Condition - Blood Cancer
As its name suggests, this type of cancer affects the production and function of your blood cells. This type of cancer starts in bone marrow which is the integral source of blood production. Stem cells in your bone marrow mature and develop into three types of blood cells: red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. In case of cancer, the blood production process is interrupted due to the growth of an abnormal type of blood cell. Blood cancer is of three types:
- Leukemia - This type of cancer is caused by the rapid production of abnormal blood cells in the bone marrow. These abnormal blood cells affect the bone marrow's ability of the production of red blood cells and platelets.
- Lymphoma - This type of blood cancer affects the lymphatic system, which is responsible for the removal of excess fluids from your body and producing immune cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Abnormal lymphocytes become lymphoma cells, which grow uncontrollably in your lymph nodes and other tissues.
- Myeloma - This type of blood cancer affects the plasma cells, which are white blood cells responsible for the production of disease-fighting antibodies in the body. Myeloma affects the production of plasma cells which results in weak immune system.
Signs and Symptoms
Blood cancer is a type of malignancy which affects the blood, bone marrow, or lymphatic system. Some of the common blood cancer symptoms include:
- Weakness, Fatigue, and Malaise
- Shortness of breath
- Minimal body strain results in bone fractures
- Excessive or easy bruising
- Bleeding gums
- Recurrent infections or fever
- Sweating of body during night
- Weight loss
- Frequent vomiting sensations
- Lymph node (gland) enlargement
- Lumps or abdominal distension due to enlarged abdominal organs
- Abdominal pain, Bone pain and Back pain
- Delirium and confusion
- Abnormal bleeding in gums nose and cuts, which will lead to platelet reduction
- Headaches along with visual difficulties
- Occurrence of fine rashes on dark spots
- Decreased urination and difficulty while urinating
Causes of blood cancer
Although the specific cause of blood cancer is unknown, various factors are associated with its onset. Some causes are:
- Family history
- Weak immune system
- Certain infections
The primary objective of blood cancer treatment is the complete eradication of cancer. Several therapies for blood cancer are:
- Biological therapy to kill cancers
- Bone Marrow Transplantation - This is typically a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Max Healthcare’s stat-of-the-art HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered Bone Marrow Transplant unit offers stem cell transplantation for both benign and malignant conditions in children and adults.
- The Department of Haemato-oncology is committed to improve the outlook for patients with myeloma by developing novel therapeutic approaches based on a sound knowledge of the biology of the disease.
- A highly specialized team comprising of Haemato-oncologists & radiation oncologists provide state-of-the-art treatment for a variety of cancers like lymphomas, leukemia and multiple myelomas.
Condition - Breast Cancer
In this condition, cancer cells grow in the breast tissue. When these cancer cells grow uncontrollably, a mass of tissue forms leading to a tumor. If not treated in time, this condition can sometimes lead to malignant tumors that is life threatening. Most breast cancers start in tubes (ducts) that are meant to carry milk from the breast to the nipple. However, breast cancer can start in other parts of the breast as well.
Signs and Symptoms
In its initial stage, breast cancer is hard to detect. This is why doctors suggest regular breast examination. Breast cancer symptoms may include:
- Breast lump or lump in the armpit that is hard and has uneven edges
- Any change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast
- Fluid coming out of the nipple
- Bone pain
- Breast pain or discomfort
- Skin ulcers
- Swelling of one arm
- Weight loss
Causes of Breast cancer
There is no specific cause of breast cancer. However, most common causes include:
- Age and gender - Over a period of time, the chances of developing breast cancer increases
- Family history of breast cancer
- Menstrual cycle - Women got their periods early (before age 12) or went through menopause late (after age 55) have an increased risk for breast cancer
- Childbirth - Women who give birth after the age of 30 are more likely to develop breast cancer
- Alcohol use - Consuming more than 1-2 glasses increases your chances of breast cancer
The treatment for breast cancer depends on the type and stage of cancer. In general, breast cancer treatments may include:
- Chemotherapy - done to kill cancer cells
- Radiation therapy - to destroy cancerous tissue. Radiation therapy involves the use of high energy X Rays that destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. About half of all people with cancer are treated with radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with other types of cancer treatment. There are mainly three types of radiation therapy done at Max Cancer Centre to treat cancer – 3DCRT (three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy), IMRT, and IGRT (image-guided radiation therapy). At Max, we use the most advanced NOVALIS TX with EXACT-TRAC & ROBOTIC ON-BOARD IMAGER which is used to track tumors online to enable highly accurate treatments for moving tumors like lung, liver, prostate etc.
- Surgery - is done to remove the cancerous tissue (it involves complete removal of breast lump and nearby structures). Standard surgeries are Mastectomy (Removal of the whole breast), Quadrantectomy (Removal of one quarter of the breast), and Lumpectomy (Removal of a small part of the breast). Reconstructive surgery can be done where breast contour can be restored to near normal with plastic surgery.
- Hormonal therapy - is suggested to women with ER-positive breast cancer to block certain hormones that trigger cancer growth.
Condition - Cervical Cancer
This is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (womb) that opens at the top of the vagina. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer affecting the women. This cancer develops very slowly and begins as a precancerous condition called dysplasia. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus). HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual intercourse.
Signs and Symptoms
In its initial stage, there are no symptoms of cervical cancer. However, its symptoms include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods and after intercourse
- Continuous vaginal discharge
- Back pain
- Leg pain
- Pelvic pain
- Single swollen leg
- Weight loss
- Heavier periods that usual
Causes of Cervical cancer
This type of cancer starts in the cells on the surface of the cervix. Its major causes are:
- Not getting the HPV vaccine
- Poor economic status
- Weakened immune system
- Unhealthy sexual intercourse
- Multiple sexual partners
- Intercourse with people involved in high-risk sexual activities
The treatment of cervical cancer generally depends on various factors – cancer stage, size and shape of the tumor, woman's age and general health. In earlier days, cervical cancer was being cured by the removal of cancerous tissues. However, nowadays surgeries have undergone heavy advancements. Different types of treatment options are:
- Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) – This procedure employs electricity to remove abnormal tissue.
- Cryotherapy – The procedure involves freezing abnormal cells.
- Laser therapy – This therapy uses light to destroy cancerous tissue.
- Radical hysterectomy – It involves removal of the uterus and much of the surrounding tissues, including lymph nodes and the upper part of the vagina.
- Pelvic exenteration – A rare type of surgery in which all of the organs of the pelvis, including the bladder and rectum, are removed.
- Radiation therapy – Internal or external radiation may be used to treat cancer that has spread beyond the pelvis, or cancer that has returned.
- Chemotherapy – It involves the use of certain drugs that kill cancer tissues.
Condition - Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer refers to a group of cancers that start in the lip, oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity (inside the nose), paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. This type of cancer is ranked sixth amongst all cancers worldwide and comprises about 40% of all cancer in South East Asia, including India (source- Wikipedia). Head and neck cancer (HNC) is strongly related to certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors.
Signs and Symptoms
Head and neck cancer symptoms include:
- Mass in the neck
- Neck pain
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Sinus congestion
- Bad breath
- Sore tongue
- Painless ulcer or sores in the mouth
- White, red or dark patches in the mouth
- Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
- Enlarged lymph glands in the neck
- Slurring of speech
- Difficulty in swallowing food
- Change in diet or weight loss
Causes of Head and neck cancer
Common symptoms are:
- Alcohol consumption
- Tobacco chewing
- Cigar smoking
- Exposure to textile fibers
- Poor dental and oral hygiene
Following treatment options are available to treat head and neck cancer:
- Surgery – This is the most widely adopted treatment option for head and neck cancer. It is generally done to remove the cancerous cells completely. Surgery is generally not suggested if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the neck. Different surgeries are mandibulectomy, laryngectomy, microlaryngoscopy and laser surgey, parotidectomy, and thyroidectomy. All these surgeries aim at organ preservation and reconstruction.
- Radiation Therapy – This option is generally done along with chemotherapy for larger tumors.
- Cancer screening programmes
- Cancer awareness/ education programmes
- Cancer rehabilitation programmes (speech therapy, swallowing therapy)
- Pain & palliative care programmes for the terminally ill
Condition - Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is a type of cancer developed in the lungs. When we breathe, air passes through our nose, down the windpipe, and into our lungs, where it passes through tubes called bronchi. Most lung cancers start in the cells of these tubes. Lung cancer is of two types:
- Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
- Small cell lung cancer
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Chest pain
- Cough that doesn't go away
- Coughing up blood
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
Causes of lung cancer
Lung cancer is considered as the most severe type of cancer for both men and women. Cigarette smoking is found to be the major cause of lung cancer. Other causes may include:
- High levels of air pollution
- Family history of lung cancer
- Radon gas
- Radiation therapy to the lungs
- Secondhand smoke
- Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals
Treatment for lung cancer depends on the type of cancer, its spread, and the patient's performance status. Common treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
- Surgery – Diagnostic surgery is done to obtain tissue for pathologic diagnosis of cancer. It includes Trucut Biopsy and incisional or excisional biopsy. In most cases of initial-stage non-small cell lung cancer, lobectomy (removal of a lobe of lung) is the most preferred surgical option. In rare cases, pneunmonectomy (removal of the entire lung) is done.
- Chemotherapy – This option is often used when the cancer has spread outside the lungs.
- Radiation Therapy – Radiotherapy is often done along with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy involves the use of high energy X Rays that destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. About half of all people with cancer are treated with radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with other types of cancer treatment. There are mainly three types of radiation therapy done at Max Cancer Centre to treat cancer – 3DCRT (three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy), IMRT, and IGRT (image-guided radiation therapy). At Max, we use the most advanced NOVALIS TX with EXACT-TRAC & ROBOTIC ON-BOARD IMAGER which is used to track tumors online to enable highly accurate treatments for moving tumors like lung, liver, prostate etc.