to deliver care to a large number of patients in the coming years.

Prevention, however, should be the primary goal of any disease control programme including cancer. Data on cancer occurrences is gathered under the national cancer Registry Programme of ICMR. This data has given some important leads in cancer prevention and control. There is a difference in the pattern of cancers in Rural verses urban regions of the country. In numbers cervical cancer and breast cancer are the two commonest cancers in Indian women-with approximately 132000 and 10000 estimated new cases every year respectively. For breast cancer, it is likely that aspects of urban lifestyle like obesity, later age at first childbirth, diet etc, are responsible. On the other hand cervical cancer continues to be the commonest caner in rural women. Again, although the exact reasons are unclear, it is likely that a number of factors related to rural residence and lifestyle like early marriages and childbirths, higher number of pregnancies and poor hygiene including sexual hygiene may be responsible for this difference, in this context the role of human papilloma virus (HPV)in cervical cancer is well established.

With changing lifestyle and lesser physical activity for work and house-hold purposes, obesity is an increasingly important risk factor especially for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. In addition obesity has been linked n to a number of other cancers in women like these that occur in the uterus, large intestine, lower esophagus, gall bladder and ovaries.

The data from the Indian Cancer registries and cancer Atlas Project clearly indicates that major cancer types in India are related to tobacco consumption and related to tobacco consumption and are a preventable tragedy. Although less common, the incidence of tobacco related cancer in women ranges from 9 to 15 per cent. According to the results of a recent study published in New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of death in female Indian smokers and the average life span is 8 years shorter.

The opportunity before Indian scientists, healthcare workers and public is to preserve some of those aspects of our lifestyle that have led to cancer incidence that is only a small fraction of the western rate. The challenge before us is to research and propagate the most healthful lifestyles that synthesize the best aspects of Indian and western cultures.

Supercharging the fight against cancer

US scientist are supercharging cells from the immune system with nano pouches of drugs that specifically target and kill cancer cells

Clinical trial using patients’ own immune cells to target tumours have yielded promising results. However, this approach usually works only if the patients also receive large doses of drugs designed to help immune cells multiply rapidly, and have life threatening side effects.

Now a team of engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a way to deliver the drugs by smuggling them on the backs of the cells sent in to fight the tumour. That way, the drugs reach only their intends targets, greatly reducing the risk.

The new approach could dramatically improve the success rate of immune-cell therapies, which hold promise for treating many types of cancer, says Darrell Irvine, author of a paper that appear in Nature Medicine.

“What we’re looking for is the extra nudge that could take immune-cell therapy from working in a subset of people to working in everyone, and to take us closer to cures of disease rather than slowing progression,” says Irvine.

The new method could also be used to deliver other types of cancer drugs or to promote blood-cell maturation in bone-marrow transplant recipients, according to the researchers.

To perform immune-cell therapy, doctors remove a type of immune cells called T cells from the patient, engineer them to target tumour, and inject them back into the patient.

Those T cells then hunt down and destroy tumour cells. Clinical trials are under way for ovarian and prostate cancers, as well as melanoma.

Although the therapy is promising, success has been limited by difficulties in generating enough T cells that are specific to the cancer cells and getting those T cells to function.

To overcome those obstacles, researchers have tried injecting patients with adjuvant drugs that stimulate T-cell growth. One class of drugs that has been tested in clinical trial is interleukins-naturally occurring chemicals that help promote T-cells growth but have severe side effects, including heart and lung failure, when given in large doses.

Irvine and his colleagues took a new approach: To avoid toxic side effects, they designed drug-carrying pouches made of fat that can be attached to sulphur-contating molecules found on the T-cell surface.

In the study, the researchers injected T cells, each carrying about 100 pouches loaded with the interleukins into mice with lung and marrow tumours. Once the cells reached the target, the pouches gradually degraded and released the drug over a week.

The drug molecules attached themselves to receptors on the surface of the same cells that carried them, stimulating them to grow and divide.

Within 16 days, all of the tumours in the mice treated with T cells carrying the drugs disappeared. Those mice survived until the end of the 100-day experiment, while mice that received no treatment died within 25 days, and mice that received either T cells alone or T cells with injections of interleukins died within 75 days.

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Indian women. Each year nearly 132 000 women are diagnosed with this disease and over 74 000 women die of this disease
CERVICAL CANCER: A PREVENTABLE DEATH

Cervical cancer

(cancer of the mouth of the uterus) is the section most common cause of cancer related deaths in women after breast cancer globally, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in Indian women. Each year nearly 132 000 women are diagnosed with this disease and over 74 000 women die of this disease. In other words one woman loses her life to cervical cancer in India every 7 minutes!

What is the cause of cervical cancer ?

Recent research has shown that more than 99 per cent cervical cases are caused by persistent infection with a virus known as human papilloma virus. However, the two most important cancer-assoicaited HPV types (high risk) are 16 and 18. Together, they are responsible for approximately 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases.

How does one get HPV infection?

HPV predominately spreads through sexual contact. The virus can be transmitted from any part of genital area. Regular use of condoms, although, protective, is not a foolproof method of preventing transmission.

What are the risk factors for cervical cancer?

The factors that increase the risk of developing cervical cancer include early onset of sexual activity, multiple sexual partners, partner’s sexual behavior, early age at first childbirth, multiple childbirths, poor personal hygiene, tobacco use, long term oral contraceptive pill use, diet poor in vitamins and essential nutrients, and immune-socio-economic status and lack of access to health care play a major role in high incidence of cervical cancer in India and other developing countries.

Can cervical cancer be prevented?

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Since the introduction of routine screening by Pap smears in routine screening by pap smears in western countries, the incidence of cervical cancer has fallen to a small fraction of its previous levels in those countries.

Strategies to prevent cervical cancer

Strategies include: marriage after the age 18, first pregnancy after 21 years and small family, monogamous relationship, consistent use of condom, good personal hygiene, healthy diet with adequate fruits and vegetables and avoidance of tobacco in any form. Male circumcision lowers the risks of genital HPV infection in men and thus, can be considered an important factor in prevention of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer screening Pap Smear test:

The conventional papanicolaou (Pap) smear is the world’s most successful cancer screening test and has been responsible for dramatic reduction in the incidence of cervical cancer in the developed world. In this test, cells collected from the surface of the cervix are examined under a microscope and based on their appearance they are classified as normal or abnormal. The procedure of smear collection is very simple, painless and performed on the out-patient basis without requiring anesthesia. Women with abnormal Pap smear are further evaluated with a colposcopic examination (a type of microscope) and guided. Pap smears require skilled personnel to interpret the slides.

HPV-DNA Test: Testing for HPV-DNA has shown to be somewhat more accurate than the Pap smear. However this technology is expensive and not available freely across the nation. Therefore HPV-DNA as a screening test is impractical at present.

Cervical cancer vaccine

One of the excising recent advances in the field of cancer medicine is the successful development of a prophylactic vaccine against HPV. Two such vaccines ae currently available.

When should the women be vaccinated?

Various international and national organizations have issued age recommendations for HPV vaccination. HPV vaccines are most efficacious in females who are not already infected with HPV. Therefore , the WHO recommenders the selection of primary target population based on data on the age of initiation sexual activity in the community. Most countries including Indian recommended vaccinating girls within the age range of 9 to 16 years with catch up age up to 26 years.


Side effects:

These vaccines do not have live virus and have been shown to be sage. The most commonly reported side effects include injection site reactions (pain, redness and swelling), fever, fatigue, headache, muscular pain, joint pain and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Most these side effects are mild and self limiting. More serious rations including epileptic fits, neurological disorders, immune system malfunction and severe allergies have been reported although they are extremely rate. Worldwide some deaths have also been reported probably related to HPV vaccination.

Contraindications: Severe reaction to a previous dose to any component of the vaccine. HPV vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy and should not be given to women who are planning pregnancy.

Women who become pregnant before completion of vaccination are advised to postpone the remaining are advised to postpone the remaining does until after the delivery.

Breast feeding is not a contra-indication for vaccination.

Facts about the HPV vaccines Both vaccines are prophylactic and have the maximum effect if given before the onset of sexual debut.

Both vaccines are against only two ‘high-risk’ HPV types 16 and 18, which are responsible for approximately 70 percent of all cervical cancer. This means that there is still a risk of developing cervical cancer die to other high HPV types.

Vaccination does not treat existing HPV infection or does not protect against previously acquired infection. However, testing for HPV infection is NOT recommended before taking the vaccine.

HPV vaccination does not eliminate the need for screening later in life and regular screening should still be continued in vaccinated individuals.

What we do not know about the HPV Vaccines?

Since HPV vaccines are recent development, not everything is known about them especially with regard to their long term efficacy in prevention of cervical cancer. Some important unanswered issues are: What will be the long term duration of protection and the effect of vaccination on cervical cancer incidence? Effects of vaccination on cervical cancer rates will not be apparent until women are in their 4th and 5th decades, the peak age for cervical cancer diagnosis.

For how long will the immune effect last and will booster does be required? Maximum duration of immunity seen so far is little more than 7 years.

What will be the efficacy of fewer than 3-does? The international Agency for research on cancer has launched a multi-center trail in India to answer this question. Tata Memorial Hospital is one of the major participating centres.

Should men also be vaccinated to improve the efficacy of vaccine and to protect men against ano-genital cancers?

What will be the effect of m vaccination on the incidence of other HPV related cancers e.g. Head & neck cancers and anal canal cancers?

Will prevention of infections with HPV16/18 alter the natural history of other “high risk” HPV types and the number of cervical cancers they cause?

Is vaccination the most cost-effective to prevent cervical cancer especially for countries like India with many other competing health issues e.g. high maternal and fetal mortality, malnutrition etc?

Although the cervical cancer vaccine is available but is no magic bullet: it has the potential to reduce the number of cancer cases but not eradicate them .It is hoped that universal screening of eligible female population for cervical cancer will become a part of the National rural and Urban Health mission. This, and changes in reproductive and sexual lifestyles will result in enduring reduction in mortality due to this disease.

Don’t let CANCER stop you!

IMPORTANT RISK FACTORS

Early age of menarche (first period)

Women who have not breast fed their children

Late menopause (cessation of periods)

Hormonal treatment

Dietary factors like consumption of alcohol>3 drinks/week, diets rich in animal fat & obesity

A past history of breast cancer in the other breast or Fibrocystic breast disease (an exaggerated lumpy, painful condition related to the menstrual cycle.)

Family history of breast cancer.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

A lump or a thickening within the breast or armpit

A discharge from the nipple

A recent change in the nipple direction, like retraction (inward turning)

FOR EARLY DETECTION

(After age of 40)

Breast self examination-monthly

Clinical breast examination—annually

BREAST SELF EXAMINATION (BSE)

This is a sample technique by which every woman can notice certain changes in her breast which may be suggestive of breast cancer. Ideally it should be performed once a month, (preferably a week after her periods). If she has stopped getting periods, the examination must be done every month on a fixed day.

IMPORTANT RISK FACTORS

Early onset of sexual activity

Early age at marriage

First pregnancy before 20 years of age

Multiple pregnancies at short intervals. This leads to repeated injury to the cervix, leaving it no time to heal

Sexual promiscuity i.e. multiple male sexual partners or even a single male partner having sexual relations with multiple female partners

Poor genital hygiene

Genital tract infections especially HPV (human papilloma virus) infections

Tobacco addition

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS


Bleeding between menstrual periods

Bleeding after sexual intercourse

Bleeding after a woman has attained menopause

Irregular heavy menstrual periods

Unusual blood stained vaginal discharge

Unexplained weakness/tiredness/weight loss

FOR EARLY DETECTION

(After age of 30)

THE PAP SMEAR

PAP SMEAR once in 3-5 years

THE PAP SMEAR


The test is simple and painless. Using a cotton swab or a brush, cells from the cervix are collected and spread over a glass slide and examined under a microscope.

Internationally specialized sterile PAP test kits are available which ensure diagnostic accuracy.

New York: When he was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year, Dave de- Bronkart needed an easy way to keep his far-flung friends and family updated. So did the president of the American Medical Association when he fell ill months ago. And so did the mother of a soldier wounded in Iraq Who later suffered brain damage.

They all turned to the internet, setting up individual websites to give progress report. In return, they get posted notes of encouragement and support –all without having to repeat the details in emotional and exhausting phone calls. “I had already been burning myself out with phone calls” telling people, said de Bronkart, of Nashua, New Hampshire.

De Bronkart, like others, used free online service like Caring Bridege and Care pages and their user –friendly formats to quickly set up a website to share the news – good and bad. Patients themselves or family members writer about treatment and recovery from illnesses.

Freezing tumours is latest way to combat cancer


London:

Scientists have found a new way to freeze breast tumours using streams of super-cold gas, which not only kills the cancer cells but also ensures that it does not return.

The technique, called cryotherapy, requires injecting freezed gas around the tumour growth using fine needle, evading the need for invasive suffering. It will also save the patient against any major discomfort.

"Our findings suggest freezing tumours was both safe and effective," lead author Peter Littrup from the Barbara Anna Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit said.

"When used for local control or potential cure of breast cancer, it provided safe and effective breast conservation ,"Littrup said.

The trial was carried out on 13 patients who refused to have breast operations to remove their tumours.

The team followed the patients for five years-the duration in which patients should not suffer a relapse in order to term a treatment as effective."Minimally invasive cryotherapy opens the door for a potential new treatment for breast cancer', Litrup said.

Forcing rogue cells to grow old, die

Instead of killing off cancer cells with toxic drugs, scientists have discovered a molecular pathway that forces them to grow old and die, it was announced on Wednesday. A Harvard Medical School study showed that blocking a genecalled Skp 2 forced cancer cells to go through an aging process known as senescence- the same process involved in ridding the body of cells damaged by sunlight.

Soon robotic surgery will be a reality in city

Mumbai: Could you undergo a prostrate cancer operation without a doctor actually executing it? The sci-fi-like phenomenon is now possible, thanks to robotic surgery making a foray into the medical world. It's no longer the doctor's hand, but the robot's arm, which would carefully cut into your abdomen, zero in on your prostrate gland and remove the cancerous tumour. All this happens while the doctor sits meters away with a joystick.

Futuristic as it sounds, the high-tech procedure is likely to make its way into city hospitals in the near future. On Saturday, a team of experts from the New York Presbyterian(The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell) was in the city to help'desi' urologists understand the nuances of the robotic technique. The system, which is already there at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, is being considered for Hinduja Hospital in Mahim.

"Ten years ago, I used to do open surgeries for prostrate cancer (a 10-inch-long incision is taken to reach the prostrate gland). Then slowly, we moved on to laparoscopy (minimally-invasive surgery) and now routinely use robotics to operate on patients," said Dr. Anhutosh Tewari of New Yeark Presbyterian who performs around three robotic surgeries for prostrate cancer daily.

Robotic prostatectomy is the most advanced form of surgery, in which a surgeon sits away from the patient and guides the robotic arm into the patient's abdomen. The robotic arm enters the abdomen through five tiny incisions and a 3-D camera inserted via the arm helps the surgeon focus on the cancerous tumour. Bit by bit, the diseased prostrate is removed.

"Since the cuts are tiny, blood loss is minimal, the pain and discomfort to the patient is lesser and recovery is faster," says Dr.Tewari who reels off how a patient who undergoes a robotic prostatectomy needs to stay in hospital for just a day and can return to work intwo weeks.

For Mumbai, however, the focus is still on spreading awarnessabout prostrate cancer as the robotic equipement is expensive. The disease being more prone in elderly men, doctors say men above 50 years should undergo a PSA (prostrate specific antigen) test to rule it out.

With the robotic equipment pegged at over Rs.8crore, Mumbai Urology Society head Dr. Anil Bradoo said the technology would come at an added cost for patients. "A laparascopy costs double the price of a conventional surgery, and the robotoic surgery would cost twice,"Says Dr. Bradoo.

According to snior cancer urologist Dr. V.Srinivas, the traditional open surgery is still the popular choice in city hospital choice in city hospitals and no studies have proved that cancer cure has improved because of robotic surgery. Yet, robotics, with its cutting edge, offers much precision.

PROSTRATE CANCER

Prostrate is a walnut-sized gland situated behind the rectum
Men with prostrate cancer may not always have symptoms, though some of the common signs include problems with urination freuent urination at night, burning sensation, blood in the urine or frequent pain in lower back

Prostrate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men and the second leading cause of death after lung cancer.

Robots in Medicine

A robotic arm to operate on prostrate cancer was first used in India in New Delhi's AIIMS in 2004.

Robotics for prostrate cancer were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2001.

The US has performed over 500 robotic surgeries for prostrate cancer and the European Union around 200

Gene silencing may help in fight against cancer

Cells Need To Produce Correct Proteins To Stay Healthy

New Delhi: In a major breakthrough, scientists now know exactly which part of a protein inside the human body interacts with the RNA to control the normal expression of genes, including those that are active in cancer. RNA is a system within living cells that helps to control which genes are active and how active they are.

Human cells need to produce the correct proteins at the right time and in the appropriate quantities to stay healthy. One of the key means by which cells achieve this control is by RNA interference, a form of gene siliencing where small pieces of RNA, called micro RNAs, obstruct the production of specific proteins by interacting with their genetic code. However, not any piece of RNA can do this.

Dr. Bhushan Nagar in collaboration with Dr Nahum Sonenberg at McGill’s new Life Sciences Complex, used structural biology to unravel how a small segment in the Argonaute proteins, the key molecules of RNA interference, can select the correct micro RNAs.

RNAs are the direct products of genes, and these small RNAs can bind to specific others and either increase or decrease their activity, for example by preventing a messenger RNA from producing a protein.

RNA interferences has an important role in defending cells against parasitic gene’s viruses as well as gene expression in general.

The latest research was published online on May 26 by the journal Nature. The team discovered that Argonaute proteins can potentially be exploited to enhance gene silencing.

RNA interference could be used as a viable therapeutic approach for inhibiting specific genes that are aberrantly active in diseases such as cancer, Nagar said.”We now have a handle on being able to rationally modify micro RNAs to make them more efficient and possibly into therapeutic drugs,” he said. While therapeutic applications are many years away, this new insight provides an avenue to specifically control the production of proteins, which in cancer cells for example, are abnormal.

“This is fantastic news,” said Dr David Thomas, chair of McGill’s department of biochemistry. “You’ve seen stories lately about how we may see the end of chemotherapy? Well, this is part of that path in developing genetically based therapies that can be tailored to individual patient’s particular illnesses.” Yoga boosts energy after chemotherapy

New York: Cancer survivors might want to try yoga to get a better night’s sleep and to boost their energy levels according to a US study.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York randomly assigned more than 400 cancer survivors, most of whom had been treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer, into two groups. One group did gentle Hatha yoga and restorative yoga-including special postures and breathing exercises-twice a week for a month. The other was only monitored, following standard practice.

Those who did yoga were able to cut back on sleeping pills and slept better, as measured by a 22% increase in sleep quality on a commonly used scale. That was nearly twice the improvement of survivors who didn’t do the exercises. Yoga also cut fatigue by close to half, and led to a small increase in quality of life.

How yoga achieves its relaxing effects isn’t completely clear. “It may be promoting social bonding.,” Karen Mustian who led the study said, adding that preliminary studies have suggested it could also lower stress hormones.

IV treatment may thwat advanced cancers

New preliminary research suggests that intravenous delivery of a cancer-destroying virus- a form of gene therapy-can destroy tumour cells throughout the body. Twenty-three patients whose colorectal, skin, ovarian and lung cancers had spread through their bodies received one of five dose levels of IV treatment. In 75% of those who received the highest doses, the treatment reached tumours and stopped cancer growth , the researchers said in a news release. Cancer was also suppressed in some who got lower doses.

Close at hand, a jab to thwart breast cancer

Drug Hits Key Protein To Shrink Tumours By 50%, Say Experts

London: In what’s being claimed as a major breakthrough, scientists have developed a jab which they claim could cut breast cancer risk by 70%.

An international term has developed the new drug which has been already successfully tested on rodents, and will be tried on humans next year.

According to the scientists, the jab works by boosting the immune system, which attacks a protein called the alpha-lac-talbum in that occurs in most breast cancers. By destroying every trace of it, the tumours don’t develop and existing ones are shrunk by up to half.

“We believe this will some by be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the one way that vaccines have invented many childhood diseases. If it works in humans way it works in mice, this has bee monumental,” Vincent why, who created the vaccine, the British newspapers.

Although it is due to be testing two trials next year but not be on the market for first a decade.

Experts have welcomed the things. Vincent Tuohy, of the England Clinic in Ohio, said: believe breast cancer is a letely preventable disease.” Caitlin Palframan, from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “We look forward to seeing the results of large-scale clinical trials to find out if this vaccine would be safe and effective in humans.”

In terms of developing a preventive vaccine, cancer presents problems not posed by viruses-while viruses are recognized as foreign invaders by the immune system, cancer is not. Cancer is an over-development of the body’s own cells. Trying to vaccinate against this cell over-growth would effectively be vaccinating against the recipient’s own body, destroying healthy tissue.

Lung cancer in women rises

Mumbai: If this year’s World No Tobacco Day targeted women and their increasing penchant for smoking, it was with a deadly reason. Lung cancer- the deadliest after-effect of smoking-has been steadily rising among Indian women, show cancer statistics from various parts of the country.

“The increase in incidence of lung cancer among Indian women can be directly attributed to increased smoking,” said Bangalore-based Dr.A. Nandakumar, deputy director-general of ICMR and officer-in-charge of the National Cancer Registry Programme.

Dr.Surendra Shastri, who heads the preventive oncology department at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, said the increasing trend of lung cancer among Indian women was noticed almost eight years ago.”An increase in lung cancer indicates that smoking of cigarette is on the rise as against bidis (bidi smoking, unlike cigarettes, is restricted to the oral cavity),” he said.

The cancer to me, “Time Trends in Cancer Incidence Rates (1982-2005),’ brought out by the ICMR last year proved beyond doubt that the Indian woman is falling prey to lung cancer. The ICMR report – a compilation from various cancer registered across the country-showed that Bangalore had 1.2 new cases of lung cancer among women per 1 lakh population in 1082. In 2005, this number stood at 2.6. Chennai saw a jump from 1.1 in 1982 to 3.6 in 2005, while Delhi’s incidence rose from 2.6 in 1988 to 3.6 cases in 2005. Incidentally, Mumbai emerged as an exception with the incidence falling from 3.2 in 1982 to 2.7 in 2005.

“Earlier, it was felt that passive smoking was the cause of lung cancer among women, but the increasing incidence shows that active smoking is the cause,” said Nandakumar. Shastri cited the example of the US, where it is lung cancer and not breast cancer that is the leading cause of all cancer deaths. Last week, a study released by the Tata Memorial Hospital showed that smoking among call centre employees, especially women, was on the rise.

There also is the data released by the “Tobacco Atlas’, which was published by the American Cancer Society last year. India stands third among the top 20 women smoking populations across the globe.

NEW THERAPY FOR CANCER PATIENTS

Tata Memorial Hospital acquires the Rs. 15-crore tomotherapy machine that targets only malignant cells and does not affect non-malignant tissues.

There is a good news for cancer patients suffering from multiple tumours. The Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Parel has acquired tomotherapy machine worth Rs. 15 crore which change the way oncologists in India treat cancer patients with multiple tumours.

Dr.S.K. Shrivastav, head of the department of radiation oncology, TMH said,”It directs radiation to destroy only malignant cells and does not affect non-malignant tissue.” Tomotherapy is an upgraded version of radiation therapy.

COST FACTOR

Senior doctors from TMH said that they would charge economically for the treatment. “The cost for tomotherapy treatment will be around Rs. 80,000 but the same treatment costs Rs. 5 lakh in Singapore, which is the nearest treatment centre for Indians.”

Explaining the functioning of the machine Dr. Shrivastav said, “We take a computed tomography (CT) scan report of patients and feed it to the computer attached to the tomotherapy machine.” After adjusting the radiation according to tumour size, the patients are guided inside the machine and CT scans are taken again. These are then matched with earlier images. Once satisfied with the results. “We then start the radiation process. It targets only malignant tumours and leaves normal tissue untouched,” Dr. Shrivastav said.

MIRACLE MACHINE

A thin beam rotates around the patient’s body from many directions, while the stretcher moves into the machine. This effectively results in thousands of little beams of different intensities entering the body, converging on the tumours. A very powerful multiple-processor computer calculates the treatment plans and co-ordinates treatment delivery.

“Due to this new method, we not only provide the radiation to the patient but we protect normal tissue. If normal tissue is affected by radiation it can create multiple problems like ulcers and diarrhea,” said Dr. Shrivastav.

Around 70 per cent cancer patients have to undergone radiation therapy.

Tomotherapy will be useful in treating multiple tumours in one region of the body or several regions. The machine can provide the different dosages in the affected areas as per requirement. It can treat both, big and small tumours.

Generally, Tele cobalt and liner accelerator machines are used in radiation therapy. Dr. Shrivastav said that these machines are also safe.”But compared to earlier methods of radiation, tomotherapy treatment gives 90-95 per cent better result,” he claimed.

Citing an example, he said, “If we are treating a throat tumour we can avoid radiation to the salivary glands. Similarly, we can treat the spinal bone and avoid radiation to the spinal cord.”

Ray of hope for cancer victims

USING TWO opposite strategies, one focused and one broad, scientists say they have made progress in taming two of the most intractable types of cancer.

The focused approach shrank tumors significantly in a majority of patients with advanced lung cancer marked by a specific genetic abnormality. “This is a phenomenal example of finding the right patient and the right drug very early on,” said Dr Pasi A Janne of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who was involved in the trial.

The broader strategy uses a drug that could potentially become a universal treatment for all types of cancer. It works by releasing a brake on the body’s immune system, letting the immune system attack the cancer more vigorously.

In a study of patients who had advanced melanoma, those who got an experimental drug lived a median of about 10 months, compared with 6.4 months for those in a control group. After two years, about 23% of those who got the drug were alive, compared with 14% in the control group.

Lung cancer and melanoma are among the hardest cancers to treat. So the studies are being viewed as significant advances, though far from cures.

Dr.Steven J.O’Day of the Angeles Clinic and Research Institute in Santa Monica, California, a lead investigator in the melanoma trial, called the result “historic”, and added, This is the first randomized placebo-controlled trial ever to show a survival benefit in Stage 4 melanoma.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb, which sponsored the trial, is planning to apply for regulatory approval to sell the drug, ipilimumab.

The lung cancer drug, by contrast, blocks an aberrant protein called ALK that is found in only about 5% of non-small-cell lung tumors. But in patients whose tumors have this aberration, the drug seems to work wonders. The tumors shrank significantly in 57% of the 82 patients, and they remained stable in 30% more.

Beverly Sotir, 71, of Belmont, Massachsetts, who has been taking the pills as part of the trial since July, said her tumors had shrunk without debilitating side effects.”For someone who’s been on chemo before, this is like a miracle drug,” she said. “You feel yourself. You look yourself.”

Pfizer, which sponsored the study, has started a more definitive trial aimed at winning approval of the drug, crizotinib.

There are caveats. The effects of crizotinib can wear off, though 72% of the patients in the trial were free of cancer progression for six months.

As for the melanoma drug because it removes checks on the immune system, 10% to 15% of patients who took it in the study suffered severe side effects because their immune systems attacked their own organs. Seven patients out of 549 who got ipilimumab died from these immune effects, according to a report of the study published online Saturday by The New England Journal of Medicine.

Efforts to harness the immune system to fight cancer have suffered setback after setback. Because tumor cells are mutated forms of the body’s own cells, not an invading pathogen, they do not usually elicit a strong immune response.

But the Food and Drug Administration this year approved a “cancer vaccine” for prostate cancer called Provenge, so-called because it trains the immune system to attack the patient’s tumors. Most such vaccines focus on a single type of cancer, or are even tailored to individual patients.

Ipilimumab, by contrast, is a more general immune booster. It blocks a protein called CTLA-4 that acts as a brake on T cells, the soldiers of the immune system. It is already also being tested against lung and prostate cancer.

Still, if a tumor does not elicit a strong immune response to begin with, then just keeping the response going longer would not help much, just as lifting one’s foot from the brake usually will not make a car go faster if the accelerator is not pressed.

In at least one other melanoma trial, conventional chemotherapy drugs achieved median survival of about 10 months, the same as ipilimumab.

Dr.Charles M.Balach, a melanoma expert at Johns Hopkins who was not involved in the trial, called the results “ a single, not a home run,” though he added that for this disease even a single was important.

About 68,000 Americans are expected to get melanoma this year, with 8,700 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. The numbers have been increasing, probably because of sun exposure decades ago

The trial involved 676 patients in the United States and 12 other countries with previously treated metastatic melanoma. They received either ipilimumab or an experimental cancer vaccine or both. Those who got ipillimumab alone did as well as those who got both, suggesting the vaccine had little effect.

Dr Petra Rietschel of the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cancer Care in the Bronx said melanoma experts were equally or even more excited about a drug being developed by Plexxikon and Roche that blocks a particular protein called B-RAF that is aberrant in more than half of all cases of the disease.

That is similar to the approach of crizotinib, Pfizer’s lung cancer drug. They are part of a trend to genetically analyze a patient’s tumor and find drugs that block the particular genetic anomaly that drive that tumor’s growth.

Pfizer developed crizotinib to block another protein called MET. The fact that the drug also blocked ALK was considered unimportant.

But in 2007, after the clinical trial had started, Dr.Hiroyuki Mano and colleagues at Jichi Medical University in Japan reported that in a small number of lung cancers, there was a chromosome translocation that brought the gene for ALK together with the gene for another protein called EML4. That created a fusion protein that spurred tumor growth. Mano had discovered this by systematically testing all the active genes in a tumor removed from a lung cancer patient.

Pfizer turned on a dime and began enrolling lung cancer patients with this fusion protein in the trial. Japanese patients began flying to South Korea, the nearest place with trial sites.

Mano said the first Japanese patient who went was so sick-heavily dependent on oxygen tanks and unable to swallow- that he had to be taken to the airport by medical helicopter and met by an ambulance at the airport in Seoul.

Two weeks later, Mano said, he went to Seoul to check on the patient. The man no longer needed oxygen and was walking in the neighborhood each day looking for good restaurants. The patient returned to Japan and lived for several more months.

Scientists said the ALK gene aberration tends to be more frequent in younger patients and nonsmokers. Experts say that even though the drug might be useful for only 5% of non-small-cell lung cancer patients, that would still be about, 10,000 people a year in the United States and 40,000 worldwide.

Finding drugs for each subset of tumors will take years. And cancers can mutate and become resistant to drugs blocking particular abnormalities.

Dr.James Allison who paved the way for ipilimumab with work he did at the University of California, Berkeley, said the immune therapies might be helped by such mutations. So the targeted drugs and the immune boosting ones might work best together.

“It’s the ultimate personalized treatment for cancer,” said Allison, who is now chairman of immunology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

“CARCTOL” all set to reach cancer patients

Inventor of Anti-Cancer Durg”CARCTOL”, Dr.Nandlal Tiwari, has pledged to “make the world cancer free” and to attain this mission, he is promoting cancer treatment clinics both in India and abroad. In a candid interview, not only does he motivate his patients to fight strongly against cancer but also throws light on his future plans.

How useful could herbs be in a disease like cancer?

I believe cancer as a worldwide terror is simpler to manage than common cold & cough provided it is managed at the right time. The eight herbs that I used in ‘CARCTOL’ are very effective in fighting cancer and I am using ‘CARCTOL’ for the last 30 years in the management of all types of cancer. Countries like USA are spreading their wings on my herbal therapy which I discovered 30 years ago and experts have confirmed these herbs to be ANTI-CANCER agents. I have been to England, Germany, Belgium and Durban etc. several times for management of cancer patients. The prestigious institutes like TATA Memorial Cancer Hospital-Mumbai, the AIIMS-Delhi & other prestigious hospitals from India as well as USA & U.K. have referred their terminal stage patients to me who have in turn been successfully managed. A social organization form London has picturised a film on my therapy whereas a 30 minutes live interview has been telecasted by Asia TV.

How effective is CARCTOL on cancer?

Initially patients on ‘CARCTOL’ start reflecting symptomatic improvement, later on after some months, they get complete relief verified by relevant medical reports, and there remains hardly any chance of re-occurrence if all patients follow our directions strictly.

Is the drug prepared by you absolutely safe for human consumption?

This medicine is tested to be safe and free of toxicity or side effects by the pharmacology deptt. Of AIIMS, New Delhi and Lyne, Martine & Radford, London.’CARCTOL” enjoys patents and copyrights in 180 countries.

Along with benefitting on cancer, does ‘CARCTOL’ help in reducing side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy?

Many cancer consultants(oncologists)have used ‘CARCTOL’ to reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Dr. Sunil Chakoo from Canada comments,”I used ‘CARCTOL’ along with chemotherapy and was amazed that patients had no side effects of chemotherapy”. Dr. Suresh Regmi, Senior Oncologist, Govt hospital, Nepal also tried ‘CARCTOL’ along with chemotherapy on some patients. He comments- “I was overwhelmed to see that most of my patients had no side effects of chemotherapy and their lifestyle was also improved.” Dr. Regmi is now regularly using ‘CARCTOL’ on most of his cancer patients.

What are your future plans?

I wish no one to die of cancer and that the herbal drug ‘CARCTOL’ discovered by me should reach every section of society so that a common man gets benefited by its positive effects. To accomplish my mission, I am now promoting Jeevan Cancer Chikitsa Kendra, an ayurvedic specialty global chain of cancer treatment clinic in all states of India and other countries as well. To attain our mission, our mission successfully we are in process of collaborating with reputed doctors and hospitals to establish branches of JCCK across the globe

For the first time we have the power to eradicate a cancer

Every fourth woman with cervical cancer is Indian. Some 1,30,000 are diagnosed and 74,000 die of it every year. This despite it having a known primary cause, the human papilloma virus, HPV, and being preventable. Qiagen NV, makers of the ‘gold standard’ Digene HPV test, joined hands with Kolkata’s Chittaranjan National Cancer Insitute to launch the first, large-scale cervical cancerscreening programme in April 2009. Peer Schatz, Qiagen’s 40-something CEO, spoke to Bachi Karkaria at the pathsetting Women Deliver conference in Washington. DC:

What makes the Digene HPV the ‘gold standard’?


The technology plus the validation. The test is robust yet clinically sensitive in identifying the true disease. The HPV is a complex virus, there are 100 different types, of which over 13 are known to lead to cancer. The others result merely in ‘the flu of the cervix’. Our test filters out the not-wanted information and zeroes in on the target. In screening, you want to identify the most at risk. Validation is equally important. Ours is the only HPV test so fully endorsed by dozens of big clinical studies.

What is the care HPV test?


It is a simple, digital, objective test we developed in collaboration with PATH, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gets Foundation. It can be operated by a healthcare worker with minimal lab training; performed where there is no running water or mains electricity; samples can also be self collected which is critical in the context of cultural barriers; and results are available within two-and –a-half hours, so precancerous lesions can be treated during the same visit. In 2009, a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that in low-resource settings, a single round of HPV testing significantly reduced the number of advanced cervical cancers and deaths compared with Pap testing (cytology) or the common visual inspection with acetic acid(VIA).

The HPV test is prognostic, showing the likelihood of the disease developing, so it is highly effective in a risk management strategy. The Pap test is diagnostic, and needs very skilled technicians to ‘read’ the cell structure and decide if it cancerous. But, just as wi-fi leapfrogged over the limitations of landline, HPV testing can bypass the shortcomings of conventional test. Where the Pap system is established, it is difficult; but where it’s not so entrenched, you can jump in afresh. From the public health perspective, you could get better cervical cancer care in rural India than in Frankfurt, Germany.

So what happens after the Screening?


High specificity allows a woman to go home assured that she doesn’t have cervical cancer. She can have a single test at a certain age, and repeat it at intervals of 18 months to three years because HPV is a slowly integrating virus. Early detection of it having advanced to the cancerous stage means, after confirmatory colonoscopy, you chemo, or radical hysterectomy depending on its advance. With the combined onslaught of a vaccine and screening, for the first time we have the opportunity to eliminate a cancer.

What are the lessons form your experience?


You need ongoing commitment from politician,s health and research departments and the local clinical community. Two, it’s not true that women ‘can’t handle’ information about this sexually transmitted virus. They do, provided there’s the right education and sensitizing. Then, it creates a net work of awareness.

Now, a Single saliva test that can detect a bunch of cancers.


Tokyo: Japanese and US universities have jointly developed a medical technique that can quickly detect various cancers using a simple saliva test, researchers said on Tuesday.

Japan’s Keio University and University of California, Los Angeles, have developed the technology with which they detected high probabilities of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and oral cancer.

The researchers analysed saliva samples of 215 people, including cancer patients, and identified 54 substances whose presence can be identified 54 substances whose presence can be used to detect the disease, Keio University said in a statement. By further analyzing the substances, the test detected 99% of pancreatic cancer cases, 95% of breast cancer and 80% of oral cancer cases among those taking part, it said.

The cancer test would take half a day at the longest, the researchers said. “Saliva can be sampled more easily and casually than blood or stool inspection,” said institute head Masaru Tomita in the Statement.

Rejigging nerves could restore bladder control

Chinese Doctor To Visit Mumbai To Perform Revolutionary Operation.

Mumbai: For ten Mumbaikars and their families, Christmas week will hold a special hope. A Chinese surgeon, who is making waves in the world of medicine, is coming to town to operate on these Mumbaikars who are patients of spinal deformities and other problems.

Dr. Xiao Chuanguo’s technique fixes a basic problem, which is also one of the most worrisome and embarrassing problems for patients with spinal trouble-control over the urinary bladder. He offers hope to patients with paralysed bladders . Instead of using a diaper or the intricate catheterization procedure to empty out their bladders at regular intervals, these 10 handpicked patients-eight paediatric and two adult-may soon be able to pass urine normally.

The families will have to wait for six to 10 months before the mini-miracle of sorts is possible: Dr. Xaio’s ‘rewiring’ of nerves means that patients just have to stretch their thigh to make the bladder respond. “Dr Xiao has reported 90% success in the 1,500 patients he has operated on so far. Many of these were those rendered paraplegic in last year’s earthquake in China,’ says Dr. Amrish Vaidhya, paediatric surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hopsital (KDAH), Andheri, who convinced Dr. Xiao to come to Mumbai after hearing him at a surgery meet in Detroit last year. The special five-day camp for the procedure-which is still in the clinical-trial phase-begins on December 22.

Dr. Ketan Parikh points out that studies in the US have reported lesser success with the Xiao technique.”US doctors have reported 60 to 70% success rates, but the parents we contacted are willing to take the chance to ensure a better life for their children,” says Parikh. There also have been adverse reports about the operation leading to weakness in the leg.

Santa Cruz resident Manisha Parab and her son are among those ready to take the chance. Her 10-year-old son, Nitin, was born with spina bifida ( a neurological condition in which the spinal cord is incomplete). He walks with specially fitted calliphers and uses the catheter every three hours to empty his bladder. “My son is great at studies. We only worry about urine leaks and medication he has to take for bladder control. It be better to have him urinate normally,” says Parab.

Sewri kid Priti, 10, was also born with spina bifida. “She has had three major and three minor operations so far. Considering that girls have issues with using a catheter, we feel it is best to try the procedure,” says her father Dinesh Paint, a civic employee. The fact that the sugery’s expenses are being borne by NGO and KDAH makes it easier, he admits.

Louisana-based neurosurgeon Dr. Ravish Patwardhan, aformer Mumbai boy, has seen the full effect of the Xiao procedure (See, ‘New Sensations’) One of his patients, a seven-year-old girl, who was crippled after she was mistakenly shot in her spine, was operated on by Xiao last year.” I called him to the US and within four months the parents reported that the child had gained bladder control,” says Patwardhan.

Parikh and Vaidya are already planning to make the Xiao procedure a part of their hospital’s offering. “There is, of course, the six-month wait before we know the results of the first surgeries, but it is slowly making its way to various countries, including Australia,” they say.

Suddenly struck by paralysis, chembur boy hopes for operation’s success

Watching his widowed mother struggling to make ends meet, 21-year-old chembur resident Vishal Vasudevan stepped out to look for a job. But he, unfortunately, found himself in Sion hospital with drastic spinal cord injuries and a paralysed frame. In the first week of January, Vishal, who was doing his TYBCom and pursing a computer software course, started looking for a part-time job. On January 8, he lost his balance while hanging out of a train.”I fell near the tracks at Kurla, “ says the wheelchair-bound youth, who has been living with the Paraplegic Foundation near Sion hospital since then.

Life changed completely: he failed his exams but learnt the nuances of living in a wheelchair. He has been most disturbed by his failure to control his bladder and bowel movements. So when doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital visited the foundation to talk about the Xiao procedure, he agreed.

“Even if only my urine condition, and not my full condition, is set right, I’ll feel better,” he says. His mother knows the procedure is still in the clinical-trial phase.” There is a 20% chance it will fail, but what if it works?” she asks with a sad smile. The five-day procedure starts on December-22.

ARTIFICIAL OVARY CREATED

Scientist have created the first artificial human ovary, an advance that provides a means to conduct fertility research and could also yield infertility treatments for cancer patients

Researchers at Brown University have invented the first artificial human ovary and the team has already used the lab-grown organ to mature human eggs. “An ovary is composed of three main cell types, and this is the first time that anyone has created a 3D tissue structure with triple cell line,” said Sandra Carson, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University. Carson is a senior author of a recent article in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics that describes the innovation.

Carson said that the ovary not only provides a living lab for investigating fundamental questions about how healthy ovaries work, but also can act as a testbed for seeing how problems, such as exposures to toxin or other chemicals, can disrupt egg maturation and health.

Clinically, the artificial ovary could pay a role in preserving the fertility of women facing cancer treatment in the future, said Stephan Krotz, a Houston fertility doctor who is the paper’s lead author. Immature eggs could be salvaged and frozen before the onset of chemotherapy or radiation, he said, and then matured outside the patients in the artificial ovary.

BUILDING AN OVARY

What makes the artificial ovary a functional tissue, rather than just a cell culture, is that it brings all three ovarian cell types into a 3D arrangement similar to a real ovary in the body. The means for making such compositions of cells was invented in the lab of Jeffrey Morgan, a co-author of the paper. His so-called 3D Petri dishes are made of a moldable gel that provides a nurturing template to encourage cells to assemble into specific shapes.

To create the ovary, the researchers formed honeycombs of theca cells, one of two key types in the ovary, donated by reproductive-age (24-46) patients. After the theca cells grew into the honeycomb together with human egg cells, known as oocytes. In a couple days the theca cells enveloped the granulosa and eggs, mimicking a real ovary.

The big test, however, was whether the structure could function like an ovary-namely to mature eggs. In experiments the structure was able to nature eggs to full maturity.

Carson said her goal was never to invent an artificial organ, per se, but merely to create a research environment in which she could study how theca and granulosa and oocytes interact. When she learned of Morgan’s 3D Petri dishes, they began to collaborate on creating an organ. Morgan said this is the first fully functional tissue to be made using the method.

Blood test can predict deaith from prostate cancer early

A blood test at the age of 60 can accurately predict the risk of death from prostate cancer within the next 25 years, according to researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, US, and Lund University, Sweden.

The findings have been published in the British Medical Journal, could have important implications for determining which men should be screened after the age of 60 and which may not benefit from continued prostate cancer screening.

The study analysed blood samples from 1,167 men born in 1921 that were collected between 1981 and 1982 as part of the Malmo Preventive Sweden. All men were carefully followed until they had reached age 85 or had reached age 85 or had died. After studying various biomarker, the researchs found that the PSA level was a highly accurate predictor of long-term risk.

PSA testing has been recommended for the early detection of prostate cancer for many years; however this new data suggests a baseline PSA could determine who should and should not continue to be screened for prostate cancer.

“We were hoping to find a new market,” said researchers Andrew Vickers and Hans Lilja. “What we found instead was a new way of using an old test.”

According to the study, 126 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and of those, 90 per cent of deaths occurred in men in the top 25 per cent of PSA levels at age 60. The researchers concluded that men with a high PSA level at age 60 should be considered at increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer and should continue to be screened regularly.

Men with a low PSA level had a 0.2 per cent chance of death from prostate cancer. The researchers concluded that mere with low PSA levels should be considered at low risk of prostate cancer and may not need to be screened in the future.

The study also indicated that some men found to be at low risk may actually have prostate cancer; however 9it is not likely to shorten their life.

“This is a key finding,”said Vickers. “We know that screening detects many prostate cancers thatare not harmful, leading to anxiety and unnecessary treatment. It is our ability to determine the risk of the really aggressive cancers that makes this approach of such great potential value.”.

Daffodils may fight brain cancer:

Scientists have discovered narciclasine, a natural compound found in daffodil bulbs, may be a powerful therapeutic against biologically aggressive forms of human brain cancers. “We are planning to move a narciclasine derivative toward clinical trials in oncology within a tree to four years in order to help patients with brain cancers, including gliomas, as well as brain metastases,” said Robert Kiss, co-author of the study from the Laboratory of Toxicology at the Institute of pharmacy at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

All cancer patients

visiting the center will be treated with Indian System of Medicine Ayurveda Cow Urine Therapy. After studying available reports of cancer patient, one month medicine along with medical consultation will be provided. In the second month, the benefits will be recorded through video shooting, and free medicine will be given after necessary check-up. Likewise, the process of providing free treatment will continue. We also educate and suggest various diets, vegetable and fruits with anti-cancer medicinal value, which are beneficial for cancer patients. We also share information on yoga for cancer patients. With this Indian System of Medicine many patients are benefited. It helps in controlling the further growth of diseases and works on relieving it slowly. Cow urine therapy has proved effective in reducing the suffering of patients affected by various types of cancer, cysts, tumours and neoplasm. It acts as restoratives after severe illness, exhaustion and physical debility during cancer, hence increases life span. It helps in fighting the anaemic conditions. Patient can take cow urine therapy along with allopathy. Cow urine increases efficiency of allopathy and reduces side effects, it has earned USA patent for the sameCCRAS, research wing of AYUSH (Government of India) has researched on herbs for its anti cancer properties and pharmacological activities as per modern science. These herbal extracts which have established anti-cancer properties are processed with cow urine in a ultra modern Ayurvedic pharmaceutical industry.

Cow Urine has been researched and patented for its ability to improve efficacy and absorption of anti cancer drugs of modern medicine (allopath) and herbal extract. Hence our Ayurveda medicines made of cow urine and herbal extracts are effective for Cancer.

Cancer patients who were treated by modern medicines, yet no results were obtained and a life expectancy of 6, 8 or 12 months was given. Further told now there is no treatments possible! Such patients were treated by Ayurvedic Cow Urine Therapy. There life expectancy which was told to be 6 - 12 months improved to 4 - 6 years and lived a good quality of life. Patients taking treatment with faith and confidence are received good results.

A study conducted on 504 male and 302 female patients who were suffering from different types of cancer resulted in about 73.3 percent relief in physical sufferings.

Cancer Care



Cow urine therapy has proved effective in reducing the suffering of patients affected by various types of cancer, cysts, tumours and neoplasm. The clinical studies have shown that our products help get relief from the following diseases:
  • 1) Breast Cancer
  • 2) Cervical/ Cervix Cancer
  • 3) Ovarian Cancer
  • 4) Blood Cancer CLL, ALL and CML
  • 5) Leukemia
  • 6) Lymphoma
  • 7) Multiple Myloma
  • 8) Bone Cancer
  • 9) Oral Cancer
  • 10) Mouth Cancer
  • 11) Tounge Cancer
  • 12) Thyroid Cancer
  • 13) Throat Cancer
  • 14) Larynx Cancer
  • 15) Brain Cancer / Brain Tumor
  • 16) Colorectal Cancer
  • 17) Esophagus Cancer
  • 18) Skin Cancer
  • 19) Stomach Cancer
  • 20) Prostate Cancer
  • 21) Renal Cell Carcinoma/ Kidney Cancer
  • 22) Sarcoma
  • 23) Submucous fibrosis
  • 24) Urinary Bladder Cancer
  • 25) Prostate Cancer
  • 26) Kidney Cancer
  • 27) Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • 28) Liver Cancer
  • 29) Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • 30) Blastoma
  • 31) Anal Cancer
  • 32) Capillary Heamenjioma
  • 33) Gall Bladder Cancer
  • 34) Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • 35) Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
The ingredients used in our products have the following therapeutic qualities
  • 1) Anti-tumour qualities, which help prevent development of tumours.
  • 2) Help reduce inflammation and thus the pain.
  • 3) Act as antioxidants, which protect your cells against the effects of free radicals that damage body cells.
  • 4) Act as analgesics and help patient get relief from pain
  • 5) Reduce body temperature if the patient has fever.
  • 6) Anti-spasmodic qualities: Help suppress involuntary contraction of muscles and organs.
  • 7) Help combat the growth of neoplasm/tumors.
  • 8) Act as stress busters
  • 9) Have anti-bacterial qualities, which help suppress the bacterial growth in the human body or the affected part.
  • 10) Act as an immuno-stimulator, which helps boost the immune system.

Sri Chandanmal Bothra Charitable Medical Center



Consultation on Appointment only. Presence of patient and reports is mandatory for Free treatment.

All cancer patients visiting the center will be treated with Indian System of Medicine Ayurveda Cow Urine Therapy. After studying available reports of cancer patient, one month medicine along with medical consultation will be provided. In the second month, the benefits will be recorded through video shooting, and free medicine will be given after necessary check-up. Likewise, the process of providing free treatment will continue. We also educate and suggest various diets, vegetable and fruits with anti-cancer medicinal value, which are beneficial for cancer patients. We also share information on yoga for cancer patients.

With this Indian System of Medicine many patients are benefited. It helps in controlling the further growth of diseases and works on relieving it slowly. Cow urine therapy has proved effective in reducing the suffering of patients affected by various types of cancer, cysts, tumours and neoplasm. It acts as restoratives after severe illness, exhaustion and physical debility during cancer, hence increases life span. It helps in fighting the anaemic conditions. Patient can take cow urine therapy along with allopathy. Cow urine increases efficiency of allopathy and reduces side effects, it has earned USA patent for the same.

Cancer medication as low as Rs 1,000/month on way



  • MUMBAI: It's widely known that a month's dose of cancer drugs can cost lakhs, but what isn't common knowledge is that Tata Memorial Hospital's doctors are working on alternatives that could cost less than Rs 1,000 a month.
  • Dubbed the metronomic treatment protocol, it comprises daily consumption of a combination of low-dose medicines that are cheap because they have been around for decades. "There is no need to worry about patents or recovery of billions spent on research,'' said Dr Shripad Banavali, head of the medical oncology department of Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, who has been working on the low-dose-low-cost therapies
  • His colleague, Dr Surendra Shastri sums up the mood well: "The metronomics experiment is path-breaking in terms of providing good quality and affordable cancer care for a majority of the over 10 lakh cancer cases diagnosed in India each year.'' These findings could revolutionize cancer care in most developing countries, he said.
  • The catch is, however, that this branch is still in research stage. The conventional cancer treatment comprising chemotherapy is given at "maximum tolerated doses" which are tested and have reams of research to back it. As against this, in metronomic therapies, the drugs are given at very low doses. "But side-effects are fewer and patients have a good quality of life,'' said Dr Banavali.
  • The word metronomics is borrowed from music; musicians use the metronome to mark time and hence rhythm. Patients are asked to take these medicines for a period of 21 days or more before taking a break of a week; such a cycle continues for months.
  • Dr Banavali's work has been published in the May issue of the medical journal Lancet Oncology. Thousands of patients have been on metronomic treatment in Tata Memorial Hospital as well as its rural centre, with a sizeable number managing to control the growth of cancer. "In India, the main challenge in cancer is not just finding cures, but to develop affordable treatments'' he said.
  • In fact, the metronomic work arose out of such cost concerns over a decade back. The Tata doctors found that many patients were lost to treatment because they were overwhelmed by the cost of medicines. "Moreover, many patients came so late for treatment that we had to turn them away without any medicines,'' said Dr Banavali. Instead of turning away such patients, the Tata team decided to adopt the metronomic treatment as palliative treatment that was being tested out in various parts of the world. "We gave them drugs that would help in pain or at least ensure that their case doesn't worsen," he adds.
  • But the results surprised them. In a large group of children with blood cancers called acute myeloid leukemia (AML), they found that metronomic maintenance treatment had helped increased survival rate to 67%. The group then started its own innovation, going ahead of the rest of the world. "The West used the same set of medicines for all forms of cancer, but we introduced personalised medicines for various types of cancers,'' said Dr Banavali.

Cancer, diabetes, hypertension LARGEST CAUSE OF DEATH



Lifestyle-related diseases are now killing more Indians than the infectious ones. India's disease pattern has undergone a major shift over the past decade, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The latest WHO data paints a worrying picture. At present, out of every 10 deaths in India, eight are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes in urban India. In rural India, six out of every 10 deaths is caused by NCDs.

Similar is the trend in the Southeast Asian region. While NCD deaths have seen a 21% jump, infectious diseases deaths have fallen by 17%. The projection is that the South-east Asian region will have the greatest total number of NCD deaths in 2020: 10.4 million.

Speaking to TOI, Dr Nata Menabde, WHO representative to India, said: "Globally, 60% of the deaths are now caused by NCDs. Similar are the numbers in India. NCDs are affecting the entire globe. If not controlled, they will become a tsunami that will not only kill people but impair development and crash economies."

Shocked by the alarming spike in NCDs, India is launching a comprehensive national programme to prevent and control these. Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said: "The programme will be rolled out during the 12th Plan period starting 2012. It will cover all 640 districts. The programme will focus on health promotion, prevention of exposure to risk factors, early diagnosis, treatment of NCDs and rehabilitation."

Calling for urgent action to check the rise in NCDs, mental health issues and injuries which account for twothird of the country's total disease burden, Azad said: "India with an estimated 5.1 crore diabetics has the world's second largest diabetic population following China. Unless effective measures are taken, India may have 8 crore diabetics by 2030. Similarly, the number of people affected by cardio-vascular diseases which was about 3.8 crore in 2005 may go up to 6.4 crore by 2015."

The UN has taken note of the NCD menace. After the 2001 UN summit on HIV that made the world come together to fight the deadly AIDS virus, this September, NCDs are set to receive a similar push in New York.

To be attended by the who's who, including PM Manmohan Singh, the historic UN General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs on September 19 and 20 will decide how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, which together cause 8 million deaths worldwide, annually.

A ministry official said: "Till now, programmes to combat NCDs which cause 60% of all deaths were tremendously under funded. NCDs also remained a low priority and not included in the Millennium Development Goals. The high-level meetings running up to the UN NCD summit should change that."

Cardiovascular diseases will be the largest cause of death and disability in India by 2020, WHO says. It is estimated that the overall prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart diseases (IHD) and stroke is 62.47, 159.46, 37.00 and 1.54 respectively per 1,000 population of India. Additionally, there are around 25 lakh cancer cases in India.

Calling it "an impending disaster for many countries - a disaster for health, for society and national economies," WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan said: "Chronic NCDs deliver a two-punch blow to development. They cause billions of dollars in losses of national income, and push millions of people below the poverty line, each and every year."

According to a recent report, each year NCDs cause more than 9 million deaths before the age of 60 years. They also kill at a younger age in countries like India where 29% of NCD deaths occur among people under 60, compared to 13% in high-income countries.

Dr Ala Alwan, WHO's assistant director-general for NCDs said: "About 30% of people dying from NCDs are under 60 and in their most productive period of life. These premature deaths are largely preventable." Without action, the NCD epidemic is projected to kill 52 million people annually by 2030, Dr Alwan added."

Approximately 44% of all NCD deaths occur before 70. In countries like India, a higher proportion (48%) of all NCD deaths occur in people under the age of 70, compared with high-income countries (26%). Cardiovascular diseases were responsible for the largest proportion of NCD deaths under 70 (39%), followed by cancers (27%). Chronic respiratory diseases and digestive diseases were together responsible for 30% of deaths while diabetes was responsible for 4% of deaths.

Pvt hosps add cancer care centres


Unlike In The Past, Hosp Management No Longer See Treating Cancer As Financially Unfeasible

TIMES NEWS NETWORK



Mumbai: If one needed a signal to indicate that cancer cases are on the rise, here it is: the number of hospitals adding a dedicated cancer centre or acquiring a high-end cancerous cell-busting technology is steadily going up. The thumb rule about more demand creating better supply has never seemed scarier.

On Wednesday, Fortis Hospital in Mulund inaugurated a cancer wing to provide all forms of treatment—medical, surgical and radiation—under one roof. “There was a need for such a comprehensive centre in the eastern suburbs,” said Fortis Hospital consultant Dr Boman Dhabar.

A couple of months ago, Jupiter Hospital in neighbouring Thane city opened an economy ward for needy cancer patients. In Andheri, Kokilaben Hospital has been steadily acquiring high-end radiation devices, while Hirananandani Hospital in Powai has announced a tie-up with a group of oncologists. A group of India-born doctors from the Albert Einstien Centre in New York, who want to relocate to India, will provide cancer therapy at the Powai Hospital, which will add a radiation centre next month and a bone marrow transplant centre in December. A 100-bed cancer hospital is coming up in Malad and some of the new hospitals in the western suburbs too are busy upgrading their cancer care.

So, why the spurt in activity? Until a decade ago, cancer care was restricted to the public sector hospitals. One reason is the growing incidence of cancer. "Ten years back, we got 25,000 new registrations every year. Now the number stands at 47,000," said Dr Surendra Shastri of Tata Memorial Hospital. As cancer is a lifestyle disease, the changing patterns of diet and exercise in India could be the cause, say doctors.

According to Dr Sujit Chaterjee, CEO of Hiranandani Hospital, "India has a high population, and any variation translates into huge numbers. So, any change in cancer patterns means huge numbers. Moreover, main hospitals like Tata Memorial Hospital are feeling the pressure."

Vishal Bali, CEO of the Fortis group of Hospitals, cites three reasons for the sudden spurt. "Until recently, cancer was associated with high mortality rates. But now we have better treatment modalities with better survival rates. So, people don't mind spending on cancer treatment. Moreover, Indians can afford more now than a decade back," he said. Further, private hospitals have now managed to work out a better viability pattern for cancer care. "Cancer is the most cost-intensive speciality. So, hospitals have to work out special viability modes, added Bali.

However, some like cancer specialist Dr P Jagannath from Lilavati Hospital in Bandra feel that instead of hospitals springing up randomly, there should be a combined approach to combat cancer. "Instead of five hospitals setting up radiation facilities that are cost-intensive, they could instead share one facility. This is more cost-effective for all and, more so, for the patients."

Indian wins US cash grant for cancer treatment device



  • 1) Cytotron, a therapeutic device to treat cancer, has been awarded a cash grant of a quarter million dollars by the US government.
  • 2) The device known as Cytotron, developed by Indian scientist Dr Rajah Vijay Kumar, received the funding under the US Government's Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project, which targets activities to treat cancer and improve drug targeting and delivery.
  • 3) The device helps a protein called p53 to kill the potential cancer-causing cells at the right time and no side effects has been found in conventional treatments for cancer.
  • 4) "Cancer is like a terrorist. Earlier , they were normal cells, which go haywire. All cells are programmed to die after some period . And when this doesn't happen , we call it Cancer," Dr Rajah Vijay Kumar, chief scientific officer at Scalene Cybernetics, an Indian Technology company, said.
  • 5) Mr Kumar said that Cytotron can not only treat cancer, but also has the potential to treat diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. "Currently, there is no stand alone, whole body, multi-organ suitable therapeutic device in the market," he said.
  • 6) The device is also registered with ClinicalTrials.gov for a clinical trial of multiple Sclerosis. The clinical trials for Cancer and Osteoarthritis have been successfully completed at the Centre for Advanced Research and Development (CARD), the research and development wing of Scalene Cybernetics.
  • 7) "This grant provides longawaited validation and acceptance from key opinion leaders and medical fraternity," said Professor Meena Augustus, executive vice-president and chief scientific officer for Shreis-Scalene Sciences, a company formed by the US-based Shreis Cardiotech and Scalene Cybernetics to bring the Cytotron to the US, Canadian and South American markets.
  • 8) The device, which is already treating patients from India and other neighbouring countries, is now poised for entry into North and South America, the Caribbean and Mexico, following the USFDA and Health Canada-mandated clinical trials. The commercialisation potential of this technology which I have got patented runs into millions of dollars in markets such as the Europe and America," said Mr Kumar, who started to work on Cytotron in 1987, but had to slow down due to lack of resources.

Cost of cancer drugs to drop 50%



Mumbai: A host of drugs will become cheaper following a notification issued by the NPPA.The national list of essential medicines includes anti-fungal,anti-tuberculosis,anti-leprosy,anti-hypertension and cancer drugs.Once implemented,it will result in prices of drugs coming down by nearly 15-20% on an average.

The changes in prices will be effective after 45 days from the date of issue (of the NPPA notification) to allow the trade to liquidate stocks with existing prices and give time to manufacturers to revise the prices on packs.Over the next few weeks,the NPPA will issue ceiling prices,capping more drugs according to the policy.This was the first notification issued by the NPPA.

According to the NPPA notification,prices of popular pain and fever medicine paracetamol will go down by nearly 40%,antibiotics (azithromycin) by 40%, cardiac drugs (losartan and atorvastatin) by 45%.Cancer medicines,which are the one of most expensive therapies,will drop by up to 50%.For instance,the NPPA has fixed the ceiling price of doxorubicin 50 ml injection,used in cancer,at Rs 1,145,50% cheaper.

The government notified the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013 on May 15, replacing the 1995 order, which empowers the NPPA to issue ceiling prices of 348 essential drugs, while the existing policy controls only 74 bulk drugs. The policy was cleared by the Cabinet in November last year, but was delayed due to the absence of the DPCO being issued.

This is the first set of ceiling prices issued by NPPA for 151 drugs, more will follow over next few weeks.Also,in a separate notification,prices of insulin manufactured by domestic companies were also capped.The DPCO 2013 will regulate prices of drug formulations on the basis of a market-based mechanism, as against a cost-based system which existed till now.

Manufacturers will have to reduce the prices where they are selling the drug more than the ceiling price fixed by the regulator,while those priced below the cap,would not be allowed to hike prices.

The scope of the policy is around 18-20 % of the Rs 72,000 crore pharmaceutical market;coupling it with the existing medicines already under price control,the coverage increases to around 30%.

Soon, tailor-made cancer care



WASHINGTON: In what could soon improve cancer survival rates, scientists have achieved success in whole-genome sequencing, a high-tech process which has opened the way for personalised treatments for patients.

According to two new studies, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the first clinical applications of whole-genome sequencing in cancer patients showed that customised treatments can help the sufferers Whole-genome sequencing, which maps a person's DNA and analyses it for mutations, enables "us to screen a much larger number of tumours and correlate them with the outcome of the patient", said Boris Pasche, deputy director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

"So it is very likely that our targeted therapy is going to be exploding in the next decade," he said. "In patients with breast cancer , colon cancer and gastric cancer , we have specific approaches for tumours that exhibit certain genetic abnormalities."

In one study, Pasche said, a patient with leukaemia had a poor prognosis, but through sequencing , this patient was found to have a gene that showed they would react favourably with a different therapy than originally recommended . "If patients have certain genes, they may not respond to certain treatments. But whole-genome sequencing gives a full picture of the genetic make-up of the tumour and the patient, and it may allow the physician to target a new treatment."

Pasche said the unbiased picture of the sequenced DNA enables physicians to look at tumours in a way not possible previously. Even when the technology finally was available, it was too expensive.

Now, the cost to sequence a patient's entire genome and the genome of their tumour is down by more than 100 fold, but still ranges from $30,000 to $40,000. "Prices are dropping rapidly; in 10 years, it will cost less than $10,000, and it will be more affordable in the next five years," said Pasche.

fight the disease significantly , compared to the standard therapies used for all.

Catch Cancer



OUR COMMAND: Scientists develop a handheld device that can detect cancers in one hour with 96 per cent accuracy

RELATED STORIES



The first step in treating cancer is to catch the disease early. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult step. The standard method is to take a tissue sample and put it under a microscope, but this method works only if we have a suspect in the first place and needs skilled pathologists. You could also take the patient’s blood and screen it for many known markers, but they may give false alarms and so are not definitive tests. Now, there is hope for cancer patients: many new-generation tests based on nanotechnology are about to make their way into the market.

Here are two examples. Scientists from the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed a handheld device that can detect gastric cancers in one hour with 96 per cent accuracy. This is not unlike the tissue sampling method, but the difference is the increased accuracy due to automation involved. At the University of California in Los Angeles, scientists are using nanotechnology to identify and collect circulating tumour cells that play a major role in the metastasis - spreading of the disease in the body - of cancer. Both results were published early this week.

The Harvard group developed a microchip that contains a solution with magnetic nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are designed to bind to 11 proteins commonly found in gastric cancers. The microchip is connected to a smartphone that has the software to analyse results of the binding quickly. The more the kind of proteins that bind, the higher the accuracy of the system, but just four bound proteins are enough to give an accuracy of 96 per cent. This is better than human examination of the tissue as it eliminates human errors.

In the future, cancer diagnostics will be based on identifying proteins in the tissue or blood, but the technology is still in the development stage. It is important to automate these methods to enable ease of use and to eliminate human error. The device also needs to be portable because proteins start degrading after one hour of the removal of the tissue from the body. The Harvard method is a good idea in this sense because the test can be done by the patient’s bedside. The technology is useful in detecting proteins involved in other diseases as well, and the scientists are already developing it for TB and ovarian cancer.

Circulating tumour cells (CTC) have been known for at least 100 years, but they pose more questions than answers. For example, we do not know at what stage of cancer they start circulating in the blood. But we do know that they are involved in some way in the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. They are also considered to be good indicators of the progress of treatment. But identifying CTCs is a major problem because they are so few in number.

Nanotechnology-based tests are a generation ahead of the current approved test. Scientists from the University of California used a micro-chip with a nanotechnology-based ‘Velcro’ that can identify and gather CTCs. However, this team is only one of the many in the world developing such technology. Two other teams are in Louisiana State University and MGH. Nanotech-based cancer diagnostics is becoming a hot area attracting the attention of investors. Women who are obese face an increased risk of developing an aggressive sub-type of breast cancer known as 'basal-like', scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have found. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that obesity radically alters the cellular microenvironment of mammary glands in ways favourable to the growth of basal-like tumours. The basal-like subtype, an aggressive form of breast cancer, is found in 15 to 20 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer, with a high percentage of cases found among young and African-American women. Women diagnosed with the basal-like subtype often have a poor prognosis and cannot be treated with hormonal and targeted therapies. A team led by Liza Makowski, assistant professor with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Sneha Sundaram, a post-doctoral fellow in the Makowski Lab, outlined the biological mechanisms where obesity can create a favourable environment for the growth of basal-like breast cancer tumours.

Obese women at higher risk of breast cancer



Women who are obese face an increased risk of developing an aggressive sub-type of breast cancer known as 'basal-like', scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have found.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that obesity radically alters the cellular microenvironment of mammary glands in ways favourable to the growth of basal-like tumours.
The basal-like subtype, an aggressive form of breast cancer, is found in 15 to 20 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer, with a high percentage of cases found among young and African-American women.
Women diagnosed with the basal-like subtype often have a poor prognosis and cannot be treated with hormonal and targeted therapies. A team led by Liza Makowski, assistant professor with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Sneha Sundaram, a post-doctoral fellow in the Makowski Lab, outlined the biological mechanisms where obesity can create a favourable environment for the growth of basal-like breast cancer tumours.
"Obesity is widespread and is one of the few risk factors for breast cancer that we may be able to control, hence our intention in this study was to better understand the molecular mechanisms and/or biomarkers of obesity-related basal like breast cancer that could impact disease prevention," said Makowski.
Using a mouse model developed to study the basal-like subtype, the research team found that obesity promotes a growth factor signalling pathway between the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) protein and an oncogene known as c-Met that is linked with basal-like cancer formation. n animals with elevated levels of HGF, the development of basal-like tumours increased.
"Our study was fairly unique in that we focused on the role that the surrounding tissue in the breast, known as the stroma, plays in breast cancer onset. Many scientists study the tumour alone, but the stroma 'soil' where the cancer 'seed' grows is important in helping that tumour grow," said Makowski.
Since HGF levels are increased with obesity, the study indicates that public health efforts to prevent obesity in at-risk populations may be a clinically useful way of preventing the disease.
Makowski said that whether weight loss can minimise breast cancer risk in already obese patients is an area that needs further investigation.
The study was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

Lifestyle changes alter breast cancer patient profile



Breast cancer, the urban malaise is spreading not just in terms of numbers, but is percolating to the poorer sections even as it breaks the age barrier to affect more young Indian women.If 3,800 women walk into hospitals with breast cancer now as against 1,500 women annually five years back,doctors say the main reason is lifestyle."In the last 20 years, women have their first child later, don't breast-feed children for long and are overweight com pared to their mothers.The results are show ing,'' said Tata Memorial Centre's director Dr Rajan Badwe. Breast cancer, which has genetic component as well, is now mainly lifestyle disease, said experts.

5 Signs You'll Get Cancer



Besides, a study published in Lancet last month showed younger women were dying in larger numbers in developing countries India was no exception, said the study of 187 nations by the Washington University' Institute of Health Metrics And Evaluation

Dr Sanjay Sharma from the Breast Can cer Foundation of India said while the age profile of a breast cancer patient from the West would be 55 to 70 years, the Indian pa tient could be in the 40-55 age group. How ever, Dr Badwe says this is because India has more young than old people. Another study, published in August in the British Journal of Cancer by the Indian Cancer So ciety, showed college-educated Mumbai women had a 90% increased risk for being overweight, compared to illiterate women It showed in 30 years, rates of breast cancer among women aged 30-64 rose significantly.

A recent Breast Cancer Foundation sample survey of 1,000 Mumbai women found a worrisome s o c i o - e c o nomic trend "Nannies ap pointed by ur ban working women are mimicking employers They leave their children in slums on packaged milk, forgetting breast-feeding,'' Dr Sharma said, adding patients from the lower socio-economic strata were hence increasing. The transition of the disease from urban rich to the urban poor is not just in Mumbai but other metros of Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai too, said doctors.

Dr Vinod Raina, head of the department, medical oncology at AIIMS, said, "Late marriages, delayed child-bearing and fewer children, leading to reduced breastfeeding, are behind the increased risk of breast cancer." Dr Shyam Aggarwal, chief of medical oncology at Delhi's Sir Gangaram Hospital, said, "Sedentary lifestyle, increased consumption of fat and less of fruits and vegetables is one of the main reasons for the increased rates of breast cancer among women in urban India."

India's worst statistic, Dr Badwe said, was that though the country's cancer incidence was one-third of the US, death rate due to the disease was almost same. "This is because women, whether old or young, come to us at a very late stage," he said.
(With inputs from Kounteya Sinha) Let's Pink is a joint initiative by The Times of India and Ponds.

BREAST CANCER: THE ORIGINS



Breast cancer arises from cells lining the milk ducts and slowly grows into a lump. A tumour is believed to take about 10 years to become 1 cm in size, starting from a single cell. A malignant tumour has the ability to spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body via the lymphatics or the blood stream.

THE FACTORS



Lifestyle choices or biological characteristics contribute to developing breast cancer Biological characteristics encoded in DNA are factors that cannot be controlled Other factors, however, can be controlled to prevent an increased risk for breast cancer

Ayurvedic CancerTreatment

Preventable Factors



BODY WEIGHT Obese or overweight women are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. A woman who exercises four hours per week reduces her risk of breast cancer. Exercise pumps up the immune system and cuts estrogen levels SMOKING Smoking not only increases risk of lung cancer, but breast cancer as well. A recent study indicated there may be a link between breast cancer and cigarette smoking and second-hand cigarette smoke, though the relationship is still under investigation. However, smoking decreases survival rate once you have been diagnosed with breast cancer

DRINKING ALCOHOL The more alcohol you drink, beyond a drink a day, the higher your risk. Studies show that breast cells are exposed to higher levels of estrogen when consuming alcohol, which may trigger them to become cancerous DIET Eat a low-fat, nutritious diet. Fat triggers the hormone estrogen, that fuels tumour growth. Fill your diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Non-Preventable Factors



FAMILY PRE-DISPOSITION | If a person has developed breast cancer in the past, or currently has breast cancer, women in the immediate family are at greater risk for breast cancer than those without family history. If you have a grandmother, mother, sister, or daughter who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, this puts you in a higher risk group. See your doctor at any sign of unusual symptoms.

AGE | The risk increases with age. Most cases are found in women over 40, though the number of younger women developing breast cancer is currently on the rise.

RACE | Breast cancer is diagnosed more often in white women than Asian or African women. Reason for this is yet to be defined, but women of all races should still be concerned

REPRODUCTIVE AND MENSTRUAL HISTORY | Women who experienced their first menstrual cycle before age 12, had menopause after age 55, and/or never had children are at increased risk

Breast cancer is actually 10 different diseases



Classification As Per Genetic Study To Revolutionize Treatment By Tailoring Drugs For Exact Subtype

London: Breast cancer is “not one disease, but 10 different diseases”, according to a ‘landmark study’ that could revolutionize its treatment.

An international team of researchers that analysed breast cancers from 2,000 women said the classifications could help improve treatment by tailoring drugs for patients’ exact type of breast cancer and also predict survival more accurately. It will take at least three more years for the findings to be used in hospitals, the researchers said.

In the study, published in the journal Nature, the team analysed genetics of frozen breast cancer samples from 2,000 women at hospitals in the UK and Canada. They looked in huge detail at the genetics of the tumour cells — which genes had been mutated, which genes were working in overdrive, which were being shut down.

They found that all the different ways the cells changed when cancerous could be grouped into 10 different categories, named IntClust one to 10. Each tumour within a particular group shares similar genes and different women with the same type have similar odds of survival.

"Breast cancer is not one disease, but 10 different diseases," lead researcher professor Carlos Caldas, was quoted as saying by the BBC News.

He added, "Our results will pave the way for doctors in the future to diagnose the type of breast cancer a woman has, the types of drugs that will work and those that won’t, in a much more precise manner than is currently possible."

At the moment, breast cancers are classified by what they look like under the microscope and tests for "markers" on the tumours. Those with "oestrogen receptors" should respond to hormone therapies, while those with a "Her2 receptor" can be treated with Herceptin.

The vast majority of breast cancers, over 70%, should respond to hormone therapies. However, their reaction to treatment varies wildly. "Some do well, some do horribly. Clearly we need better classification," said Caldas.

Dr Harpal Singh, of Cancer Research UK that funded the study, said, "This study will change the way we look at breast cancer, it will have an enormous impact in diagnosing and treating breast cancer."

He added the charity would begin using the new criteria in clinical trials it funded. Outside of trials for new cancer drugs, the new breast cancer rulebook could take some time to directly benefit patients. PTI

Cancer statistics in Indian women



The crude breast cancer cases in urban Indian women is 25-30 and the age adjusted rate is 30-35 new cases per 1,00,000 women per year. Breast cancer is increasing - the average increase over a 30 year period in Mumbai was 11 per cent per decade Breast cancer is increasing both in young (11per cent per decade) and old women (16per cent per decade) There are an estimated 1,00,000 - 1,25,000 new breast cancer cases in India every year.

The number of breast cancer cases in India is estimated to double by 2025. The age adjusted incidence of cervix cancer in urban India is 15-20 new cases per 1,00,000 women per year. The incidence of cervix cancer is 1.5 to 2 times higher in rural women. Overall it remains the commonest cancer in Indian women. Cancer of cervix is decreasing in urban women at the rate of 18per cent per decade. Ovarian cancer incidence has remained stable in the past few decades.

Healthy diet, exercise is key



The number of new cancer cases in India are 50-95 per 1,00,000 population per year, as compared to 200-300 in the US. This difference is essentially due to near absence of some cancers and lesser incidence of others. Lung cancer is rare in Indian women due to absence of smoking. Cases of large intestinal cancers are less common in both men and women in India due to intake of leafy and non-leafy vegetables in our diet, which adds to fair amount of roughage and less consumption of red meat.

Cases of breast, ovary and uterine cancers are far higher in the West at present. But, we are following their footsteps due to a variety of factors. We can reduce the numbers by doing some healthy changes in our lifestyles. However, India is one of the countries to have highest number of oral cancer cases in women due to widespread consumption of tobacco.

Indian women can prevent two-thirds of the one-third cases if they can say no to the tobacco and follow healthy diet and do regular exercise to prevent obesity, and men can follow good genital hygiene or undergo circu Women don't know enough on cutting cancer risk. Most women do not make the lifestyle choices that are recommended by the American Cancer Society to reduce risk of acquiring cancer, a new study has claimed.

The new survey determined how women view diet and exercise in relationship to cancer and whether they believed that they were engaging in healthy behaviours, and if their diet and exercise choices really met the minimum recommendations.

Cancer Prevention in Primary Care: Smoking and cancer: smoking cessation



Smoking is the single most important cause of cancer. The risk of developing cancer is reduced by stopping smoking and decreases substantially after five years. Reduction in smoking must be central to any programme aimed seriously at the prevention of cancer. An individual approach, based in primary care, has the potential to bring about modest but important reductions in risk. Many randomised trials have shown the effectiveness of various smoking cessation interventions in primary care. Given resource limitations in primary care, individual effort should be focused on those at highest risk who are motivated to stop smoking. A population strategy has considerable advantages over the high risk approach as the potential for reducing morbidity and mortality in the whole population is much greater. The government must acknowledge its major responsibility; the outstanding example of its failure to do this is its persistent refusal to ban outright all forms of advertising and promotion of tobacco. There is clear evidence that a ban would contribute to a reduction in smoking prevalence and especially in the uptake of smoking by children.

Each year about 110 000 deaths in England alone are related to smoking, representing 17% of all deaths. Diseases caused by smoking include cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, and some cancers.

Smoking is the single most important cause of cancer, being significantly more important than all other causes. Many types of cancer are caused by tobacco. Approximately 30% of all deaths from cancer - that is, over 50 000 deaths from cancer a year - are attributable to tobacco smoking. This includes between 80% and 90% of deaths from lung cancer; a proportion of deaths from cancers of the oral cavity, bronchus, trachea, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, and bladder; probably some deaths from cancer of the pancreas; and possibly some deaths from cancer of the kidney. To these, recent research suggests that we probably need to add a small proportion of deaths from leukaemia and from cancers of the nose, stomach, and cervix uteri.

Introduction


The incidence of invasive cervical cancer has decreased in the last 50 years in the developed countries substantially due to the use of routine pap smears. However, in the Asia–Oceanic region it continues to be high as screening programs are not established. Credit for starting cytology services in India goes to Professor P.N. Wahi of Agra. He became Founder President when about 34 cytologists got together in 1970 to form the Indian Academy of Cytologists. Since then cytology has spread through all parts of India. The Cytology Clinic in Cama & Albless Hospital was started in the same year. Since then over 100 000 women have been screened. Approximately 1200 cases of pre- and early cancers have been detected and treated. Since 1982 we are aware of the important role of human papillomavirus infection. We diagnose it by cytology and colposcopy and histology. Facilities for polymerase chain reaction, in-situ hybridization and other virology studies are not available to us. CO2 laser treatment is found particularly useful in multicentric human papillomavirus disease.

cervical a preventable death

Screening for the State of Maharashtra

Since 1984 we have planned for a screening program for our State. We have a population of 78.9 million. Approximately 15 million women in the age group of 35–64 years have to be screened. The health care infrastructure is good with 36 medical colleges and over 35 district hospitals. Screening is planned in phases. Trained personnel are the key to a successful program. In the final analysis, cervical cancer is not just a biomedical disease. It has socio-cultural and economic implications.

Breast cancer may double by 2025 in Mumbai



MUMBAI: Just as the month-long awareness of breast cancer begins, there is a bit of bad news for Mumbai's women, especially those 50 years old and above.

A study in Cancer Epidemiology journal says the incidence of breast cancer is likely to double to over 2,500 cases by 2025. In 2001-2005, the average incidence was 1,300 cases. After reviewing 30 years of the cancer registry data in Mumbai, Tata Memorial Hospital's doctors have worked out that this increase is likely to be highest in the 50-74 age group.

The reasons for this spike in cancer cases are well known. "Adaptation of a western lifestyle-an increased prevalence of ill-defined series of reproductive, hormonal and dietary determinants in the populations-has been postulated as a primary reason for the increasing breast cancer incidence rates among Asian and Asian American women," said the study led by Dr Rajesh P Dikshit, who heads the epidemiology department of Tata Memorial Hospital. The study also found an association between socio-economic status and the risk of breast cancer, with women in higher socio-economic groups at a higher risk than women with lower average social status.

The study found an interesting age-related difference in the data: incidence rate of breast cancer in younger women in Mumbai had increased by 1% per annum from 21.2 per 100,000 during 1976-1980 to 27.3 in 2000-2005. "The incidence of breast cancer in the city peaked a few years back,'' said Dr Dikshit. The incidence in older women, however, has been high and may continue to rise drastically. For instance, the incidence rate among older women increased by 1.6% per year, from 65.8 in 1976-1980 to 94.7 in 2001-2005. "Based on the current trends, we predict that the total burden of breast cancer in Mumbai will certainly increase and may reach over 2,500 cases by 2025, largely as a result of the changing demographic profile of Mumbai," the study said, adding that preventive measures can potentially reduce this burden.

80% liver cancer cases avoidable



NEW DELHI: Here's a piece of information that can take the sting out of liver cancer â€" the third most frequent cause of cancer death in India. Health profiling of patients who reported to a tertiary care hospital in Delhi between 2000 and 2012 has revealed that most cases could be prevented with simple lifestyle changes such as avoiding excess alcohol, having protected sex and getting vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus. According to the study, which involved 140 patients, hepatitis B was the most common cause of liver cancer affecting as many as 56 (39%).

Changing lifestyles linked to breast cancer rise



Women have their hands full with the 'female cancers'. Breast cancer saw an alarming 12% rise, the battle is on to detect cervical cancer early & ovarian cancer remains a hidden threat

MUMBAI: A whopping 12% increase from 2009 to 2010 in the incidence of breast cancer among city women, including those in the pre-menopausal age group, has sent alarm bells ringing. Cancer experts say the exponential rise needs to be urgently addressed and arrested. The jump was not only restricted to newer cases; deaths too rose, by 13%.

Yet-to-be released figures for 2010, which were recently compiled by the Mumbai Cancer Registry, also reveal how breast cancer constituted the biggest chunk (31%) of all cancers detected that year. Almost every fourth death in women suffering from cancer was caused by breast cancer.

While the numbers are startling, the trend, say experts, has been emerging in a more pronounced manner over the years.

As a temporary relief, the incidence rate had dipped by 8.4% in 2009 - from 1,808 to 1,656 cases -- only to register a rise to 1,850 cases in 2010. Experts are unanimous that notwithstanding age, education, career or social standing, women in Mumbai continue to neglect their well-being, which when taken with other reproductive - and lifestyle-related factors makes them a very vulnerable lot.

Director of Parel's Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr Rajendra Badwe, said, "The increasing incidence can be attributed to two leading factors - they are having their first child late and they are not breastfeeding for long." He added that obesity comes a close third as a risk factor. Worldwide, studies have found clear links between changes in women's lifestyles -- including late marriage, delayed first pregnancy and less breast-feeding - and the increasing incidence of breast cancer.

According to surgical oncologist Dr Sanjay Sharma, "Most women in the city are aware that they may get stuck in the paradoxical relationship between urbanization and breast cancer, like in all other developed nations. But they will still take their chances." He added, "What we cannot ignore is that younger women are falling prey to cancer."

Shravani Koyande, executive in-charge of the Mumbai Cancer Registry, said the highest percentage of new cases was detected in the 35 to 50 age group. Dr Purvish Parikh, who was formerly associated with the Tata hospital, is of the view that every passing generation is exposed to the malice of a westernized lifestyle much earlier. "And that essentially precipitates into getting the disease earlier," he said.

But all is not grim. Meera Pandey, 42, cancer survivor and nursing supervisor at the PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim said that women are fighting back harder than ever. "They are more aware now. They seek treatment at the earliest and get on with their lives quickly," she said, adding that it is now common knowledge that survival chances improve with early diagnosis. "All they need is counselling and family support and their lives will be back on track," she said.

Badwe, too, is all for women incorporating a daily exercise regimen.

"A minimum of 40 minutes walk, or hitting the gym, is absolutely essential. Women need to also do regular breast self-examination, visit a specialist once a year and go for a mammogram once in two years," he said. "The bottom-line is that women need to make their own health a priority."

Lifestyle-linked breast cancer cases rise



Tags:
  • stress
  • Smoking
  • Poona Cancer registry
  • Obesity
  • menopause
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Genetic
  • diabetes
  • depression
  • Cancer
  • breast cancer


PUNE: Breast cancer incidence among women in Pune is rising at 0.5-2% per year. And doctors attribute almost half the number of cases to sedentary jobs, lack of exercise, fatty diets and increasing obesity, late marriages, late child birth and decreased breastfeeding.

"The last breast cancer statistics from the Poona Cancer registry from 2006-08 suggest that over 400 breast cancer cases are reported in the city every year. The number of cases has increased since then. Breast cancer among Pune's women is now rising at 0.5-2% per year," said consultant breast surgeon and breast surgical oncologist Pranjali Gadgil of Ruby Hall Clinic, Wanowrie.

5 Signs You'll Get Cancer



What has doctors more concerned is that the cases are being detected among younger women. "Most cases in Pune are seen in the 40-55 age group, clearly a younger age distribution compared to western countries. The risk of breast cancer increases with increasing age. However, looking at our city's population, we see that the age distribution is younger, and we just have a larger segment of the population in the 40s than in the 60s or 70s," Gadgil said.

Doctors blame urban lifestyles for the rise in breast cancer cases in cities, and point out the early warning signs that people need to watch out for. "In children, increasing obesity and stress levels are responsible for early puberty, a known risk factor for breast cancer later in life. Pursuing education and career training late into life increases age of first childbirth, and other life demands have decreased the practice of breastfeeding amongst mothers. Both these factors do increase breast cancer risk," said Gadgil.

Sedentary jobs and lack of exercise in daily routines, fatty diets and increasing obesity are all lifestyle related risk factors. Tobacco use, active and passive smoking and even moderate alcohol consumption are implicated in the rise of breast cancer cases. Use of hormone replacement therapy after menopause adds to breast cancer risk although its use in our population appears to be lower than in western societies, say doctors.

"These risk factors act in combination and to varying extent. One cannot implicate any one of these as the definite cause of given case of breast cancer," she said.

But a chunk of the blame lies on lifestyle. Medical oncologist Minish Jain said, "In around 35 to 45 % cases, a person develops breast cancer due to lifestyle related issues such as obesity, consumption of fatty food, delayed marriages and pregnancies. We have to sit up and take notice of this rise, as it suggests that nobody is immune to breast cancer. Hence one needs to evaluate his/her own risk factors and start working toward adopting healthier lifestyle." More than two-third of working women in India suffer from lifestyle disease such as obesity, depression, chronic backache, diabetes and hypertension, he said.

Hereditary factors do play a role in breast cancer. Having a close relative with breast cancer does slightly increase a woman's risk. "But this doesn't mean that all breast cancer patients and relatives need to be tested for genetic mutations. Only 5-10% of all breast cancers in the world are caused by known genetic mutations such as BRCA 1 and 2," said Gadgil, who is an American Board of Surgery certified surgeon.

Doctors stress on early detection. "Exact numbers are hard to know, but most breast cancer cases seen in Pune today are probably stage II or stage III when detected. Overall, the breast cancer survival at 5 years is a dismal 50% if we look at data from the Mumbai cancer registry, of which Poona registry is a satellite," she said.

8 Indian spices that prevent cancer



Not every battle is struck by a wave of violence and not every fight culminates in bloodshed.

When the opposition in question is an adamant disease like cancer, our armoury should be packed with a lifestyle of regular health check-ups and a diet including foods that double as anti-cancer agents.

When actress Lisa Ray was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a relatively rare cancer of the bone marrow, all she said was, "I'll beat cancer". Carrying this spirit of defeating a disease often labelled 'incurable', we try to find out diet methods, especially in the selection of spices that can avert the multiplying of malignant cells in the body that gradually mature into insurmountable cancer cells.

Our grandmothers would in no time prepare us a glass of warm milk with saffron sprinkled on top when we went crying to her with bruise on our knee or wound on the elbow. The herbal turmeric paste soothed minor cuts and healed all skin rashes. These age-old kitchen tricks are little more than mere quick-fix tactics. Spices like turmeric and saffron are inherent with medicinal properties that, when incorporated to our diet from an early stage strengthens our bodies against invasion of toxins, bacteria and virus.

Senior consultant surgical oncologist Dr. B. Niranjan Naik and senior clinical nutritionist, Fortis La Femme, Shipra Saklani Mishra, inform us about the goodness of Indian spices with cancer-fighting properties and the necessity of their inclusion to our eating habits.

Turmeric/Curcumin



This is the king of spices when it comes to dealing with cancer diseases, besides it adding a zesty colour to our food on the platter. Turmeric contains the powerful polyphenol Curcumin that has been clinically proven to retard the growth of cancer cells causing prostrate cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, brain tumour, pancreatic cancer and leukemia amongst a host of others. Curcumin promotes 'Apoptosis'- (programmed cell death/cell suicide) that safely eliminates cancer breeding cells without posing a threat to the development of other healthy cells. In cases of conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy, the surrounding cells too become a target in addition to the cancer cells. Therefore, the side-effects are imminent.

Fennel



Armed with phyto-nutrients and antioxidants, cancer cells have nothing but to accept defeat when the spice is fennel. 'Anethole', a major constituent of fennel resists and restricts the adhesive and invasive activities of cancer cells. It suppresses the enzymatic regulated activities behind cancer cell multiplication. A tomato-fennel soup with garlic or fresh salads with fennel bulbs make for an ideal entree prior to an elaborate course meal. Roasted fennel with parmesan can be another star pick.

Saffron



A natural carotenoid dicarboxylic acid called 'Crocetin' is the primary cancer-fighting element that saffron contains. It not only inhibits the progression of the disease but also decreases the size of the tumour by half, guaranteeing a complete goodbye to cancer. Though it is the most expensive spice in the world for it is derived from around 250,000 flower stigmas (saffron crocus) that make just about half a kilo, a few saffron threads come loaded with benefits you won't regret paying for. Saffron threads can be used in various.

Gene silencing may help in fight against cancer



NEW DELHI: In a major breakthrough, scientists now know exactly which part of a protein inside the human body interacts with the RNA to control the normal expression of genes including those that are active in cancer. RNA is a system within living cells that helps to control which genes are active and how active they are.

Human cells need to produce the correct proteins at the right time and in the appropriate quantities to stay healthy. One of the key means by which cells achieve this control is by RNA interference, a form of gene silencing where small pieces of RNA, called micro RNAs, obstruct the production of specific proteins by interacting with their genetic code. However, not any piece of RNA can do this.

Dr Bhushan Nagar in collaboration with Dr Nahum Sonenberg at McGill's new Life Sciences Complex, used structural biology to unravel how a small segment in the Argonaute proteins, the key molecules of RNA interference, can select the correct micro RNAs. RNAs are the direct products of genes, and these small RNAs can bind to specific others and either increase or decrease their activity, for example by preventing a messenger RNA from producing a protein. RNA interference has an important role in defending cells against parasitic gene's viruses as well as gene expression in general.

The latest research was published online on May 26 by the journal 'Nature'. The team discovered that Argonaute proteins can potentially be exploited to enhance gene silencing. RNA interference could be used as a viable therapeutic approach for inhibiting specific genes that are aberrantly active in diseases such as cancer, Nagar said. "We now have a handle on being able to rationally modify micro RNAs to make them more efficient and possibly into therapeutic drugs," he added.

While therapeutic applications are many years away, this new insight provides an avenue to specifically control the production of proteins, which in cancer cells for example, are abnormal.

"This is fantastic news," said Dr David Thomas, chair of McGill's department of biochemistry. "You've seen stories lately about how we may see the end of chemotherapy? Well, this is part of that path in developing genetically based therapies that can be tailored to individual patient's particular illnesses."

Grape extract may prevent skin cancer



Scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Centre San Antonio are finding that some plant substances, when given in combinations, may suppress damage that can cause skin cancer.

The substances, which occur naturally in grapes, berries, walnuts and other plant-based foods, were tested on mice that had been genetically manipulated to be sensitive to skin cancer initiation and progression. Given in combination, even at low doses, the plant agents proved protective.

"Our research shows, supplements and creams or sunscreens may be developed to prevent skin cancer in humans," said Zbigniew Walaszek, researcher at the centre.

The natural agents include resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, and grape seed extract. Others are calcium D-glucarate, a salt of D-glucaric acid, which is present in the human bloodstream and in many fruits and vegetables, and ellagic acid, found in a host of berries and in walnuts.

Synergistic effects



Each of these compounds works in a different way, so giving them in a combo is most protective. They administered the agents both topically and in the diet.

In a study, the team induced skin cancer by shaving the backs of rodents and applying a chemical that produces a genetic mutation. This was done twice a week for four weeks. At the same time, researchers applied topical resveratrol and fed the mice diets supplemented with various combos of the plant substances.

The The team evaluated several outcomes and discovered even low doses of plant agent together produced protective effects, while the plant substances given individually produced less benefit.

Preventing cancer



Walaszek's colleague, Margaret Hanausek, said the findings hold great potential for those most at risk for skin cancer and other cancers involving epithelial cells, including lung cancer.

"The combined inhibitory effects of different plant chemicals are expected to be particularly beneficial to smokers or former smokers, who carry cells already initiated for cancerous.

Botox boost for voices silenced by cancer



MUMBAI: With a doctorate in chemistry, Geeta Mishra knew of botulinum toxin, the naturally occurring substance now widely used as an anti-wrinkle cosmetic tool. What the 40-year-old lecturer from Madhya Pradesh never expected was that botulinum toxin would be instrumental in reducing the destruction wreaked by cancer on her voice box.Incidentally, the city is among the few centres in the world where the chemical is used to help cancer patients find their voice. Both at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel and Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, this delicate procedure is performed on the unfortunate few in whom the artificial voice box fails to work. Take the case of Mishra itself. The Shahdol lecturer discovered she had voice box or larynx cancer only when her voice started thinning. "Students would complain that they couldn't hear me in the classroom,'' she said, a finger firmly on the `button' that makes her voice box prosthesis work.

Radiation Therapy for Cancer



Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA.

1) Radiation therapy can damage normal cells as well as cancer cells. Therefore, treatment must be carefully planned to minimize side effects.
2) The radiation used for cancer treatment may come from a machine outside the body, or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near tumor cells or injected into the bloodstream.
3) A patient may receive radiation therapy before, during, or after surgery, depending on the type of cancer being treated.
4) Some patients receive radiation therapy alone, and some receive radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy.

Statement from PATH: cervical cancer demonstration project in India



As media coverage and discussions unfold regarding the recently released report from the Indian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, PATH reaffirms its position on the report. While PATH welcomes the transparency and discussion of our work, we strongly disagree with the findings, conclusions, and tone of the released report and its disregard of the evidence and facts.

In particular, the report ignores the now voluminous evidence on the safety (225 KB PDF) and efficacy (176 KB PDF) of HPV vaccines and falsely suggests that deaths may be causally linked to the vaccines. This is not only inaccurate, but may have tragic consequences for delivering these and other lifesaving vaccines to those who need them most.

As with all public health projects that work to save lives through immunizations, the vaccines must be procured from a manufacturer. The vaccines used in this study were donated by the respective manufacturers, Merck & Co. Inc. (Merck) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). No pharmaceutical company was involved in the design, implementation, or evaluation of the project , nor did they fund any part of this work. PATH is a not-for-profit organization that has no financial stake in the vaccine and received no funding from the manufacturers for this work. The study was fully funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

PATH works with hundreds of diverse partners, mobilizing the expertise and resources of in-country and public, private, and nonprofit entities. Any suggestion that inappropriate collusion existed in this project is baseless, wholly inaccurate, and defies the very spirit of our cross-sector partnerships, which are essential in India and around the world.

PATH has been a leader for the past 20 years in the effort to reduce the toll of cervical cancer, through screening and more recently through HPV vaccines. As India bears one-quarter of the world’s burden of cervical cancer, which kills an estimated 72,825 Indian women annually, we believe that poor and low-income girls in India should not be denied the right or access to this proven, lifesaving, and safe vaccine that wealthy and middle-class girls in India and around the world have access to through the private market and other public immunization programs. We are committed to our institutional legacy of ethical, evidence-based work on transformative innovations that save lives.

Breast cancer may double by 2025 in Mumbai



Tags:
1) Tata Memorial Hospital
2) Cancer Epidemiology
3) Cancer
4) breast cancer

MUMBAI: Just as the month-long awareness of breast cancer begins, there is a bit of bad news for Mumbai's women, especially those 50 years old and above.

A study in Cancer Epidemiology journal says the incidence of breast cancer is likely to double to over 2,500 cases by 2025. In 2001-2005, the average incidence was 1,300 cases. After reviewing 30 years of the cancer registry data in Mumbai, Tata Memorial Hospital's doctors have worked out that this increase is likely to be highest in the 50-74 age group.

The reasons for this spike in cancer cases are well known. "Adaptation of a western lifestyle-an increased prevalence of ill-defined series of reproductive, hormonal and dietary determinants in the populations-has been postulated as a primary reason for the increasing breast cancer incidence rates among Asian and Asian American women," said the study led by Dr Rajesh P Dikshit, who heads the epidemiology department of Tata Memorial Hospital. The study also found an association between socio-economic status and the risk of breast cancer, with women in higher socio-economic groups at a higher risk than women with lower average social status.

The study found an interesting age-related difference in the data: incidence rate of breast cancer in younger women in Mumbai had increased by 1% per annum from 21.2 per 100,000 during 1976-1980 to 27.3 in 2000-2005. "The incidence of breast cancer in the city peaked a few years back," said Dr Dikshit. The incidence in older women, however, has been high and may continue to rise drastically. For instance, the incidence rate among older women increased by 1.6% per year, from 65.8 in 1976-1980 to 94.7 in 2001-2005. "Based on the current trends, we predict that the total burden of breast cancer in Mumbai will certainly increase and may reach over 2,500 cases by 2025, largely as a result of the changing demographic profile of Mumbai," the study said, adding that preventive measures can potentially reduce this burden.

Cancer-ravaged organs being saved



NEW DELHI: In a heartening trend, doctors are now saving cancer-ravaged organs through innovative methods instead of removing them completely to ensure patients have a better quality of life. So even though health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad recently said in the Rajya Sabha that India is set to see a steady rise in cancer cases, doctors are gifting almost normal organs back to their patients. The organs thus salvaged range from breast, liver, larynx, eyes, bone, voice box and rectum.

"The trend now is to leave the afflicted organ in the body without compromising treatment," says Dr S V S Deo, associate professor, surgical oncology at AIIMS. "So, in the early stages of breast cancer now, we remove the tumour only, along with some side tissue, leaving the breast intact. We then do breast reconstruction. Earlier, we would remove the breast and lymph glands nearby."

The biggest beneficiary of preserving organs is the liver which has a tremendous regenerative capacity. Even if only 25% of the liver is healthy, it can be made whole through a new procedure called ALPPS (Associated Liver Partition and Portal vein ligation for Staged hepatectomy).

This is done in advanced stages of cancer where even a transplant won't help, says Chennai-based Dr Mohamed Rela, a top liver transplant surgeon. "First, the liver and the portal vein supplying blood to it are divided into two. One part of the vein goes to the damaged part and the other to the healthy part. The former is tied up and gradually shrinks in size, while the other rapidly grows in size. After two weeks, the abnormal liver is removed," says Rela. The cost: Rs 10 lakh approx for ALPPS and Rs 20 lakh for a transplant.

For Kota-based Poonam, 57, ALPPS was a life-saver. "I used to have severe stomach pain and rapid loss of weight and was diagnosed with gall and liver cancer. I got ALPPS done in Bangalore. Now I can eat everything and my weight is normal," she says.

Similarly, in colorectal cancers, earlier, the rectum, sphincter mechanism (responsible for bowel movement) and the anus would be removed, making waste matter go out through an abdominal passage.

This severely restricted the life of patients. "Today, the tumour in the rectum is shrunk through chemotherapy and radiation. Then the colon is joined to the anus keeping the sphincter mechanism intact," says Dr Basant Mahadevappa, hepatobiliary surgeon at %HCG Cancer Hospital in Bangalore.

In the case of bone cancers earlier amputations used to be done. Today, tumours are shrunk through localized chemotherapy and the bone saved. In voice box cancers, too, the organ would be removed, making the patient speechless. Now, the voice box is preserved using laser, making the patient sound almost normal, says Deo. Despite scepticism about whether these methods would completely eliminate cancer, many patients are opting to keep their organs intact, giving them a new lease of life.

Bangalore hospital's cancer care model is case study for Harvard Business School



BANGALORE: On any given day, at least 10 new patients diagnosed with cancer are lining up at HCG to get that deadly tumour out of their system.

Intrigued researchers in Harvard tried to figure out how this Central Bangalore hospital has not turned away any Researchers Regina Herzlinger, Amit Ghorawat, Meera Krishnan and Naiyya Saggi published their study about the model where even drug dispensing unique.

What interested them was Dr. Ajaikumar's hub-and-spoke expansion model in which a central hub in Bangalore performed high-end imaging, therapy, and complicated procedures at lower cost while the spokes provided basic therapy and follow-ups in the patient's local communities (smaller towns). Using this model, HCG expanded to 20 centres.

Terming HCG a 'focused factory', the Harvard team said: "The drug dispensing method to patients was also unique. The hospital set up pharmacies within its premises which lowered drug cost as it was procured directly from manufacturers. This helped low-income patients to benefit from well-tested generic drugs instead of costly imported drugs."

The process HCG followed to evaluate the creation of a new spoke began with an environmental scan of the area, assessing cancer incidence, market size, availability of medical expertise, insurance, and competition, among other factors. In a remote area such as Shimoga which had few available options for cancer treatment, HCG decided to provide a wider range of services there than in other spokes.

Poor cancer patient. Its cancer care model is now a case study for the Harvard Business School. The hospital collaborated with a local doctor who already had a practice but would upgrade existing facilities and provide some capital investment like radiation equipment, and typically retained 51% ownership.

"This is because Indian patients almost always travel with their families to secure treatment. Travel cost and accommodation, especially in a nuclear family with one person earning, can become a huge burden for the family," Dr Ajai told STOI. Telemedicine gave the spokes access to hub doctors.

The spokes in smaller cities attracted primarily local populations, while hubs in Bangalore, Delhi and Ahmedabad attracted patients from across India, Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Germany, Australia, and the US. While 60% of patients belonged to the middle class, 20% were below the poverty line and the rest 20% affluent. Researchers pointed out how the entire HCG team believed in a culture of compassion. "As a policy, HCG did not turn away any patients even if the patient could not afford to pay," the report said. In fact, employees chipped in with contributions to support patient care.

Changing lifestyles linked to breast cancer rise



Women have their hands full with the 'female cancers'. Breast cancer saw an alarming 12% rise, the battle is on to detect cervical cancer early & ovarian cancer remains a hidden threat.

MUMBAI: A whopping 12% increase from 2009 to 2010 in the incidence of breast cancer among city women, including those in the pre-menopausal age group, has sent alarm bells ringing. Cancer experts say the exponential rise needs to be urgently addressed and arrested. The jump was not only restricted to newer cases; deaths too rose, by 13%.

Yet-to-be released figures for 2010, which were recently compiled by the Mumbai Cancer Registry, also reveal how breast cancer constituted the biggest chunk (31%) of all cancers detected that year. Almost every fourth death in women suffering from cancer was caused by breast cancer. While the numbers are startling, the trend, say experts, has been emerging in a more pronounced manner over the years.

As a temporary relief, the incidence rate had dipped by 8.4% in 2009 - from 1,808 to 1,656 cases -- only to register a rise to 1,850 cases in 2010. Experts are unanimous that notwithstanding age, education, career or social standing, women in Mumbai continue to neglect their well-being, which when taken with other reproductive- and lifestyle-related factors makes them a very vulnerable lot.

Director of Parel's Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr Rajendra Badwe, said, "The increasing incidence can be attributed to two leading factors - they are having their first child late and they are not breastfeeding for long." He added that obesity comes a close third as a risk factor.

Worldwide, studies have found clear links between changes in women's lifestyles -- including late marriage, delayed first pregnancy and less breast-feeding - and the increasing incidence of breast cancer.

According to surgical oncologist Dr Sanjay Sharma, "Most women in the city are aware that they may get stuck in the paradoxical relationship between urbanization and breast cancer, like in all other developed nations. But they will still take their chances." He added, "What we cannot ignore is that younger women are falling prey to cancer." Shravani Koyande, executive in-charge of the Mumbai Cancer Registry, said the highest percentage of new cases was detected in the 35 to 50 age group. Dr Purvish Parikh, who was formerly associated with the Tata hospital, is of the view that every passing generation is exposed to the malice of a westernized lifestyle much earlier. "And that essentially precipitates into getting the disease earlier," he said.

But all is not grim. Meera Pandey, 42, cancer survivor and nursing supervisor at the PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim said that women are fighting back harder than ever. "They are more aware now. They seek treatment at the earliest and get on with their lives quickly," she said, adding that it is now common knowledge that survival chances improve with early diagnosis. "All they need is counselling and family support and their lives will be back on track," she said.

Badwe, too, is all for women incorporating a daily exercise regimen.

"A minimum of 40 minutes walk, or hitting the gym, is absolutely essential. Women need to also do regular breast self-examination, visit a specialist once a year and go for a mammogram once in two years," he said. "The bottom-line is that women need to make their own health a priority."

Breast Cancer



A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. However, knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

Most women who develop breast cancer have no obvious risk factors and no family history of breast cancer. This means that all women need to be aware of changes in their breasts and talk with their doctors about receiving regular clinical breast examinations (an examination of the breast by a doctor) and mammograms (x-ray of the breast that can detect a tumor that is too small to be felt). It is likely that more than one risk factor influences the development of breast cancer.

The following factors may raise a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer:
Age

The risk of developing breast cancer increases as a woman ages, with most cancers developing in women older than 50.

Personal history of breast cancer

A woman who has had breast cancer in one breast has a 1% to 2% chance per year of developing a second breast cancer in her opposite breast, if she has no other risk factors.

Gene silencing may help in fight against cancer



In a major breakthrough, scientists now know exactly which part of a protein inside the human body interacts with the RNA to control the normal expression of genes including those that are active in cancer. RNA is a system within living cells that helps to control which genes are active and how active they are.

Human cells need to produce the correct proteins at the right time and in the appropriate quantities to stay healthy. One of the key means by which cells achieve this control is by RNA interference, a form of gene silencing where small pieces of RNA, called micro RNAs, obstruct the production of specific proteins by interacting with their genetic code. However, not any piece of RNA can do this.

Dr Bhushan Nagar in collaboration with Dr Nahum Sonenberg at McGill's new Life Sciences Complex, used structural biology to unravel how a small segment in the Argonaute proteins, the key molecules of RNA interference, can select the correct micro RNAs. RNAs are the direct products of genes, and these small RNAs can bind to specific others and either increase or decrease their activity, for example by preventing a messenger RNA from producing a protein. RNA interference has an important role in defending cells against parasitic gene's viruses as well as gene expression in general.

The latest research was published online on May 26 by the journal 'Nature'. The team discovered that Argonaute proteins can potentially be exploited to enhance gene silencing. RNA interference could be used as a viable therapeutic approach for inhibiting specific genes that are aberrantly active in diseases such as cancer, Nagar said. "We now have a handle on being able to rationally modify micro RNAs to make them more efficient and possibly into therapeutic drugs," he added.

While therapeutic applications are many years away, this new insight provides an avenue to specifically control the production of proteins, which in cancer cells for example, are abnormal.

"This is fantastic news," said Dr David Thomas, chair of McGill's department of biochemistry. "You've seen stories lately about how we may see the end of chemotherapy? Well, this is part of that path in developing genetically based therapies that can be tailored to individual patient's particular illnesses."

Botox boost for voices silenced by cancer



MUMBAI: With a doctorate in chemistry, Geeta Mishra knew of botulinum toxin, the naturally occurring substance now widely used as an anti-wrinkle cosmetic tool. What the 40-year-old lecturer from Madhya Pradesh never expected was that botulinum toxin would be instrumental in reducing the destruction wreaked by cancer on her voice box.

Incidentally, the city is among the few centres in the world where the chemical is used to help cancer patients find their voice. Both at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel and Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, this delicate procedure is performed on the unfortunate few in whom the artificial voice box fails to work. Take the case of Mishra itself. The Shahdol lecturer discovered she had voice box or larynx cancer only when her voice started thinning. "Students would complain that they couldn't hear me in the classroom,'' she said, a finger firmly on the `button' that makes her voice box prosthesis work.

On October 2009, her larynx was removed. "A few months later, an artificial voice box was fitted but I was devastated to learn I couldn't speak a word,'' recalled the mother of two. It was the worst cut, she added, when her 17-year-old son asked her if she would never be able to teach him chemistry. All that changed when they met Dr Mandar Deshpande of Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai.
"Mishra is among the unlucky few patients in whom the pharyngoesophageal segment (PE) of the laryngeal muscles go into an hyperactive phase," said Dr Deshpande. There are no clear-cut answers on why this happens, but in three years Dr Deshpande and his team helped over a score of patients with botulinum toxin shots. He started using botulinum shots when at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel. "In the US, where the technique was pioneered, over 300-odd cases have been done," he added.

The idea of a botulinum shot is to paralyse the over-active PE segment just so much so that it allows sound to be produced (lung air induces vibration of the PE segment to produce sound). "We first have to conduct tests to determine the reason that the prosthesis isn't working is indeed an overactive PE segment. We then have to identify the exact length of the segment that is hypertonic and inject the botulunim toxin at a gap of 1 cm apart," explained Dr Deshpande. He has helped Mishra and Thane resident Raghunath Jadhav 'find' their voice.

"Five shots of botox restored my voice within 12 hours," recalled Mishra.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, associate professor at Tata Memorial Hospital, says botulinum toxin shots are the standard operating procedure in patients who cannot get rehabilitated even after surgery. "We approximately operate on 2,000 cancer patients a year. About 140 patients suffer from laryngeal cancer and need removal of their larynx. The artificial voice box works in about 90%, the remaining 10% need botulinum toxin shots," he said, adding his hospital routinely does the procedure for patients.

Ray of hope for cancer patients



BANGALORE: Life seems to ebb away slowly and painfully for those suffering from some life threatening disease. In this time of despair a new cure always brings a ray of hope in the life of such patients and their family.

Uma Devi , Bangalore - Today a busy woman who will entertain guests at home this weekend. "It's going to be hectic. But then I enjoy cooking," she says. For the record, Uma has just been cured of glioblastoma (highly invasive), a form of brain tumour. Till about two months ago, she had a "perpetual headache." Today, she is free of the pain and according to her husband, smiles a lot more.

Supercharging the fight against cancer



Now a team of engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a way to deliver the drugs by smuggling them on the backs of the cells sent in to fight the tumour. That way, the drugs reach only their intended targets, greatly reducing the risk.

The new approach could dramatically improve the success rate of immune-cell therapies, which hold promise for treating many types of cancer, says Darrell Irvine, author of a paper that appears in Nature Medicine.

"What we're looking for is the extra nudge that could take immune-cell therapy from working in a subset of people to working in everyone, and to take us closer to cures of disease rather than slowing progression," says Irvine. The new method could also be used to deliver other types of cancer drugs or to promote blood-cell maturation in bone-marrow transplant recipients, according to the researchers.

To perform immune-cell therapy, doctors remove a type of immune cells called T cells from the patient, engineer them to target the tumour, and inject them back into the patient.

Those T cells then hunt down and destroy tumour cells. Clinical trials are under way for ovarian and prostate cancers, as well as melanoma.

Although the therapy is promising, success has been limited by difficulties in generating enough T cells that are specific to the cancer cells and getting those T cells to function.

To overcome those obstacles, researchers have tried injecting patients with adjuvant drugs that stimulate T-cell growth. One class of drugs that has been tested in clinical trials is interleukins - naturally occurring chemicals that help promote T-cell growth but have severe side effects, including heart and lung failure, when given in large doses.

Ayurveda may have cure for breast cancer



Enthused by the initial success of ayurvedic formulations in the treatment of leukaemia, Vaidya Balendu Prakash, in collaboration with leading cancer surgeon C.B. Koppiker, is working on a similar therapy for breast cancer.

This was revealed by Dehra Dun-based Prakash, physician to former president K.R. Narayanan, who was in the city to conduct a two-day camp at the Prashanti cancer care centre here.

Metal-based formulations based on the ancient discipline of rasa shastra have shown encouraging results with leukaemia, he claimed.

The new integrated approach to treatment offers a ray of hope to hundreds of terminally-ill breast cancer patients, Prakash claimed.

The ayurvedic expert, who won the prestigious Padmashree title in 1999, said the emphasis is on arresting growth of cancer cells and reducing recurrence.

In the case of conventional methods, Koppiker explained, "Only 30 per cent of patients survive for five years or more, while 70 per cent show signs of recurrence."

Describing the integrated approach, Prakash said, it uses modern diagnostic and surgical tools to determine the spread of the cancer cells, while metal-based formulations are administered over a period of time. "The entire process is documented, so that there is no scope for any misinterpretation," he said.

A scientific committee, including leading names like Dr S. Advani and Bhushan Patwardhan will investigate and evaluate the metal therapy. "We'll be working with at least 50 patients a year," he said.

Forget good life,India worst in end-of-life care Finally,affordable relief IN THE FACE OF PAIN



Mumbai: In India,pain management for terminal cancer patients is still a nascent field,but things are looking up with the launch of two desi products : a dermal patch and a nasal spray that can soothe the most intense pain associated with diseases such as cancer.

Over 20 hospitals in the city have pain management clinics.Many have tested the nasal spray in the last nine months before it was made commercially available under Schedule H.According to P K Chandran,general manager of Aristo Pharma that manufactures the nasal spray Butrum,a survey of 160 cancer and trauma patientswho used the spray at 25 clinicsshowed satisfaction levels ranging from good to excellent.It has been classified as non-narcotic in India and hence will have less side-effects than the narcotic drugs available, he said.Dr Dwarkadas Baheti,a pain management consultant at various hospitals,including Bombay,Lilavati and S L Raheja-Fortis cautions against indiscriminate use: Nasal sprays allow easy absorption of a drug,but in the case of Butrum it could sedate a patient more than necessary.

In October 2009,the international NGO Human Rights Watch released a study saying that palliative care was not available to over 70% of Indian patients who needed it.Indias health care system abandons many patients to severe pain.They are left to suffer;many told us that their pain was so bad they would prefer to die, the 102-page report read.

There is little awareness among the public,but the good news is that the segment has been witnessing a massive growth in the last five years,said Baheti.This growth,however,is restricted to the metro cities.Pain management has several routes,and the nasal spray is only one of them.The more popular ones are dermal patches, he added.

India has the latest in painrelieving technology implantables that are inserted transdermally and to introduce medication at regular intervals.Some popular pain relievers are fentanyl lollipops and locally made fentanyl patches.

Dr Preeti Doshi,the pain management consultant at Jaslok Hospital,said that pain in a condition like cancer involves psychological as well as physical aspects.It is important to give patients pain-relieving drugs to enhance their quality of life. According to Human Rights Watch,this right is denied to Indian patients.In smaller centres,patients dont always get morphine let alone other pain-alleviating methods, said a doctor from Tata Memorial Hospital that has treated over 18,000 patients for terminal stage pain management in the last decade.

Ajay Saxena of Ruslan Pharma Limited,which developed Indias first medicinal patch using fentanyl (a narcotic drug),said: There are too many restrictions that prevent widespread use of palliative care medicines.The government could reduce the paperwork if only for patients who need narcotics or non-narcotics drugs. Many in the medical community concur.

A Ray Of Hope For Cancer Patients



Developing countries have half of the global cancer burden About 25% of cancer patients die without adequate pain relief

The NGO Human Rights Watch reported that many cancer hospitals in India do not provide patients with morphine despite the fact that more than 70% of their patients are likely to require pain treatment

Only AIIMS in New Delhi and Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai offer comprehensive palliative care management in the public sector Even Uganda Better In Survey Of OECD & Developing Nations TIMES INSIGHT GROUP

India doesnt just have a poor quality of life,as reflected in its poor human development index (HDI),it also has a particularly poor quality of death.Thats the depressing message from a new index developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit to measure end-of-life care services in 40 countries.

India finishes at the bottom of the list,which includes 30 OECD nations and 10 developing countries for which data was available.While finishing below the developed world may come as no surprise,whats revealing is that even Uganda is a notch above India.

The UK was found to have the best end-of-life care (despite a far from perfect healthcare system),followed by Australia and New Zealand.The countries that fared the worst in the Quality of Death Index released on Thursday included countries such as India,Uganda,Brazil and China in that order from the bottom.

The report noted that these countries fared badly as progress on providing end-of-life care was slow despite notable exceptions of excellence such as the state of Kerala in India and the services delivered through Hospice Africa in Uganda.

In Asia,Taiwan (14),Singapore (18) and Hong Kong (20) were ranked much higher than Japan (23),where over a fifth of the population is over 60 years.The study noted that many rich nations lagged in the overall score,including The US and Canada were ranked at 9th place in the list,while many countries known to have excellent health systems scored poorly including France (12),Norway (13),Sweden (16),Switzerland (19) and Iceland (25).According to the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance,while more than 100 million patients and family care-givers worldwide needed palliative care annually,less than 8% of them actually received it.

Experts on end-of-life care identified access to drugs,especially the availability of opioids to manage pain,and availability of carers as the most important practical issues.

They also pointed out that state funded end-of-life care tended to prioritise conventional treatment over palliative care.Even well funded health systems relied mostly on charities and philanthropic bodies to offer care to patients,noted the experts.

In many nations,standards of endof-life care suffer from inadequate policy,high costs,cultural barriers and poor access to painkillers.Too many people,even in countries that have excellent healthcare systems,suffer a poor quality of deatheven when death comes naturally.This is despite the fact that in many of these countries, increasing longevity and ageing populations mean demand for end-oflife care is likely to rise sharply Breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer awareness

is an effort to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of breast cancer through education on symptoms and treatment. Supporters hope that greater knowledge will lead to earlier detection of breast cancer, which is associated with higher long-term survival rates, and that money raised for breast cancer will produce a reliable, permanent cure.

Breast cancer advocacy and awareness efforts are a type of health advocacy. Breast cancer advocates raise funds and lobby for better care, more knowledge, and more patient empowerment. They may conduct educational campaigns or provide free or low-cost services.

Breast cancer culture, sometimes called

pink ribbon culture, is the cultural outgrowth of breast cancer advocacy, the social movement that supports it, and the larger women's health movement.

The pink ribbon is the most prominent symbol of breast cancer awareness, and in many countries the month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some national breast cancer organizations receive substantial financial support from corporate sponsorships.[1]

RESEARCHERS DISCOVER THAT KARELA CAN BEAT BREAST CANCER



Scientists of Indian origin find extract of bitter gourd can cause breast cancer cells to die,leaving normal breast cells unharmed...

Bitter gourd extract,a common dietary supplement,exerts a significant effect against breast cancer cell growth and may eventually become a chemopreventive agent against breast cancer,according to results of a recent study.

Our findings suggest that bitter gourd extract modulates several signal pathways that induces breast cancer cell death, said researcher Ratna Ray,professor in the Department of Pathology at Saint Louis University.

This extract can be utilised as a dietary supplement for the prevention of breast cancer.

Results of this study are published in Cancer Research,a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Previous research has shown Momordica charantia,also known as bitter gourd and bitter melon,to have hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects,according to Ray.Because of these effects,the extract is commonly used in folk medicines as a remedy for diabetes in locales such as India,China and Central America,according to the researchers.

Using human breast cancer cells and primary human mammary epithelial cells in a lab,Ray and colleagues found the mechanism of bitter melon extract significantly decreased proliferation,that is,cell growth and division, and induced death in breast cancer cells.These early results offer an encouraging path for research into breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a major killer among women around the world,and in that perspective,results from this study are quite significant, said Rajesh Agarwal,professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado,Denver School of Pharmacy.

This study may provide us with one more agent that could be used against breast cancer if additional studies hold true.

According to Agarwal,the Cancer Research associate editor for this study,the simple design,clear-cut results and the importance of these findings in breast cancer prevention makes this different from previous research.

However,he stressed that this study is only a step towards establishing the cancer preventive efficacy of bitter gourd against breast cancer.

Additional studies are needed to further understand the molecular targets of bitter gourd extract in cancer cells,as well as for establishing its efficacy.

Agarwal gave a note of caution,stating that while these results do provide hope as an anti-cancer agent,it is important to establish the validity of these results in animal models before adding them to ones diet to inhibit breast cancer cell growth.

Ray and colleagues are currently conducting follow-up studies using a number of cancer cell lines to examine the anti-proliferative effect of the extract.They are also planning a preclinical trial to evaluate its chemopreventive efficacy by oral administration.

Bitter melon extract is cultivated in Asia,Africa and South America.Extract of this vegetable is being popularised as a dietary supplement in Western Countries,since it is known to contain additional glycosides such as mormordin, vitamin C, carotenoids,flavanoids and polyphenols.

Mumbai Mirror Bureau



Graduate student Inbal Goldshtein, who worked with Gabriel Chodick and Varda Shalev of Tel Aviv University, says that paying close attention to routine blood test results can be an effective screening system for colon cancer which, when diagnosed early enough, can be treated effectively.

The study, recently published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, shows that most patients with colon cancer have a history of consistently declining hemoglobin levels up to four years before being diagnosed with the disease.

Previously, says Goldshtein, researchers only looked for a sharp decrease in hemoglobin levels as a symptom of colon cancer. But the researchers have discovered that it’s the continuous long-term decline that may announce the onset of cancer.

Taking into account the correlation between anemia and colorectal cancer, the team was keen to discover if a decline in hemoglobin levels could be detected prior to the critical stages of the disease – something no researcher had yet attempted to quantify.

Over 3,000 patients suffering from colorectal cancer participated in the study; they were compared with 10,000 control cases without colorectal cancer. The researchers looked at data from each participant’s blood tests over a ten-year period.

Though hemoglobin levels may vary in every human being as a result of aging, a distinct trend was discovered among study participants who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer during the study period.

Approximately four years prior to their diagnoses, their blood tests began to show a continuous decline in hemoglobin levels.

For the most part, says Goldshtein, these warning signs went unnoticed. "In practice, a doctor will look at the final results, and see if the hemoglobin levels are within a normal range."

"But this is not accurate enough. It is important to look at the continuing trend. If a person experiences a consistent decline relative to his own average level, it may be cause for concern."

Participants of the study with colorectal cancer experienced a sharp decline in hemoglobin levels, but because the declines did not put them outside the normal range, no red flags were raised.

The benefit of this screening process is that can be part of an average physical. Current testing for colorectal cancer is often expensive and unpleasant. There is also a very low compliance rate among patients, she adds.

The next step, says Shalev, is to create an algorithm which will detect suspicious declines in hemoglobin levels, advising physicians to send their patients for further testing. Ideally, the computer programme could calculate and display warnings when there is cause for concern.

Spurning Treatment



"Many people will not even be able to afford care and will forgo care," says Vikram Rajan, a doctor and senior health specialist at the World Bank in New Delhi. "We cannot wait another 10 years to look at this problem. We have to look at this problem now."

Even before the cancer scourge, India's $65 billion health-care system was struggling to keep up: More than 300,000 babies each year fail to live beyond their first day, and one in 170 women die in childbirth or from pregnancy complications, according to Save the Children, which works to protect young people. India accounted for three of every five new leprosy cases in 2012 and a quarter of tuberculosis sufferers.

Now, cancer is exploding as more Indians live into their mid-60s, up from an average life expectancy of 50 before 1970. At the same time, the country is still battling such traditional killers as malaria and cholera.

Fresh Threat



"We haven't gotten over the infectious diseases yet, but the non-communicable ones are already on us," says Harmala Gupta, who founded New Delhi-based CanSupport, a charity that has provided free medical services and support to more than 50,000 cancer patients.

Gupta, who herself beat a blood cancer called Hodgkin's lymphoma more than 25 years ago, says breast cancer patients face special challenges.

Cultural taboos make many Indian women embarrassed to talk about their bodies. Held back by modesty, poverty or ignorance, they delay doctor visits when they find something wrong with their breasts. When they finally get a checkup, their prognosis is often dire: In a third of cases, the tumor has spread to the skin or chest wall, making treatment less successful.

The lack of privacy at Indian hospitals exacerbates the problem. Gupta, 60, recalls the scene at a breast cancer clinic in a New Delhi public hospital in the mid-1990s.

Women Humiliated



"They were asking women to disrobe, and they were palpating their breasts," she says. "It was supposed to be cordoned off by curtains, but the curtains had frayed. Everyone was sitting there and watching these women. You could tell on their faces the humiliation."

Indians with cancer are stigmatized, Gupta says.

"No one wants to talk about it," she says. "They're worried their children won't get married because of arranged marriages in this country. People think it's in the family. Children are taught to lie to their prospective marriage partners."

Mumbai homemaker Deepti Shinde says she ignored swelling in her right breast, hoping the pain would go away. In October 2011, when she finally mustered the courage at age 47 to get the first breast exam of her life, the tumor that had formed in a milk duct was the size of a lime and had invaded nearby lymph nodes. Her only option for survival was a mastectomy, which she underwent in January 2012.

"I got really scared," says Shinde, who quit school in 10th grade to work as a nanny and today shares a 10-foot-by-10-foot room and loft with her husband, 17-year-old son and five other relatives. "I didn't know a whole lot about cancer at the time. I wondered if I would live."

Cancer remedy: Breast removal not always ideal



Barcelona: New research suggests that women with gene mutations that predispose them to breast cancer might not pay a huge price in survival if they choose to preserve their breast instead of having it removed.In a small study that observed women with BRCA gene mutations and different types of cancer and treatments,patients had two to four times greater risk of a cancer recurrence if they had only the cancerous lump removed instead of the whole breast.

However,their survival rates after 15 years appeared roughly similar,although this type of study cannot prove that one treatment is as good as another.Results were presented on Friday at a breast cancer conference in Barcelona.Large studies have established that having a lumpectomy followed by radiation may be as effective as a mastectomy for women with early-stage breast cancers.However,its not known if this is true for women with genes that predispose them to cancer.Lumpectomies also are sometimes followed by chemotherapy and hormone treatment such as tamoxifen depending on the size,type and spread of the cancer.AP

7 super ways you won't have breast cancer



Tags:
  • 1) Women
  • 2) skin cancer
  • 3) Pathways
  • 4) heart
  • 5) health
  • 6) Genesis
  • 7) Fred Hutchinson
  • 8) exercise
  • 9) diet
  • 10) cholesterol
  • 11) Cancer
  • 12) breast cancer
  • 13) booze
Here are 7 ways to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer

In the last 25 years, the incidence of breast cancer among Indian women has risen.

According to information available on the Tata Memorial Hospital's website worldwide, breast cancer is the most common of all cancers and is the leading cause of cancer deaths. In fact, a recent study of breast cancer risk in India revealed that one in 28 women develops breast cancer during her lifetime. This is higher in urban areas (one in 22) compared to rural areas, where the risk is lower at one in 60 women.

But there is no single cause, says Lester Barr, breast cancer surgeon and chairman of the UK-based charity Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention. "Breast cancer is caused by the interplay of your genes, the environment you live in and lifestyle factors." In addition to going for mandatory screenings and tests, you can make lifestyle changes to lower your risk.

1. Do house work: Experts say that being active reduces a woman's risk of breast cancer. Exercise reduces the number of fat cells, which are responsible for the release of hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone. It is these fat cells that are thought to encourage tumour growth. Eluned Hughes, head of public health at UK's Breakthrough Breast Cancer, says, women should aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. This can reduce breast cancer risk by at least 20 per cent. Anything that gets your heart rate up and leaves you feeling a bit out of breath will do, so tackle every day chores like dusting the house with gusto.

2. Breastfeed your baby: Women who breast-feed for a year over their lifetime, not necessarily continuously, are five per cent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who don't breast-feed at all, an analysis of cancer statistics by the World Cancer Research Fund found. The longer a woman breast-feeds, the lower her chances of getting the disease. It's thought that breast-feeding lowers the levels of cancer-related hormones in the mother's blood. When breast-feeding ends, the body gets rid of damaged cells that could turn cancerous.

3. Drink less booze: Regularly drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing breast cancer and the more drinks you have each day, the greater your risk will be," says Highes. Try simple measures to reduce how much you drink. Have one glass instead of two, enjoy alcohol-free nights and drink from smaller wine glasses to reduce your units.

4. Curtail night shifts: Women who work at least three night shifts a week for six years or more are twice as likely to develop breast cancer, Danish researchers claim. But more research needs to be done. UK's Health and Safety Executive has commissioned a study that is due to be published in 2015 and should help find more answers.

However, docs say it's not clear if it's the unhealthy behaviour caused by working night shifts, like eating poorly and being inactive, that's the possible cause, rather than the shift work itself. Women, therefore, need to think about their overall lifestyle, whatever hours they work.

5. Reduce cholesterol: Women who take statins (drugs that lower cholesterol levels) for more than a decade face doubling the risk of developing invasive ductal carcinoma, or IDC, the most common type of breast cancer, according to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. While studies suggest the short-term use of statins appears to have a protective effect against breast cancer, in the long run, statins may damage certain chemical pathways that lead to the growth of tumours. However, do not stop taking statins without consulting the doctor.

6. Avoid unhealthy chemicals: Don't use canned food and drinks and don't microwave food in plastic containers, warns nutritionist, Conner Middelmann-Whitney. They contain chemicals that behave like oestrogens, increasing breast cancer risk. High temperature barbecuing, grilling or frying meat can trigger the production of acrylamide that also increase cancer risk so try to cook meat gently and make an effort to avoid preserved meats as well.

7. Step out in the sun: Natural sunlight is the best way of increasing stores of vitamin D, which can lower your risk of breast cancer, say Canadian researchers. Laboratory tests suggest breast cells can convert vitamin D to a hormone that has anti-cancer properties. This advice should, however, be balanced against the risk of developing skin cancer from sun exposure.

Mumbai: Fridays procedure at the P D Hinduja Hospital on Gude Tejaswinis right leg increased it by 4 mm in 16 minutes.

A fall while cycling two years ago in her backyard resulted in Tejaswini experiencing excruciating pain and developing a swelling that refused to heal for days.The child specialist suspected the worst and referred her to Tata Memorial Hospital,where she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a cancer of the bones affecting mostly children and adolescents during their growth age between 10 and 20 years).

A major chunk of her right thigh bone had to be sawed off to stop the spread of the tumour but her doctor,orthopaedic oncologist Manish Agrawal,managed to save the rest of her limb as well as her knee joint.Doctors,however,could not save her growth plate in the kneecap (that determines the final length and shape of bones in adulthood).

But technology has come in handy,saving the girl from the pain of repeated surgeries to remove discrepancies between the length of the two legs.It also saves hospital cost and cuts down chances of infection.

Agrawal said technology now made it possible to avoid amputation in 80% of bone cancer patients.So our priority is to ensure that they do not have to live with any handicap, he said.

BONING UP ON NEW TECH



About 2,400 bone cases are diagnosed every year and just about one per cent of all cancers is bone cancer. OSTEOSARCOMA is the commonest type of primary bone cancer

It makes up for 35% of bone cancer cases and primarily affects children and young adults between the ages of 10-25

It often starts at the ends of bones,where new tissue forms as children grow.Knees are a common target

Following surgery to remove cancerous tumour,the patient is fitted with the non-invasive expandable implant, which can be increased in size without cutting open the limb The implant has a magnet placed inside along with a motor and a gear system A coil from outside generates an electromagnetic field that turns the motor inside the implant The miniature gears allow the movement of the motor,which expands the limb and works like a screw driver

Advantages



1) Repeated surgeries to manually increase the size of a limb arent required Apart from hospital stay,patient also saves on surgery complications and cost
2) There is no pain or stiffness when the implant lengthening is done

Disadvantages



City joins super cyclotron league kOLKATA: India has joined the exclusive club of nations with superconducting cyclotron capability. On Saturday, Salt Lake-based Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre director Bikash Sinha announced the successful completion of the Rs 100 crore project only the fifth in the world that had been stalled for years due to sanctions following the Pokhran nuclear blasts. The four other set-ups are in America and Europe.

The device accelerates charged particles close to the speed of light and is vital for frontline basic and applied research in nuclear sciences. The radio isotopes and proton beams that it will generate can be used for critical medical applications like treating brain tumor and melanoma or eye cancer. At present, there is no healthcare facility in the country that offers non-invasive proton beam surgery which can pinpoint and destroy cancerous cells.As a patient grows up,there are some chances that the implant may break For a child whos undergone the procedure,a new adult implant may be required after a few years The gears inside the implant can heat up during lengthening.Doctors have to be aware that it does not cause any damage to the soft tissue

What Causes Cancer?



Introduction



You cannot believe how many emails I have gotten from cancer patients who have gone through these three steps:

1) The patient had surgery to "cut out" the cancer,
2) The patient was told they were "cancer free,"
3) Months later the cancer "came back," which is called "regression."

Among other things, this article will explain what went wrong and will explain how to prevent the cancer from coming back.
When talking about what causes cancer we need to talk about it at two different levels.

The first level is talking about cancer at the systemic level, meaning what conditions in the body allowed the cancer to grow out of control and how do we deal with this issue.

The second level of talking about cancer is talking about what causes cancer at the cellular level. In other words, why does an individual normal cell become cancerous and how do we revert cancer cells into normal cells?

These two subjects are totally different subjects!!

We can compare these two levels by talking about a flood. We could talk all day long about the damage a rain storm caused, such as the flooding of rivers, the damage to crops caused by heavy rain, the damage to roads that have flooded, etc. But that is only one level to talk about rain. We could also ask what weather conditions cause rain to form in the clouds.

Thus, a scientist might talk about what causes rain up in the clouds, but a newscaster might talk about the damage caused by the flooding of a river caused by the rain.

he same is true about cancer. A cancer practitioner might research how to kill cancer cells or revert them into normal cells, but a cancer researcher might ask why the immune system was weak and why individual cells were cancerous.

A discussion about what causes cancer at the cellular level is a totally different subject than talking about what causes cancer at the systemic level.

So let us start by talking about cancer at the systemic level.

What Causes Cancer - Systemic Level



Everyone has cancer cells in their body, so why does one person never get diagnosed with cancer and another person is diagnosed with cancer?

Cancer is almost always caused by the same multi-step sequence of events.

First, nasty microbes and parasites get inside of the organs and make their homes there. These microbes generally come from meat that was not adequately cooked, but they can come from other sources.

Second, these microbes intercept glucose which was headed for the cells in the organs.

Third, these microbes excrete (as waste products) mycotoxins, which are highly acid and totally worthless to the cells.

Fourth, because the cells (in the organs) don't get the food they need (because it has been intercepted), and because they are living in a sea of filth (i.e. mycotoxins), the cells in the organ become weak.

Fifth, organs are made exclusively of cells. In other words, if you took all of the cells out of an organ, there would be no organ. Thus, because the cells in the organ(s) are weak, the organ(s) are weak.

Sixth, because one or more major organs are weak the immune system becomes weak. Actually, the microbes weaken the immune system both directly and indirectly.

Seventh, because the immune system is weak it cannot kill enough cancer cells and the cancer cells grow out of control.

Thus, in summary, the "root cause" of cancer is microbes and parasites that are in the organs or colon (or bloodstream), which weakens the immune system!!

However, other things can cause cancer. For example, a vaccination can weaken the immune system due to mercury and/or toxins. Filth in the colon can also lead to a weak immune system (see the book: "Fire in the Belly" by Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby, MD.):

Fire In The Belly Book



The reader might have noted the “or bloodstream” , note above. Cancer patients who have microbes in the organs also have microbes in the bloodstream. Which caused the other will vary by cancer patient. But microbes which originate in the organs will spread the microbes to the bloodstream, and vice versa. Exactly how much the microbes in the organs weaken the immune system, versus how much the microbes in the bloodstream weaken the immune system varies by case, but parasites would likely be found in the organs.

When thinking about the above steps, there are three major ways to cure cancer:

  • 1) Safely target and kill the cancer cells,
  • 2) Kill the microbes inside the cancer cells (which will be discussed below) and the cancer cells will revert into normal cells,
  • 3) Kill the microbes that are causing the immune system to be weak (and this includes the microbes in the organs and the microbes in the bloodstream).
The reader might wonder if there are any natural cancer treatments that are specifically designed to identify and get rid of the microbes in the organs? The answer is 'yes'. The Photon Protocol, designed by the Ed Skilling Institute, is designed to identify which microbes are involved and which organs are involved in each individual case.

The staff at the Ed Skilling Institute then designs a custom nutritional protocol (for each patient) to target and kill these microbes so the immune system can get back to normal. Then the immune system can deal with the cancer. They also combine an electromedicine protocol (a Photon device) which also kills large numbers of microbes, pumps the lymph system, energizes weak cells to keep the patient alive or to keep them from getting weak, creates nitric oxide, etc. etc.

On this website the Ed Skilling protocol is called the “Photon Protocol” (see the left side-bar). The Photon Protocol consists of one or two Photon devices and a custom nutritional protocol. The Photon Genius costs $25,000 and the Photon Genie costs $3,000. This cost includes the consultation. These two devices do largely the same things, but the Photon Genius is far more powerful and does additional things especially for weak cancer patients.

However, there are other ways to get rid of the microbes and parasites in the organs, even without knowing what they are.

For example, the GB-4000 M.O.P.A. (frequently called: "High RF Frequency Protocol - Plasma" on this website) or GB-4000 SR-4 (frequently called: "High RF Frequency Protocol - 10 Watt") will also kill these microbes and parasites without knowing what they are. This is because this device, if you follow the ICRF instructions, which are free, will cover enough frequencies to kill all of these microbes and parasites.

Another option is "liver flushes," such as designed by Hulda Clark or Ty Bollinger (in his book: The 31-Day Home Cancer Cure).

Fixing the "Root Cause" of Cancer



While many natural cancer treatments do very well against cancer, what is missing in many natural cancer treatment protocols is getting rid of the microbes in the organs, which is the "root cause" of most cases of cancer.

In many cases the immune system can get rid of these microbes, but in fact some types of tapeworms, flukes and fungus, etc. cannot be killed by the immune system for one reason or another (e.g. the microbes are not accessible by the immune system).

Liver flushes and special nutrients may be required to deal with these microbes and parasites. But the fact is that many natural cancer treatments do very well without dealing with these special microbes. But the patient should be aware of these issues.

By getting rid of the microbes in the organs, plus doing the normal cancer treatments, the balance (i.e. a strong immune system and a low number of cancer cells) is restored enough to keep the cancer from coming back. The patient is cured because their immune system has been fixed and the number of cancer cells (by using special protocols) has been reduced!!

The cancer will not come back as long as the patient watches their diet.

The approach of orthodox medicine, however, is to severely damage the immune system with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

This makes the imbalance even worse because these things damage the immune system and do a very poor job of targeting the cancer cells and do an even worse job of killing the microbes in the organs.

Orthodox cancer treatments also kill many healthy cells and can damage organs, the lymph system, etc. Is it any wonder the cancer always seems to "come back" after surgery or chemotherapy? This is called “regression.”

For example, how does cutting off a breast going to fix the immune system? Don’t be absurd. I don’t know how many times I have told cancer patients that

"you cannot cut cancer out."

it any wonder that alternative cancer treatments, when administered by experts, have a massively higher cure rate than orthodox medicine? Most natural cancer treatments include immune builders and things that kill cancer cells. Some protocols also include things to clean the blood of microbes, which will also supercharge the immune system.

Ponder this carefully: even when orthodox medicine puts someone into "remission" (i.e. their cancer appears to be gone), they have not fixed the "root cause" of the cancer, so it is almost certain the cancer will come back!! That is why the true "five-year" cure rate of orthodox medicine is less than 3%.

Even in Natural Medicine the Cancer Can Come Back



Many natural cancer treatments, whether cancer treatments that kill the cancer cells or even revert the cancer cells into normal cells, can have significant regression rates!!

One reason was discussed above, the microbes in the organs and/or bloodstream were not identified and destroyed.

In other words, even natural cancer treatments that kill cancer cells or revert cancer cells into normal cells can have the cancer return!! If natural cancer treatments don’t fix the “root cause” of the cancer, by cleaning the blood, and especially the organs of microbes and parasites, the cancer can come back.

What Causes Cancer - Cellular Level - Part 1



So far we have only talked about what causes cancer at the systemic level. So what causes an

individual cell

to become cancerous? Many cancer cells form by a prior cancer cell dividing and creating two cancer cells. But how does a normal cell, which is not cancerous, become cancerous?

In a normal cell, molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) provide the energy of the cell. ATP molecules are created inside the mitochondria which are inside of every human cell. In fact, there are thousands of mitochondria inside of every human cell.

The very definition of a cancer cells is low ATP energy!!
The normal process of creating ATP molecules is this (this is highly simplified):

  • 1) Glucose gets inside of the cell from the bloodstream,
  • 2) Some of the glucose is converted into pyruvate [this is about a 10 step process],
  • 3) Pyruvate gets inside of the mitochondria,
  • 4) Once inside the mitochondria, pyruvate is at the beginning of two sequential chemical reactions (the Citric Acid Cycle or Krebs Cycle and then the Electron Transport Chain which spins-off about half-way through the Citric Acid Cycle). It is these two cycles which create most of the ATP molecules in the cell.
Cancer cells consume 15 times more glucose than a normal cell. Thus, a person would logically expect a cancer cell to create 15 times more ATP molecules than a normal cell.

But in reality, cancer cells create virtually zero ATP molecules!! Cancer cells are ATP molecule starved and they have to revert to fermentation to create what little ATP molecules they create.

With so much glucose there should be an abundance of ATP molecules!! Why do cancer cells consume 15 times morehe thing that blocks the production of ATP molecules is a very special pleomorphic bacteria that is inside the cancer cells!!.

The Independent Cancer Research Foundation, and others, believe the microbe is Helicobacter Pylori or H. pylori. In some cases Fusobacterium may be involved as well as it is also known to get inside of cells.

While everyone has H. pylori bacteria in their body (generally in their digestive tract), how does H. pylori get inside of a healthy cell? Generally it doesn’t. But in some cases an acidic diet can make this bacteria highly aggressive and it can literally drill itself inside of a normal cell to get away from the acidity in the blood, as discovered by Robert O. Young, PhD.

Another way microbes can get inside of cells is because asbestos or the chemicals in tobacco cut the cell membrane. This can allow microbes inside the cells. But remember that even though all of us have cancer cells, don't forget we also have an immune system.

Diabetes drugs may be linked to pancreatic cancer



A British Medical Journal (BMJ) investigation into two classes of type 2 diabetes drugs has prompted headlines in the Daily Mail. The newspaper claims, "Diabetes drugs taken by thousands linked to cancer of the pancreas and other serious health problems," going on to allege that drug manufacturers may be trying to hide potentially harmful side effects.

It is important to stress that there is no evidence of any legal or regulatory wrongdoing by any of the drug companies mentioned in the BMJ article.

The BMJ investigation focused on two relatively new classes of type 2 diabetes drugs collectively known as "incretin mimetics". There are two main types of incretin mimetic:

1) glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists, such as exenatide, which help boost insulin production while decreasing blood sugar levels - the drug also has the added benefit of leading to modest weight loss
2) dipeptidylpeptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4), such as sitagliptin, which block the effects of an enzyme that can have a harmful impact on blood sugar levels

Neither of these drugs are first-line treatments for people with type 2 diabetes. Instead, they tend to be used if first-choice drugs are not working well enough by themselves.

As both types of drugs act on the pancreas, concerns have been raised that they may also have adverse effects on the organ. The article discusses these concerns and the evidence behind them.

This evidence includes the results of animal studies and reports from medicines regulatory agencies which suggest that the drugs may increase the risk of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and could also lead to cancerous changes in the tissue of the pancreas, triggering pancreatic cancer.

From the evidence discussed, it does appear that there may be an increased risk of these drugs having adverse effects, but further safety studies are needed to confirm this. People may be reassured that the bodies that regulate medication are aware of the potential risks and will be carefully reviewing the safety of these drugs. For now, anyone with diabetes who has concerns about their treatment should speak with the healthcare professionals involved in their care. The risk to your health of suddenly stopping treatment for type 2 diabetes are likely to far outweigh any potential risk of harm to your pancreas. What is the pancreas? The pancreas is a small organ located behind the stomach and below the ribcage. It has two important functions: it produces digestive chemicals (enzymes) used by the intestines to help digest food it produces powerful hormones, including insulin and glucagon, which regulates the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood

India sitting on a cancer bomb



NEW DELHI: India's projection for cancer among men in 2020 is now out and it isn't looking very good. The country will see a 20% overall increase — 87,000 additional cases of cancer every year in men by 2020.According to Indian Council of Medical Research's latest report, fresh cases of cancer annually among men will increase from 4.47 lakh in 2008 to 5.34 lakh by 2020. Cancers in almost all sites will see an increase, except that of the oesophagus which will actually see a dip from 23,573 fresh cases in 2008 to 20,642 cases in 2020. The report on cancer trends, that tracks the deadly disease over 24 years and is yet to be made public, says that incidence of mouth cancer will see the highest increase by almost 66%, from 28,066 fresh cases per year to 46,785 in 2020. However, in absolute numbers, lung cancer will top the list with 51,194 new cases annually by 2020 as against 42,863 in 2008.

"Around 30% of all cancers in India are due to smoking and chewing tobacco and it will be the main cause for this increase in both lung and mouth cancers. Therefore, it is vital that India takes its present ban on smoking in public and pictorial warnings on tobacco packets seriously," said Dr Vinod Raina, head of medical oncology at AIIMS. Dr Raina added, "However, the increase in the absolute number of cancer cases will be due to India's aging population. It is called age migration. Peak incidents of cancer is in 60s."

ICMR director general Dr V M Katoch told TOI "cancer becoming a huge burden in India and will require increased attention. With industrialisation in India increasing and the population ageing, it is but natural that numbers will increase." Cancer of the prostate and brain/nervous systems will see almost an equal amount of increase by around 19% in the next 12 years. Cases of prostate cancer will increase to 30,185 by 2020 as against 25,273 cases in 2008. Cancer of the brain/nervous system which recorded 18,238 cases in 2008 would increase to 21,782 during the same time.

Cancer of the tongue, larynx and stomach will all see an increase of around 16%. The number of liver cancers will increase from 14,062 cases in 2008 to 16,795 in 2020. A senior ICMR official told TOI, "This new data will help in reorienting the country's cancer control programme. We now know which cancers will require urgent attention. Cancer of the colon (11,236 cases in 2008-13,420 in 2020) and rectum (11,738 cases in 2008-14,019 new cases in 2020) is following the pattern of the West due to low fibre diet." The official added, "Brain tumors are going up sharply and we definitely need to study how much of the cause is the use of mobile phones."Talking about what the government was doing to combat cancer, a health ministry official said it was ready with a National Cancer Fund - the first such financial pool for a single disease that will cover all costs incurred by below poverty line (BPL) patients affected by cancer. The Rs 100-crore fund was cleared by the finance ministry recently.The Centre has also sanctioned Rs 2,500 crore under the 11th five-year plan for the National Cancer Control Programme - a 10-fold increase compared to the 10th plan allocation of Rs 250 crore.

The rate of women getting breast cancer or dying from breast cancer varies by race and ethnicity.

Incidence Rates by Race/Ethnicity



"Incidence rate" means how many women out of a given number get the disease each year. The graph below shows how many women out of 100,000 got breast cancer each year during the years 1999-2010. The year 2010 is the most recent year for which numbers have been reported. The breast cancer incidence rate is grouped by race and ethnicity.

The graph below shows that in 2010, white women had the highest rate of getting breast cancer, followed by black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

Tata doctors take on foodpipe cancer



If you find swallowing painful or have a chronic cough, don't ignore the symptom - in some cases, it could be the beginning of life-threatening oesophageal (foodpipe) cancer.

As most people do not make much of such symptoms until they turn into a severe problem, the Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, has launched a study for early detection of cancers of the foodpipe.

According to the hospital, only 20 per cent cases of this kind of cancer are cured, out of the 800 it gets annually.

Through the study - initially taken up in the Konkan area - doctors aim to screen more than one lakh people. They have already screened around 250 patients.

The Department of Atomic Energy has given the hospital Rs 20 crore to fund the study. As oesophageal cancer patients are mostly found in rural areas, hospital doctors are reaching even remote areas to check patients.

"The hospital has specially designed mobile vans for trained healthcare workers to go to villages and carry out visual examination of the mouth and Barium Swallow tests.

The vans have been equipped with machines that can digitally record images and transmit them via satellite to the Tata Memorial Hospital.

Experienced radiologists will interpret the images and treat patients,” said Dr C S Pramesh, associate professor of Thoracic Surgery at Tata Memorial, who is chief investigator of the study.

"Most of the time, patients do not seek treatment early. This study will help us detect cancer in the early stages. Through the transmitted images, our radiologist Dr Suyash Kulkarni can confirm the diagnosis.

A Barium Swallow test involves X-rays after the patient has swallowed a special dye (barium), which marks its path through the body.

This hardly takes 20 minutes, but can detect cancers of the throat and the foodpipe even if the patient shows no symptoms.

Any person who has suspected or confirmed diagnosis of cancer will be further evaluated and treated at the Tata Memorial Hospital free of charge,” added Dr Pramesh.

Dr Rajan Badwe, director of Tata Hospital and advisor of the study, said, “Through this project, we are looking at an actual reduction in mortality from common cancers.

Cancer survival depends upon a combination of preventive measures, early detection and advances in treatm

Obese women face greater cancer risk: Study



NEW DELHI: Two separate medical findings simultaneously released on Friday have sounded the tocsin for Indian women.

In the first study, nearly six crore women in India above the age of 15 have been found to be overweight, bordering on obesity. Shockingly, a separate study found obesity to be the leading cause of cancer these days, specially in women, with about one in 12 new cases of the disease due to excess weight. European researchers say obesity now accounts for up to 8% of cancers on the continent. The first study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, examined how many women in the reproductive age group in three south Asian countries — India, Nepal and Bangladesh — have become overweight/obese in a decade-long period between 1996-2006. The prevalence of obesity in this age group of women increased by almost 6% in Bangladesh, 8.5% in Nepal and 4% in India. Though India reported the lowest percentage increase, in absolute numbers of obese women, it is far higher than both Bangladesh and Nepal.

After researching national data from eight demographic and health surveys that studied 19,211 women in Bangladesh, 19,354 in Nepal and 1.6 lakh women in India, experts found that the prevalence of overweight-obesity increased from 2.7% to 8.9% in Bangladesh, 1.6% to 10.1% in Nepal and 10.6% to 14.8% in India.

These increases were observed in both rural and urban areas and were greater in rural areas.

Professor Anoop Misra, director of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at Fortis Hospital, said the prevalence of overweight women had increased substantially in Bangladesh, Nepal, and India.

India has around 39.42 crore women above age of 15, which means around 5.8 crore of these women are overweight and obese. This goes to show that women in India are at higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, primarily due to sedentary lifestyle.

Meanwhile, another study has clearly said shedding some extra pounds could greatly protect women against cancer. Scientists say being overweight accounts for up to 14% of cancer deaths in men and 20% of cancer deaths in women.

Some 20% to 30% of common cancers such as colon, postmenopausal breast, uterine and esophageal may be related to being overweight and to a lack of physical activity. Though scientists don't know why obesity increases cancer risk, they think it may be linked to hormones. Fat people produce more hormones, such as estrogen, that help tumours thrive.

WHAT IS OZONE THERAPY?



It's so simple it befuddles the great minds. Unlike healthy human cells that love oxygen, the disease causing viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites - including HIV and others - are like most primitive lower life forms. They are almost all anaerobic.

That means these microbes cannot live in oxygen. Therefore, what would happen to these anaerobic viruses and bacteria if they were to be completely surrounded with a very energetic form of pure oxygen for a long time?

What if enough of this special form of oxygen/ozone was to be slowly and harmlessly introduced into the body daily, over the course of a few months, by bypassing the lungs, and yet eventually saturating all the bodily fluids and every cell with it? The disease causing microbes that can't live in oxygen would cease to exist.

All 30 or so oxygen therapies, including ozone, work because they flood the body with Nature's single oxygen atoms. Singlet oxygen and its by-products are very energetic oxidizers - they "burn up" waste products, pollution, and microbes which can't protect themselves because they are either inert, or lower life forms.

Normal body cells protect themselves from the oxidizing effects of oxygen by naturally producing their own protective antioxidant coatings.

We are 66% water. Most European and many American cities purify their municipal drinking water by bubbling ozone through it to kill all the bacteria and viruses, etc. See Inactivation Kinetics of Viruses and Bacteria by use of Ozone, by E. Katzenelson, et. al., American Water Works Society, 1974.

Most bottled water in the U.S. goes through the same ozone purification methods. Since your body is two-thirds water (we are internally permeated with fluids), the same purification principals would directly apply to us. Ozone is simply infused into your personal body liquids to sterilize and purify them.

This method has been successfully applied to the human body by knowledgeable doctors treating diseased persons for over 100 years. It's simple. Our natural intake of oxygen from food, air, & water is the way Nature intended us to keep healthy and clean by oxidizing away the microbes and toxins.

Unfortunately, due to human ego and greed, mankind has polluted the eco-system, cut down the rainforests, and ruined the oceans. This is where the oxygen all comes from. So because we are all oxygen deficient, our bodies can no longer take out (oxidize) the trash. Even the ozone layer above us that protects us from ultraviolet rays is born when the rainforests make the oxygen that eventually turns into ozone.

I have witnessed hundreds of AIDS and other patients receiving ozone infusion therapy. When they start out their blood is filthy, diseased, and so empty of oxygen that it is almost black in color.

Keep putting the ozone into them for a while, and the blood turns back to a bright cherry red color, full of life giving oxygen and clean. Human ego is presently preventing us from exploring ozone's use in US medicine without great difficulty. For example, In New York City it is illegal to say any therapy helps AIDS.

This law has been used as an excuse to shut down experimental ozone clinical trials in progress before they could produce the documentation. There is plenty of documentation already around in major journals. See Ed McCabe's "O3 vs. AIDS" for proof.

Ozone rectal insufflation - average 1 1/2 liters of 27mcg/ml O3 gas into colon.
Ozone vaginal insufflation - average 5 minutes of insufflating body cavity.
Ozone ear insufflation - average 5 minutes of letting O3 fall into ear cavities.
Ozone air purification - low levels of ozone steralize and rejuvinate the room air.
Ozone charged drinking water - must be imbibed immediately while O3 still in glass.
There are over 3,000 medical references in the German literature showing ozone's use in over 50 years of application to humans by way of millions of dosages.

The International Ozone Association and the machine manufacturers report over 7,000 M.D.'s in Europe using medical ozone safely and effectively, some for more than 40 years, yet for the past 5 years, the FDA has prevented formal human testing or any ozone generating device approvals.

I have seen people sero-convert to HIV negative, and even more importantly, lose all secondary infections from being on ozone. BUT they stuck to a full protocol - getting it daily, IV, the right dosage, and the right concentrations, and combining it with other significant modalities.

People who have never tried it, or only just "dabbled" in it, end up being the only nay sayers. Those that use it continue to come back for more because they live the benefits within their own bodies.

New breast cancer jab could slash hours spent in hospital and help save the NHS millions



new injection for breast cancer patients could dramatically cut the time they spend in hospital and save the NHS millions, say experts.

Sufferers are currently given regular infusions of the drug Herceptin via a drip – an ordeal lasting between 30 and 90 minutes – for just over a year in most cases.

But the jab delivers the substance in only five minutes.

NHS England has approved the speedier method for widespread use from today, which not only frees up time for patients but will increase capacity in hospital chemotherapy suites.

Patients require an average of 18 Herceptin doses – one every three weeks – meaning the jab could spare them up to 25 hours in hospital over the course of their treatment.

Herceptin was the first targeted drug for breast cancer.

It was designed for women with HER2-positive tumours, one of the most aggressive forms of the disease, affecting around one quarter of the 44,000 British women diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

Before the health service rationing body allowed widespread use in 2006, there were high-profile battles by patients to win NHS funding for the drug.

The then health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, ordered a fast-track approval process for Herceptin, which led to it being used up to three years earlier than scheduled.

The new jab heralds another revolution in treatment, say experts, with trial data suggesting it works as well as, or even marginally better than, the time-consuming infusions.

A trial of almost 600 women living with the early stages of HER2-positive breast cancer compared standard infusion with a five-minute injection into the fatty layer of tissue under the skin.

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The tumour was completely eliminated in 45 per cent of women who received the injectable form, compared to 41 per cent of women who had the infusion.

The quicker way of delivering Herceptin was authorised for use in the UK by the European Medicines Agency.

It has been endorsed by NHS England, the national commissioning body for treatments, which clears the way for hospitals to adopt it. Scotland and Wales are likely to make similar decisions.

As well as shortening each hospital visit, the jab means the invasive tube, or cannula, used during infusions would no longer need to be inserted every three weeks.

Quality of life improved: Current treatment is gruelling and vigorous. The new jab is hailed as a revolution

A study found nine out of ten patients preferred the injected version of Herceptin versus the intravenous method.

In addition to the advantages to patients, the NHS could profit from savings valued at more than £20million, says manufacturer Roche.

Although the drug costs the same in both forms – £1,200 for each treatment – savings are made in nurses’ time spent preparing and administering the drug for intravenous use.

Pearl Lowe, 43, fashion designer and her model daughter Daisy Lowe, 24, are among hundreds of celebrities trying to raise money to further research for breast cancer treatment

Professor Lesley Fallowfield, of the University of Sussex, said: 'Time is precious to women with breast cancer, far too precious to be waiting around in busy chemotherapy centres.

'If subcutaneous delivery of Herceptin were to replace intravenous administration in the NHS then patients would spend less time in hospital and more time getting on with their lives. If this method is adopted in the NHS then the quality of life of women with HER2-positive breast cancer could be dramatically improved.'

Dr Mark Verrill, consultant medical oncologist, at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, said the jab might eventually be adapted for use by women at home.

He said the existing infusion treatment is 'quite invasive', adding: 'We can now give Herceptin by a five-minute subcutaneous injection – it's much quicker and simpler … As well as the advantage for patients, subcutaneous Herceptin frees capacity on busy chemotherapy day units.

'It lends itself to administration in the community, resonating with the … drive for treatment closer to home.'

Sally Greenbrook, of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: ‘This is a good example of how research can make improvements to patients' quality of life as well saving considerable time and money for the NHS.'

Mia Rosenblatt, of Breast Cancer Campaign said the injection had ‘the convenience of patients in mind’ and would 'save them considerable treatment time'.

With shortening chemotherapy there is also a trial that is looking after potentially thirding the time spent in radiotherapy. Given that it doesn't worsen side effects, less hospital trips are obviously ALOT less stressful and tiring.

Breast cancer : crossing fingers, doing as told and hoping for the best .. will not help : witness 12,000 UK deaths per year . The science tells us ...cancer is characterized by two basic conditions : hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and acidosis . "Lack of oxygen and acidosis are two sides of the same coin: where you have one, you have the other. .. Deprive a cell 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous." The consumption of animal protein and the lack of plant foods are the main cause of acidosis and hypoxia. - confirmed by every study since the 1892 Scientific American - conclusion - ¿ Cancer is most frequent where carnivorous habits prevail ¿ - and including the 8,000-paper CHINA STUDY ¿ T. Colin Campbell PhD 2006. All succesful cancer treatments are based on this .

Yes, it's characterised by those conditions, but not caused by them. You're lack of knowledge of how the body regulates its own pH never fails to astound me - particularly when you claim you have a qualification in nutrition. You couldn't have studied much biochemistry on your course. The China Study has long since been discredited as a piece of lousy science.

My mum has recently been diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast cancer. she is currently undergoing chemotherapy and the nurses couldn't be nicer. people who say that the doctors give the worst case scenario are wrong, I think you are wrong. The doctors cannot tell you any different in case something happens and you don't expect it. My mum is a strong lady and is fighting this b*** as good as every other person would fight it. My mum will be a survivor. I would be happy for new equipment to come out. They need to find another cure.

"As per the nhs website, each intravenous treatment takes on average 1 hour. As such how do you save 25 hours on a treatment only taking 18 hours anyway?" - the term average means nothing. It all depends on the condition of your veins for a start. I had difficult veins prior to chemo and the intravenous drugs made them worse (I had to sit with both hands in hot water at the hospital) Prior to Herceptin treatment I had a prescription anaesthetic cream that I had to apply 20 mins before my nurse arrived. This meant from start to finish my treatment usually took 2 hours. Had I been able to have Herceptin by injection it would have made things a lot easier for me.

Eggsta, you have a heart x-Ray with Herceptin every 12 weeks. The score determines whether they continue the treatment or suspend it for a while. You also see your Oncologist every few weeks as they are monitoring all your test results.

As per the nhs website, each intravenous treatment takes on average 1 hour. As such how do you save 25 hours on a treatment only taking 18 hours anyway? It is also apparent that the drug can have a serious effect on the heart, with recipients of the drug requiring their hearts to be monitored during the administration process. Are they saying that this is no longer required?

I was lucky enough to have my Herceptin done at home because it was cheaper for the health authority to give it that way. They used a private healthcare company. If I'd had to have it done at hospital it would have involved a 50 mile round trip as my 2 nearest hospitals were not licensed to give it. Every 3 weeks the nurse turned up with her kit and I sat in the comfort of my front room for a couple of hours chatting and drinking tea made by my husband as he was working from home. If there were any problems the nurse was able to contact a Consultant Oncologist at the hospital by phone. Afterwards I was able to get on with the day as Herceptin is not draining like having chemo. A number of health authorities use the at home method. Some people find sitting in a hospital chemo suite stressful, but I found I just became used to it as I built a relationship with my regular nurse.

Mr haymar and 'Ruth ' from Cambridge, you both have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Women want to spend as little time in hospital as possible. And as for change your dentist fillings and raw diets for a complete remission- HELLO! What planet are you from??

As someone who is currently undergoing Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer and will be having Herceptin, this is fantastic news

Supermum, Poole, Dorset, 57 minutes ago But part of the treatment and healing process is the time spent with the nursing staff. This is when patients are encouraged to talk about their illness and theirfears etc. This will be eradicated if the treatment time is cut. -------------------------------------------------- Sorry don't believe that - most of the patient fears are caused by nurses telling patients of the worst case scenario when really that did not apply to the patient. Although the consultants give a feeling of well being the nurses are to be avoided at all costs.

I think this is very cold of you to say 'nurses are to be avoided' my mum is going thru chemo and without them nurses I think it would be very hard to go into the chemo suite and deal with the long hours it takes to have the chemo. unless you've been thru it, I suggest you don't make comments like this, they are very hurtful.

A Protein Killer Could Treat All Cancers, and Possibly All Illnesses



MRI scans show that blood flow [red] decreases in liver tumors after ALN-VSP therapy, which stops cancer cells from making proteins that form blood vessels. Courtesy ALNYLAM

Since last April, 19 cancer patients whose liver tumors hadn't responded to chemotherapy have taken an experimental drug. Within weeks of the first dose, it appeared to work, by preventing tumors from making proteins they need to survive. The results are preliminary yet encouraging. With a slight redesign, the drug might work for hundreds of diseases, fulfilling the promise that wonder cures like stem cells and gene therapy have failed to deliver.

The biotech company Alnylam announced in June that its drug ALN-VSP cut off blood flow to 62 percent of liver-cancer tumors in those 19 patients, by triggering a rarely used defense mechanism in the body to silence cancerous genes. Whereas conventional drugs stop disease-causing proteins, ALN-VSP uses RNA interference (RNAi) therapy to stop cells from making proteins in the first place, a tactic that could work for just about any disease. "Imagine that your kitchen floods," says biochemist and Alnylam CEO John Maraganore. "Today's medicines mop it up. RNAi technology turns off the faucet."

Here's another analogy: If DNA is the blueprint for proteins, RNA is the contractor. It makes single-stranded copies of DNA's genes, called mRNA, which tell the cell to produce proteins. In 1998, scientists identified RNAi, a mechanism that primitive organisms use to detect and destroy virus's double-stranded RNA and any viral mRNA. Mammals' immune systems made RNAi's antiviral function irrelevant (although all vertebrates, including humans, still use RNAi to regulate mRNA activity), but researchers found that introducing small segments of double-stranded RNA to cells could trigger the ancient mechanism and selectively halt the production of specific proteins.

That ability makes RNAi a potential fix for many diseases, including cancer, that arise when abnormal cells produce excessive amounts of everyday proteins. In theory, manipulating RNAi to kill proteins is simple. ALN-VSP, for example, consists of synthetic double-stranded RNA designed to match tumor mRNA that codes for two proteins: VEGF, which cancers overproduce to help grow new blood vessels, and KSP, which sets off rapid cell division. The researchers send the synthetic RNA into liver cells, and the body's RNAi system kills both the synthetic RNA and any matching tumor-grown mRNA. Knock out the mRNAs coding for those proteins—which in the liver are produced only by cancer cells—and the tumor stops growing.

"We can turn off any one of 20,000 genes with RNAi," says Bruce Sullenger, a molecular biologist researching RNAi at Duke University. "The challenge has been to get a drug into only the desired cells and not harm others." Researchers have worried that a drug might disrupt normal protein production in a healthy cell, or that the immune system will destroy the drug before it reaches its target.

Alnylam overcame both concerns by packaging the drug in a fatty envelope that is absorbed primarily by the liver. This allowed doctors to administer the drug through the blood, rather than by an injection to one spot, which improves results by ensuring that the entire liver receives an even dose.

The technique's ability to attack single genes could lead to drugs for the 75 percent of cancer genes that lack any specific treatment, as well as for other illnesses. Alnylam is already testing RNAi therapy for Huntington's disease and high cholesterol in cell cultures; other researchers are tackling macular degeneration, muscular dystrophy and HIV. The potential has driven nearly every major pharmaceutical company to start an RNAi program.

Because the approach is fundamentally simple, RNAi therapy could be ready within two years, say experts including John Rossi, a molecular geneticist at City of Hope National Medical Center in California. Alnylam plans to enroll an additional 36 patients in the ALN-VSP trial and increase the dosage, but the early results are good enough to suggest that it could be among the first RNAi therapies to hit the market. "I think RNAi could work for anything," Rossi says. "But even if it only works for liver cancer, it would be pretty good." For liver-cancer patients who have been failed by chemotherapy and radiation and felt their harsh side effects, that would be wonder drug enough.

What is testicular cancer? Testicle pain or pain around the stomach and scrotum needs medical attention. Testicular pain may also be a symptom of testicular cancer. Dr. J.B. Sharma, Senior Consultant in Medical Oncology with Delhi based Action Cancer Hospital explains what is testicular cancer, signs and symptoms with testicular cancer, causes and types of testicular cancer and who are prone to it. He also explains the treatments and prevention for testicular cancer.

Scientists crack gene code of common cancers



Cancers are caused by damage to genes -- mutations in DNA -- that can be triggered by environmental factors such as tobacco smoke, harmful chemicals or ultraviolet radiation, and causes cells to grow out of control.

Scientists from Britain's Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have mapped this genetic damage from the tumours of two patients suffering from lung cancer and malignant melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.

"This is a fundamental moment in cancer research. From here on in we will think about cancers in a very different way," said Professor Mike Stratton who led the institute's cancer genome project.

"Today for the first time, in two individual cancers, a melanoma and a lung cancer, we have provided the complete list of abnormalities in DNA in each of those two cancers," he told the BBC .

"We now see uncovered all the forces that have generated that cancer and we now see all the genes that are responsible for driving those two cancers."

The scientists' research, published in the journal Nature, also gained deeper insights into the way the body tries to repair the damage caused by the cancers and stop the disease spreading.

Stratton said the research could in future change the way cancers are treated -- by using genetic maps to find the defects that caused them.

Now that we have these comprehensive complete catalogues of mutations on individual cancers, we will be able to see how each cancer developed, what were the exposures, what were the environmental factors and that's going to be key for our understanding generally of how cancers develop," he said.

"And for our individual patients, we will see all the genes that are abnormal and are driving each cancer and that's really critical, because that will tell us which drugs are likely to have an effect on that particular cancer and which are not."

Peter Campbell, a cancer-genomics expert involved in the research, said the number of mutations discovered -- 33,345 for melanoma -- and 22,910 for lung cancer -- were remarkable.

Soon, viruses to treat cancer?



NEW DELHI: Trials will soon begin in India to treat cancer differently and selectively. This could eventually see a breakthrough in the treatment of the dreaded C word and give hope to many. Called oncolytic virus, it'll see certain live viruses being injected intravenously. These will then home into cancer cells, colonize and kill them.

This is the first time such trials will take place in India and the second time in the world where success is anticipated. Early trials in UK have shown promising results. The Indian trials will be in conjunction with Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. Cancer, incidentally, is the biggest killer in India after heart disease and it's estimated there are 1.5-2 million cases at any given point in time.

Oral cancer catching them young



Indias Tobacco-Mouth Graph Shows That Youngsters Below 30 Years Form 20% Of The Patient Pool,Say Doctors

Twenty-one-year-old Naveen,who is battling tongue cancer,has come to terms with the fact that he may lose his ability to speak clearly after doctors remove half his tongue in a bid to save his life.

About 85% of oral cancer occur due to abuse of tobacco (smoke and smokeless \chewing) or alcohol.But what is alarming the doctors about Indias tobacco-mouth cancer graph is that now youngsters below 30 years of age form 20% of the patient pool.

The youngest boy whose tongue was operated was 13 years old, says Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi,head and neck cancer surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital.He remembers a 28-year-old woman who started using gutka as a pain killer during a toothache at 15 years of age.

While people below 25 years of age being afflicted by the disease is rare,Dr Chaturvedi is worried that as the youth get increasingly addicted to the cheap tobacco-based products,the cancer numbers too will increase. Incidentally,in 1999,the Journal of Indian Medical Association reported an unusually high incidence of oral submucous fibrosisa stage that predates cancer by five yearsamong younger individuals.

The articles author,Dr P C Gupta,then with the epidemiology research unit of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Colaba,wrote that there are several recent reports in the literature predicting an increase in mouth cancer incidence in India.This prediction is based upon observation of an increasing prevalence of oral submucous fibrosis,especially in younger individuals,caused by gutka,an industrially manufactured food item.

A walk through the wards and the out-patients department of Tata Memorial Hospital tells the story of an ignored epidemic.In the ICU lies 32-year-old Manish,an imitation jewellery worker from Santa Cruz,who cannot talk as his whole tongue has been removed.

He has stage IV cancer.He has been chewing gutka for 12 years, says a resident doctor after pursuing his file.On the next bed,a smoker with tongue cancer is awaiting discharge.

In the Tata Memorial Hospitals OPD,every patient has a similar story to tell: years of consuming gutka,khaini, areca-nut or smoking cigarettes or bidis.Almost all the patients in the OPD have mouth cancer caused due to tobacco abuse, says the doctor.

It is not as if Naveen didnt know about gutka and its carcinogenic qualities.I just didnt think it would affect me,or so soon, he adds.

But my parents would rather have me alive than dead right now, he says.His fathers liver has been affected by Hepatitis B,his brother is handicapped and the family spent Rs 2 lakh to get his sister married last year.

We have been facing some terrible problems ever since, says the boy,who questions the doctors about every diagnosis and treatment.I have to know,dont I he asks.

(Names of patients have been changed to protect their identities)


Head And Neck Cancers

They encompasses a wide range of tumours that occur in the head and neck region,including the nasal passages,sinuses,mouth,throat,larynx,swallowing passages,salivary glands and the thyroid gland.People who use tobacco or drink alcohol excessively are much more likely than others to develop the disease

Oral Cancer

arises in the mouth.It includes the lips,the gums and the area behind the wisdom teeth, the inside of the lips and cheeks,the floor and roof of the mouth,and the front two-thirds of the tongue

Laryngeal Cancer

begins in the larynx or the voice box.It sits at the top of the trachea,the tract that leads to the lungs

Nasal Cavity & Paranasal Sinus Cancers

are found in the tissues that line these hollow structures. The paranasal sinuses are hollow areas in the bones of the face near the nose that produce mucus

Nasopharyngeal Cancer

is found in the nasopharynx,the uppermost portion of the throat

Oropharyngeal Cancer

is found in the section of the throat (oropharynx) located just beyond the mouth. The region includes the base of the tongue,the soft palate (the soft area just beyond the roof of the mouth), and the area around the tonsils

Hypopharyngeal Cancer

is found in the hypopharynx,the uppermost portion of the oesophagus (the tube through which food travels to the stomach)

Salivary Gland Cancer

is found in the salivary glands,the structures that produce saliva to keep the mouth from drying,and aid in digestion of food

Treatment

It may include surgery,radiation therapy,or chemotherapy.When surgery is extensive, reconstruction of the area is often possible.For example,in cases where the jaw bone is removed,a surgeon can fashion a new jaw using bone from the patients own leg.Dental implants can be used to replace teeth

Death Clock

According to Smokefree Mumbai Campaign,an endeavour of the BMC along with NGOs.Since Thursday,January 01,09 15,668 Mumbaikars have died due to smoking related causes.

Rising Numbers

The excess number of deaths among adult smokers in 2010 will be about 930,000 That includes 580,000 deaths among men and 90,000 deaths among women between the ages of 30 and 69 years - Projections Based on Study in India and Canada.

Bidi Menace

6,00,000 lives are lost in India every year due to the bidi habit says the Bidi Monograph entitled,Bidi Smoking and Public health,released by the government of India in May 2008

Obesity causes 100k cancer cases a year



Washington: Obesity causes more than 100,000 incidents of cancer in the US every year, the American Institute for Cancer Research said in estimates published on Friday.

The group, which funds research on the link between diet and the disease, said 49% of endrometrial cancers, which originate in the womb, and 35% of oesophageal cancers are linked to excess body fat. “It’s clearer than ever that obesity’s impact is felt before, during and after cancer, it increases risk, makes treatment more difficult and shortens survival,” said Laurence Kolonel of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii.

Scientists have long seen a link between obesity and certain types of cancer, but the study — extrapolated from US cancer incidence data — is among the first to conclude the link exists on such a scale. According to the government-backed Centers for Disease Control, 34% of American adults aged 20 and over are obese. AFP Bone cancer treatment gets cheaper, safer and better Tata Memorial develops technique to treat, replace malignant bones without exposing patients to radiation

Bone cancer patients, especially children, now stand to benefit from a new treatment developed by the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH). Called, ‘Diaphyseal Reconstruction With Extra-corporeal Irradiated Autogenous Tumour Bone Graft’ or simply ECRT Bone Graft, his new technique entails severing the malignant part of the bone, treating it to high radiation and then putting it back where it was extracted from.

ECRT, say doctors, will save patients from the harmful effects of high intensity radiation and save them the high cost of the use of prosthetics is cost-intensive.

Dr Ashish Gulia, Associate Professor (Orthopaedic Cancer), TMH told Mirror that the hospital has already used ECRT Bone Graft, on 50 patients successfully. “Earlier we were using steel prosthesis or relying on bone donors. This would increase the time taken for treatment, healing and rehabilitation. This new technique saves money and time and also saves the patient from the harmful effects of radiation,” he said, adding, “The affected bone is severed and exposed to high intensity radiation for 30 minutes and reattached.”

He further explained that ECRT is particularly beneficial for children whose extremities are affected. “In a growing child prosthesis will have to be replaced periodically and the chances of something going wrong are higher. Hence, in such cases this technique will be of great help.”

Dr Gulia mentioned how the doctors from TMH have made a presentation about this technique at the Annual Bone and Soft Tissue Oncology Conference at Birmingham, UK. “The oncologists there too were appreciative of what they called a pioneering effort,” pointed out Dr Gulia who added that the findings will now be published in the latest Indian Journal of Orthopaedics.

One of the youngest patients treated at TMH was a sixyear-old child, who was diagnosed with cancer in the lower thigh just above the knee. “Six months after the treatment we investigated for a remission and found none. It is this positive outcome that given us confidence about the effectiveness of the new technique.” Freezing tumours is latest way to combat cancer London: Scientists have found a new way to freeze breast tumours using streams of super-cold gas, which not only kills the cancer cells but also ensures that it does not return.

The technique, called cryotherapy, requires injecting freezed gas around the tumour growth using fine needle, evading the need for invasive suffering. It will also save the patient against any major discomfort.

"Our findings suggest freezing tumours was both safe and effective," lead author Peter Littrup from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit said.

"When used for local control or potential cure of breast cancer, it provided safe and effective breast conservation," Littrup said.

The trial was carried out on 13 patients who refused to have breast operations to remove their tumours.

The team followed the patients for five years - the duration in which patients should not suffer a relapse in order to term a treatment as effective. “Minimally invasive cryotherapy opens the door for a potential new treatment for breast cancer”, Littrup said. AGENCIES

Stem cell treatment for brain tumour



NEW DELHI: A majority of brain tumour patients don't survive more than a year despite timely treatment. Doctors say the existing line of treatment surgery followed by chemo or radiotherapy is not successful in eliminating the tumour. Doctors at Harvard Medical School are experimenting with genetically engineered stem cells to "completely cure' brain tumour. After successfully using the stem cell in animal model, doctors at Harvard are now starting human trials, for which they are planning to rope in Max Healthcare.

"We take the bone marrow stem cells from the patient and then genetically engineer it with drugs. These cells then release therapeutic proteins to kill the tumour,'' said Dr Khalid Shah, who head the research at Harvard Medical School, while addressing neurologists at Max Healthcare.

Detect cancer with your cellphone now



Bangalore: Very soon,your cellphone could well be your surrogate doctor.In perhaps the first step in this direction,Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH) here launched a pilot project in which cellphones can be used to detect cancer.This project is in collaboration with SANA,a research group at Harvard,and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Any cellphone with camera can be used after a software developed by two students,one from Harvard,the other from MIT,is installed These phones will have a Health icon.If you click on it,youll get other icons like Cardiac,Cancer,etc.which will take the user to the test, said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw,chairman and managing director,Biocon.The institutions will train general physicians,nurses and medical students to use the phones.

First,the patient takes a highquality lesion picture with the camera phone.He/she then answers an automated questionnaire on colour and size of lesion to discomfort levels.Health workers diagnose the patients condition either by using simple algorithms in the software that figure out irregular margins or by uploading data to Narayana Hrudayalayas EMR (electronic medical record) system for specialist feedback.

They can recommend treatment and counsel patients through interactive videos on the phone,or refer to a specialist.

A pilot project was conducted among 400 people in Raichur,Belgaum,and some parts of Bangalore about six months ago.The project focussed on oral cancer at KLE Dental Hospital in Bangalore,and Navodaya Medical College in Raichur.Also,20 Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers in Belgaum were given customised mobiles. People who suspected they had cancer were invited to a check up and about 20 people in Belgaum were detected with the disease.

The aim is to catch the disease at its earliest stage.Its about giving patients cost-effective and accessible treatment.Were trying to find innovative ways of doing it.Itll be healthcare at your doorstep, said Shaw.

In the next few months,NH will scale this up to other medical institutions in the state and may cover cardiac diseases,diabetes and chronic kidney disease by next year.

Doctors feel this is only the beginning and a time may come when one can even do an ECG at home.

SANA,an award winning,multi-disciplinary body at MIT/Harvard,has developed an open-source telemedicine platform. Sidhant Jena,SANA team lead and Harvard student,and Russell Ryan,lead engineer and MIT student,are the brains.

Jena,an Indian,said: The technology is ideally suited for developing countries like India,not just for cost,but because its better than existing proprietary solutions.With the proliferation of mobile networks,smart phones, and open-source software,we can overcome three fundamental issues in telemedicine power,cost and connectivity.

HEALTH CHECK-UP AT YOUR FINGERTIPS



Any cellphone with camera can be used after a software developed by a Harvard and MIT student is installed The patient takes a lesion picture and then answers an automated questionnaire about the lesion,discomfort levels Patients condition is diagnosed by using simple algorithms in the software or uploading data to Narayana Hrudayalayas electronic medical record system Sidhant Jena,an Indian at Harvard,and Russell Ryan of MIT are the brains behind this project

Nanotech plays vital role in fighting cancer'



Addressing the valedictory session of the two-day national conference on Nanotechnology on Sansthan premises, department of physics and astrophysics, Delhi University, scientist Dr S Annapoorni emphasised on use of biosensors based on surface Plasmon resonance using metal nanostructures.

Using fat cells to fight brain cancer



Johns Hopkins researchers have found that stem cells from a patients own fat may have the potential to deliver new treatments directly into the brain after the surgical removal of a glioblastoma,the most common and aggressive form of brain tumour.

The investigators say mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have an unexplained ability to seek out damaged cells,such as those involved in cancer,and may provide clinicians a new tool for accessing difficult-to-reach parts of the brain where cancer cells can hide and proliferate anew.They say harvesting MSCs from fat is less invasive and less expensive than getting them from bone marrow,a more common method.Results of the study appear in P L O S O N E.

The biggest challenge in brain cancer is the migration of cancer cells.Even when we remove the tumour,some of the cells have already slipped away and are causing damage somewhere else, says study leader Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.Building off our findings,we may be able to find a way to arm a patients own healthy cells with the treatment needed to chase down those cancer cells and destroy them.Its truly personalised medicine.

For their test-tube experiments,Quinones-Hinojosa and his colleagues boughthumanMSCsderivedfromboth fat and bone marrow,and also isolated and grew their own stem cell lines from fat removed from two patients.Comparing the three cell lines,they discovered that all proliferated,migrated,stayed alive and kept their potential as stem cells equally well.

This is important because it suggests that a patients own fat cells might work as well as any to create cancer-fighting cells.The MSCs,with their ability to home in on cancer cells,might be able to act as a delivery mechanism,bringing drugs,nanoparticles or some treatment directly to the cells.Quinones-Hinojosa cautions that while further studies are under way,it will be years before human trials of MSC delivery systems can begin.

Ideally,he says,if MSCs work,a patient with a glioblastoma would have some adipose tissue (fat) removed from any number of locations in the body a short time before surgery.The MSCs in the fat would be drawn out and manipulated in the lab to carry drugs or other treatments.Then,after surgeons removed the brain tumour,they could deposit these treatment-armed cells intothebraininthehopesthattheywould seek out and destroy the cancer cells.

For now,treatments for glioblastoma are chemotherapy,radiation and surgery,but even a combination of all three rarely leads to more than 18 months of survival after diagnosis.Glioblastoma cells are particularly nimble,migrating across the entire brain and establishing new tumours.This migratory capability is thought to be a key reason for the low cure rate of this tumour type. Essentially these MSCs are like a smart device that can track cancer cells, Quinones-Hinojosa says.

Quinones-Hinojosa says its unclear why MSCs are attracted to glioblastoma cells,but they appear to have a natural affinity for sites of damage in the body,such as a wound.MSCs have already been studied in animal models to treat trauma,Parkinsons disease,ALS and other diseases.

Dead gene halts inflammation



Researchers have identified a single gene that controls inflammation,accelerated aging and cancer

Agene long presumed dead comes to life under the full moon of inflammation,Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have found.

The discovery, described in a study to be published in eLife,may help explain how anti-inflammatory steroid drugs work.It also could someday lead to entirely new classes of anti-inflammatory treatments without some of steroids damaging side effects.

Chronic inflammation plays a role in cancer and in autoimmune,cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

WARNING SIGN



When pathogens such as viruses or bacteria invade our body,the immune system reacts by producing a flurry of chemical signals that call specialized defender cells to the scene.This first line of defence is known as inflammation.It is a necessary defence mechanism you cant live without it, said Sourav Ghosh,lead author.To be effective against pathogens,yet prevent collateral damage from bodys own defences,the immune system has to maintain just the right level of inflammation,explained Ghosh.

Vertebrates have two powerful lines of defence: a non-specific,or innate,immune response and the specific,or adaptive,immune response.In the non-specific response,the immune system throws a first wave of measures at the intruders,ing of aggressive destructive enzymes kamikaze-like neutrophils.dont know who the enemy you fire everywhere with eyes closed, Ghosh But once you know,you shut this off and bring in cial ops so to speak.

This is specific immunity,ble of targeting pathogens cisely,while sparing microbes and cells belonging the body.Once activated,has to be a mechanism that vents adaptive response going into overdrive, he

PROTEIN S



Two immune cells that used Protein S to communicate ceasefire turned out to be the key players in mediating the immune response.The findings could help scientists develop treatments for inflammatory diseases by designing substitute for insufficient Protein S.According to Ghosh,patients with inflammatory bowel disease are 20 times more likely to develop colon cancer,underlining the significance of this study. AGENCIES

Nanodiamonds could detect cancers early



Researchers are using nanometric scale diamonds as biosensors to monitor cancer cell processes in real-time. This could help detect cancers earlier than previously possible.

Diamonds are sometimes considered as a girl's best friend. Now, this expression is about to have a new meaning. Nanometric scale diamond particles could offer a new way to detect cancer far earlier than previously thought. This is precisely the objective of a research project called Dinamo. It aims to develop a non-invasive nanotechnology sensing platform for real-time monitoring of biomolecular processes in living cancer cells. To do so, the researchers developed a new technique, based on the use of fluorescent nanodiamond particles(NDPs).

"We demonstrated that the specific combination of NDP-properties make them a highly suitable material for the construction of probes capable of sensing biomolecules ranging from proteins to DNA," says team coordinator Milos Nesladek, who is also principle scientist at the Institute for Material Research, Imec, based in Belgium, "such probes could be used to study molecular processes in cells at nanoscale."

The trouble is that previous solutions did not allow monitoring processes within living cells for any extended period of time. "Our key challenge was to replace fluorescent bimolecular dyes that are currently used as luminescence markers in cancer cell research," explains Nesladek.

NDPs present several advantages. They are highly biocompatible. They can remain for prolonged periods inside cells without influencing any cellular mechanisms. Furthermore, they can be engineered to obtain a range of optic, magnetic and surface properties. "The small size of NDPs enables them to penetrate individual cell membranes in a non-invasive way, which causes no damage to the cell and without any disruption of normal cellular functions," said Nesladek. "The luminescence and the magnetic properties change depending on the NDP's interaction with the cellular environment," he adds.

The surface properties of NDPs are such that it is possible to attach specific biomolecules to them, such as primary DNA molecules. Delivered precisely to the target cell, these biomolecules can measure, monitor or alter biological components within the cell. The NDPs can thus become not only a tool to monitor and detect pre-cancerous changes, but also to rectify them.

Some experts welcome this approach. "Development of new drug delivery carriers is crucial for treatment of numerous deceases, including cancer," comments Fedor Jelezko, director of the Institute of Quantum Optics at Ulm University in Germany. The novelty of approach in [the project] is the use of innovative material to transport drugs," he added.

Nanodiamond provides unique opportunities for drug carrier design since they can be imaged optically using fluorescence microscopy technique. "This allows monitoring of drug delivery and release of drugs in the cells with unprecedented details," he explained. This monitoring has already been demonstrated by teams of the Ecole Normale Superieure in Cachan and Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute in Paris, France.

"Dinamo has focused on the context of breast cancer and colorectal cancer, but there is no reason why the technique could not be applied to a wide range of other cancers," Nesladek said. He also added that another future aim is to explore the possibility of using NDP probes to detect cancer stem cells Breast Cancer survivors share advice that they wish someone had given them when they battled the disease.

The spectre of breast cancer is looming large over Indian women. According to a recent study by the Tata Memorial Hospital on breast cancer risk in India, one in 22 urban women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

The average age of the high risk group is between 43 to 46 years, compared to the West where women between 53 and 57 years are prone.

According to Dr Tejinder Singh, consultant medical oncologist and haemato-oncologist, Fortis Hospital, the best thing a doctor can do for his patient is tell her the truth, about the treatment, its side effects and success rate. This, he points out, is vital. At the same time, he must help the patient cope with the news. Most patients cannot handle the shock. That's when we intervene." The doctor plays an important role but Dr Deepak Chhabra, cancer surgeon associated with Dr L H Hiranandani hospital, agrees, that family does too. "We talk to relatives rather than the patient. The doctor must tell the patient that it is not the end of the world. In fact, breast cancer is the only cancer which has the highest curative rate."

Mirror asked survivors what they wish they had been told, to help them cope with the treatment.

When Bhavya (name changed), a 43-year-old accountant was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year in April, her first reaction was one of overwhelming despair. Although surrounded by friends and family, Bhavya says she wished she had spoken to a cancer survivor. "Because a cancer survivor is the only one who will really understand what you are going through. Friends and relatives console you, but it doesn't help," says Bhavya, whose second stage cancertreatment, her doctor shared with her a reference of another survivor. Telephone chats were followed by meetings. "She helped me face negative thoughts. I'd ask her, 'Why me, will I get well?' She got me to read motivational books."

Support groups are crucial, agrees Anita Vesuwala, 59, a breast cancer survivor who underwent a mastectomy 20 years ago. She is one of the founding members of a support group, the Cancer Rehabilitation Clinic that meets four times a week at the Prince Aly Khan Hospital, Mazagaon. "Even today, we have patients who come after years of having survived cancer and say, 'I wish I had a group like this, back when I had cancer.'"

The group, which has been meeting since 1994, offers other kinds of support — telephone numbers of wig makers, information about prosthetic breasts and bras, and protein packets for those who've just had their surgery. Yet, for Vesuvala the group arose out of her need to reach out after her mastectomy. "My doctor told me to go home after the surgery, but I was lost. A vital part of me had gone missing. It's only when I met another survivor who underwent the same experience that I beganagpur-based gynaecologist Nirmala Vaze was 41 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. "In spite of being a doctor, I didn't know that my family was genetically predisposed to it. I wish I was aware. I would have expected it." Vaze, now 66, is a two-time cancer survivor. She, along with 35 members of her family, underwent a genetic test to find out whether they carried the mutated gene, BRCA 1 (short for Breast Cancer causing gene-1) that made them vulnerable to breast, ovarian or prostate cancer.

However, several members continue to slip the test. 'We don't want to live with the burden of knowing,' they tell her. Social stigma and fear of hampering the marriage prospects of children in the family are other concerns. "Just because you have the gene doesn't mean you are going to die.

In fact, breast cancer when diagnosed early through regular mammograms and check-ups is treatable. You don't need to undergo a double mastectomy, either," clarifies Vaze. "Genetic testing allows you to take the right kind of precaution and knowledge arms you to deal with the problem."

They beat cancer, now help others conquer it Cancer survivors-turned-counselors are making a huge difference to patients across city hospitals



Cancer patients from several Mumbai hospitals, including the Tata Memorial Centre, Breach Candy, Saifee and Hinduja have been frequenting Byculla’s Prince Aly Khan Hospital, where a team of cancer survivors encourage and guide them.

The cancer rehabilitation centre at the hospital is handled by a team of 20 volunteers, of which 12 are cancer survivors. They share with the patients how they handled the side effects of medicines, the chemotherapy sessions and the resultant hair loss, how they overcame the stigma of wearing a wig and the prosthesis, and the feel good food and exercises post chemo.

For the last 18 years, Dadar residentAnitaVesuvalahasbeenvisiting the centre every Tuesday and Friday. Anyone who’s spent even a week in hospital will tell you that he/she wouldn’t want to see one ever again, but Vesuvala, 59, who underwent treatment for breast cancer 20 years ago, decided to help others battling the ailment.

Since 1994, when Vesuvala became the first volunteer to counsel cancerpatientsatthePrinceAlyKhan Hospital, her team has been steadily growing, and is able to spend several hours at least twice a week, during which each volunteer meets three to four patients a day.

Forthepatients,it’sanopportunity to discuss things that they would hesitate to ask a doctor. Said Sanjana Verma, a 50-year-old school teacher from Gwalior, “I was so anxious, had somanyquestions…I’msofortunate to have found a team of cancer survivors who are willing to address all my queries.”

Verma underwent mastectomy (removalofleftbreast)inAugust,and is coming to terms with wearing a wig.

Last Friday, she tried out several wigs suggested by the volunteers, and eventually settled for the one that reached her waist. “Now I can tie it in a bun and look normal, just like before,” she said.

Vesuvala said that a meeting with a breast cancer survivor convinced her to become a volunteer herself. “I was shattered when I was diagnosed withcancer20yearsago.Iwasyoung, my children were small and the only question I kept asking was why me?” Vesuvala recalled.

The centre, a brainchild of oncosurgeon Dr Sultan Pradhan, also came up in 1994. “The doctors can’t have the depth of under standing that women who have dealt with this disease possess. Also, women find it easier too penuptootherwomen,”Pradhan said.

The Tata Memorial Centre in Parel, easily India’s busiest cancer hospital, got a volunteer-counselor in 2005, when breast cancer survivor Mamata Goenka offered help. She has devised a post-surgery kit – distributed free of costs – which consists of a sling bag designed to accommodate the drainage device, a cushion for arm care, and an 80-cm long scarf to cover the head, besides a manual listing exercises.

Goenka, who was diagnosed with cancer twice, said: “After the breast cancer surgery, an external drainage device is attached to the patients, which is extremely tedious to carry. As the lymph nodes are removed, patients feel discomfort in the underarm area, and there is hair loss due to chemotherapy. These could lead to severe depression.”

She conducts post-operative sessions at Tata Memorial Centre thrice aweek,wherethekitsdesignedbyher are distributed.

Seventy-year-old Rehmat Memdani from Thane, who underwent mastectomy last week, said that only acancer survivor could have come up with such kit.

"I was very uncomfortable walking around holding the drain. With theslingbag,itiseasy.Thevolunteers havealsogivenmeaprosthesiswhich Icanwearandlooknormalasbefore," she said.

While most volunteers are engaged in breast cancer counseling, there’s Pradip Lahiri, a laryngeal cancer survivor who trains patients in esophageal speech (a method of speech production through oscillation of the esophagus).

Lahiri, who had lost his vocal cords post surgery, said he loves his new voice because he created it. Recently, he travelled to Tokyo, where he underwent an advanced esophageal speech therapy course. He now trains others at the Prince Aly Khan Hospital since 1998, and patients from several hospitals are being referred to him.

MUMBAI: When the winter session of Parliament begins on December 5, millions of cancer patients hope lawmakers will clear a long-awaited amendment that will allow them easier access to morphine.

Morphine, one of the best known pain-control medicines, is available to barely 1% of all patients suffering from pain arising out of their cancer or HIV/AIDS infection, say experts. "India has 2.4 million cancer patients who need pain relief and another 2.5 million living with HIV. These patients sometimes suffer unbearable pain that is best relieved by morphine," said Thiruvananthapuram-based Dr M R Rajagopal, who is often referred to as the father of palliative care in India. Last two sessions of the houses failed to take up the amendment to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. Dubbing its poor access as a human rights violation, Dr Rajagopal said, "We hope the amendment will be passed this time.''

Morphine is classified as a narcotic under the NDPS Act, resulting in tight restrictions to prevent misuse. The law states that anybody found with 250 grams of morphine without adequate licences could face up to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.

This lack of access to morphine for patients, though, is not limited to India alone. Untreated cancer pain is a scandal of global proportions, said a new research published in the Annals of Oncology a few days ago. The report worked out by the Global Opioid Policy Initiative showed that half of the world's population lives in countries where regulations that aim to stem drug misuse leave cancer patients without access to opioid medicines for managing cancer pain.

Kerala and Maharashtra are two states in India that use morphine more than the rest of India for their cancer patients. "Yet, we can safely say that the patients need 10 times more morphine than is being used at present, '' said Dr Mary Ann Muckadam, professor at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel.

Tata Memorial Hospital offers palliative care to 3,500 patients a year. "But 66% of our patients come from outside the state and less than 10% of these stay on to access pain medication."

The story in the rest of India is sadder. "Half of the regional cancer centres don't have morphine or doctors trained in using it. This, despite the fact that 70% of their patients come with advanced cancer," said Dr Rajagopal.

Experts are convinced that better access to morphine will change the plight of Indian cancer patients. "In 1985, India had used over 700m kg of morphine for patients. This number fell drastically to 18 kg in 1997 - just a few years after NDPS came into existence,'' said the doctor. Currently, India uses little over 200kg for its patients.

One in every 10 Indian at risk of getting cancer before 75: WHO



London:Nearly seven lakh Indians die of cancer every year,while over 10 lakh are newly diagnosed with some form of the disease.

According to the latest World Cancer Report from the World Health Organisation (WHO),more women in India are being newly diagnosed with cancer annually.As against 4.77 lakh men,5.37 lakh women were diagnosed with cancer in India in 2012.

In terms of cancer deaths,the mortality rate among men and women in India is almost the same.While 3.56 lakh men died of cancer in 2012 in India,the corresponding number for women was 3.26 lakh.

One in every 10 Indians runs the risk of getting cancer before 75 years of age,while seven in every 100 runs the risk of dying from cancer before their 75th birthday. Cancer of lip and oral cavity has emerged as the deadliest among Indian men while for women,it is breast cancer.

The top five cancers in men are lip/oral cavity,lung,stomach,colorectum and pharynx,while among women they are breast,cervix,colorectum,ovary and lip/oral cavity.The global cancer burden jumped to 14.1 million new cases in 2012,with WHO saying the marked increase in breast cancers must be addressed. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC),WHOs cancer agency,has released the latest data on cancer incidence,mortality and prevalence worldwide.The new version of IARCs GLOBOCAN 2012 provides the most recent estimates for 28 types of cancer in 184 countries and offers a comprehensive overview of the global cancer burden.It reveals striking patterns of cancer in women and highlights that priority should be given to cancer prevention for breast and cervical cancers.

'If breast cancer spreads, surgery can't prolong life'



Mumbai: Surgery and radiotherapy do not necessarily ensure longer survival for women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) — cancer that has spread to other vital organs in the body. Chemotherapy and hormonal treatment can achieve almost similar benefits, a landmark study by Parel’s Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) has established.

The study, presented in the ongoing San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in US, could alter the way metastatic breast cancer is managed and save many patients from needless surgery or exposure to radiation.

It also solves the dilemma most cancer surgeons face when presented with MBC. In 5-20% of breast cancer patients, the cancer has already attacked other vital organs by the time of their first visit to a doctor. In India, where there’s a dearth of preventive screening programmes, a significant majority of women get diagnosed for breast cancer long after the cancer has spread.

The trial involving 350 women was carried out between February 2005 and May 2013, where they were divided into two groups. One group had 173 women, who underwent surgery and radiotherapy, while another group of 177 women were spared these. Both groups had undergone six successful rounds of chemotherapy before their recruitment into the trial. Women who underwent surgery had the primary breast tumour, where the cancer had originated, and lymph nodes removed, followed by several weeks of radiation.

The average survival rate for both groups was found to be between 18 to 20 months. “We found there was no difference in overall survival between those who received loco-regional treatment (surgery and radiation) and those who did not,” said Dr Rajendra Badwe, director of TMH, in a statement. “A lot of oncologists who believe in conventional wisdom and don’t provide loco-regional treatment will feel a lot more comfortable looking at the results.” In fact, there was an insignificant 7% excess death rate noted in patients who underwent surgery and radiotherapy.

The findings could change the way metastatic cancer is handled the world over. At least 30-50% of patients diagnosed with MBC are given the surgical option. “The efficacy of surgery and radiation was always a debated area as most studies were retrospective and gave conflicting results,” said Dr Sudeep Gupta, TMH professor of medical oncology.

Tata Hospital had stopped operating on MBC patients long ago. “Many more women would be spared the anxiety of undergoing a breast removal surgery,” Gupta added.

Ashwini Budrukkar from the hospital’s department of radiation oncology said in cases where patients are advised surgery and radiation, the patients easily spend around 2-3 months for surgery and radiation sessions. “We will not only be saving resources, but patients, too, will be relieved of a financial burden,” she said.

Badwe added that treatment options like surgery and radiotherapy should be reserved for palliative reasons.

THE STUDY



Patients of metastatic breast cancer (when the cancer has spread) may not benefit from surgery and radiotherapy after chemotherapy, shows a Tata Memorial Hospital study For 5-20% breast cancer patients, it's already spread when they approach doctors For study, 350 patients were divided into two groups - one underwent surgery and received radiotherapy, the other didn't Survival rate for both groups averaged 18.8-20.5 months Overall survival after two years was 40% in surgery group and 43.3% in the one that didn't.

IMPLICATIONS



Findings can change how metastatic breast cancer is managed the world over Patients may be saved expensive, avoidable surgeries and radiotherapy Resources and time needed for radiotherapy lasting up to five weeks and probable side-effects can be saved Globally, up to 40% patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer are known to opt for partial or complete breast removal

ADVISORY



Should not give impression that metastatic breast cancers are not treatable There are advanced chemotherapy drugs, hormonal as well as targeted therapies that give good results Survival rate in the study group ranges from 8 months to 7 years Findings relevant for metastatic breast cancer, not other cancers

If you've been experiencing more than one of these symptoms regularly, get yourself checked



They are common symptoms and can be passed off as your body getting to grips with every day tiredness. But experts warn that if you notice any other major changes in the way your body functions or feels, you should see a doctor, especially if the changes persist or get worse. It may not be cancer, but any major change in your body is cause for concern.

UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS

If you are losing weight because you are dieting or exercising, that's fine. But if you find yourself losing weight with no change in your lifestyle habits, this is an unexplained weight loss and it can be associated with several cancers including those of the pancreas and stomach.

FEVER


A persistent fever may be an early sign of blood cancers like lymphoma or leukaemia. If you experience persistent fever, you should see a doctor. Even if it’s not cancer, it must be treated seriously.

PAIN


Although pain can have many causes, persistent headaches can be an early sign of brain cancer and back pain can be a sign of rectal or ovarian cancer. If you start experiencing persistent pain, talk to your GP.

A NAGGING COUGH


If you notice a cough or hoarseness that just won’t go away, it could be a sign of lung or larynx cancer. It is more likely that you are experiencing seasonal allergies, but run tests to be sure.

LUMPS IN THE BODY


If you find lumps in your skin, go see a dermat. Be especially wary of lumps in the breast, testicles, or near lymph nodes. Don’t freak out if you find lumps on your arms, legs, or other parts of the body though. They might just be harmless sebaceous cysts.

UNUSUAL BLEEDING


Abnormal bleeding is one of many signs of cancer. Coughing up blood can mean lung cancer, blood in the stool can mean colon or rectal cancer, blood in urine can mean bladder cancer, persistent vaginal bleeding could point to cervical cancer, and blood discharge from the nipple can mean breast cancer.

CHANGES IN BLADDER FUNCTION


If you experience pain when urinating, blood in your urine, or other changes, such as needing to go more or less often, these could be symptoms of bladder or prostate cancer. Besides, if you observe a long-term change in your bowel function, like persistent diarrhoea or constipation, it may be a symptom of colon cancer. Catching it early with a colonoscopy could save your life.

SORES THAT NEVER HEAL


If you have a persistent sore or sores that don’t seem to heal, you should get them checked out by a doctor right away. Sores inside the mouth can be signs of an oral cancer.

CHANGES ON YOUR SKIN


If you notice any changes on a wart or mole on your body, or any other changes on your skin, this could be a sign of melanoma, also known as skin cancer. See a dermatologist right away. It can be treated easily if it’s detected early.

FATIGUE


Constant fatigue that does not get better with rest can be a sign of cancer. This is a tricky one because a lot of people feel fatigue for completely different reasons. But if you start feeling tired all the time you should get yourself checked.

'breast cancer spreads, surgery can't prolong life'


Mumbai: Surgery and radiotherapy do not necessarily ensure longer survival for women with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) — cancer that has spread to other vital organs in the body. Chemotherapy and hormonal treatment can achieve almost similar benefits, a landmark study by Parel’s Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) has established.

The study, presented in the ongoing San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in US, could alter the way metastatic breast cancer is managed and save many patients from needless surgery or exposure to radiation.

It also solves the dilemma most cancer surgeons face when presented with MBC. In 5-20% of breast cancer patients, the cancer has already attacked other vital organs by the time of their first visit to a doctor. In India, where there’s a dearth of preventive screening programmes, a significant majority of women get diagnosed for breast cancer long after the cancer has spread.

The trial involving 350 women was carried out between February 2005 and May 2013, where they were divided into two groups. One group had 173 women, who underwent surgery and radiotherapy, while another group of 177 women were spared these. Both groups had undergone six successful rounds of chemotherapy before their recruitment into the trial. Women who underwent surgery had the primary breast tumour, where the cancer had originated, and lymph nodes removed, followed by several weeks of radiation.

The average survival rate for both groups was found to be between 18 to 20 months. “We found there was no difference in overall survival between those who received loco-regional treatment (surgery and radiation) and those who did not,” said Dr Rajendra Badwe, director of TMH, in a statement. “A lot of oncologists who believe in conventional wisdom and don’t provide loco-regional treatment will feel a lot more comfortable looking at the results.” In fact, there was an insignificant 7% excess death rate noted in patients who underwent surgery and radiotherapy.

The findings could change the way metastatic cancer is handled the world over. At least 30-50% of patients diagnosed with MBC are given the surgical option. “The efficacy of surgery and radiation was always a debated area as most studies were retrospective and gave conflicting results,” said Dr Sudeep Gupta, TMH professor of medical oncology.

Tata Hospital had stopped operating on MBC patients long ago. “Many more women would be spared the anxiety of undergoing a breast removal surgery,” Gupta added.

Ashwini Budrukkar from the hospital’s department of radiation oncology said in cases where patients are advised surgery and radiation, the patients easily spend around 2-3 months for surgery and radiation sessions. “We will not only be saving resources, but patients, too, will be relieved of a financial burden,” she said.

Badwe added that treatment options like surgery and radiotherapy should be reserved for palliative reasons.

THE STUDY


Patients of metastatic breast cancer (when the cancer has spread) may not benefit from surgery and radiotherapy after chemotherapy, shows a Tata Memorial Hospital study

For 5-20% breast cancer patients, it's already spread when they approach doctors For study, 350 patients were divided into two groups - one underwent surgery and received radiotherapy, the other didn't Survival rate for both groups averaged 18.8-20.5 months Overall survival after two years was 40% in surgery group and 43.3% in the one that didnt.

IMPLICATIONS


Findings can change how metastatic breast cancer is managed the world over Patients may be saved expensive, avoidable surgeries and radiotherapy Resources and time needed for radiotherapy lasting up to five weeks and probable side-effects can be saved Globally, up to 40% patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer are known to opt for partial or complete breast removal

ADVISORY


Should not give impression that metastatic breast cancers are not treatable There are advanced chemotherapy drugs, hormonal as well as targeted therapies that give good results Survival rate in the study group ranges from 8 months to 7 years Findings relevant for metastatic breast cancer, not other cancers

his is a difficult question, because the answer can be yes or no depending upon how you define cure. Before explaining what this means, and because hope is so important in the setting of cancer, it's important to keep in mind a few things:

  • 1) Long-term survival with lung cancer is sometimes possible, especially when the disease is caught in the early stages.
  • 2) Some people survive many years even with stage 4 lung cancer.
  • 3) There are reported cases -- though rare -- in which lung cancer has spontaneously regressed.
  • 4) Even if a lung cancer is not curable, it is almost always treatable.

What Does Cure Mean?


In the truest sense of the word, lung cancer can't be "cured." What this means is that there is always a chance (in some cases this is very small) that lung cancer can recur, even many years or decades after it is originally found. The longer someone lives without evidence of cancer (with no evidence of disease (NED)), the lower the likelihood that it will come back.

There are actually very few cancers in which people can be declared "cured" in the pure sense of the word, and most of these are blood-related cancers such as leukemia in children. Lung cancer, instead, is similar to other "solid tumors" such as breast cancer and colon cancer in which long term remission is possible, but physicians are hesitant to use the word cured.

An example to help explain this, is that people who have survived lung cancer for 5 years, have a persistent risk of death from lung cancer up to 18 years after their diagnosis. Recurrence is more likely in those with adenocarcinoma than squamous cell lung cancer; more likely if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, and more likely to recur if surgery is not done.

One exception in the literature is people who have stage 1A lung cancer with no vascular invasion -- meaning the tumor is very small and has not extended into any blood vessels. In this case if there is no evidence of cancer after 5 years, it appears the word cure may be used.

Anaemia can predict colon cancer early on Anaemia, a common blood disorder characterised by low hemoglobin levels in the blood, can actually indicate a potential for colon cancer years before it's actually diagnosed



Graduate student Inbal Goldshtein, who worked with Gabriel Chodick and Varda Shalev of Tel Aviv University, says that paying close attention to routine blood test results can be an effective screening system for colon cancer which, when diagnosed early enough, can be treated effectively.

The study, recently published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, shows that most patients with colon cancer have a history of consistently declining hemoglobin levels up to four years before being diagnosed with the disease.

Previously, says Goldshtein, researchers only looked for a sharp decrease in hemoglobin levels as a symptom of colon cancer. But the researchers have discovered that it’s the continuous long-term decline that may announce the onset of cancer.

Taking into account the correlation between anemia and colorectal cancer, the team was keen to discover if a decline in hemoglobin levels could be detected prior to the critical stages of the disease – something no researcher had yet attempted to quantify.

Over 3,000 patients suffering from colorectal cancer participated in the study; they were compared with 10,000 control cases without colorectal cancer. The researchers looked at data from each participant’s blood tests over a ten-year period.

Though hemoglobin levels may vary in every human being as a result of aging, a distinct trend was discovered among study participants who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer during the study period.

Approximately four years prior to their diagnoses, their blood tests began to show a continuous decline in hemoglobin levels.

For the most part, says Goldshtein, these warning signs went unnoticed. "In practice, a doctor will look at the final results, and see if the hemoglobin levels are within a normal range."

"But this is not accurate enough. It is important to look at the continuing trend. If a person experiences a consistent decline relative to his own average level, it may be cause for concern."

Participants of the study with colorectal cancer experienced a sharp decline in hemoglobin levels, but because the declines did not put them outside the normal range, no red flags were raised.

The benefit of this screening process is that can be part of an average physical. Current testing for colorectal cancer is often expensive and unpleasant. There is also a very low compliance rate among patients, she adds.

The next step, says Shalev, is to create an algorithm which will detect suspicious declines in hemoglobin levels, advising physicians to send their patients for further testing. Ideally, the computer programme could calculate and display warnings when there is cause for concern. Anaemia can predict colon cancer early on Anaemia, a common blood disorder characterised by low hemoglobin levels in the blood, can actually indicate a potential for colon cancer years before it’s actually diagnosed

Causes

Symptoms
Ayurvedic view of Treatment

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