On 3 February, 2024, Seniors Today hosted their weekly Health Live Webinar with Dr Amit Sharma, a Senior Medical Oncologist who spoke on and answered questions about Cancer Care: Prevention and Care. This webinar was a tribute to and spread awareness of Cancer, on which 4 Feb is marked as World Cancer Day.
Dr Amit Sharma is practicing Medical Oncology at Narayana Hospital, Howrah, Kolkata and has done his MD from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai followed by his DM in medical oncology from Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology Bengaluru, he has 10 years of experience in oncology. His area of expertise is head & neck cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, cervical cancers, breast cancer and blood cancers.
A lot of cancer treatment institutes have come up over the past few years, including in tier II cities of the country. Which means that cancer treatment facilities are now not only available in metropolitan cities, there has been a great improvement and advancement in the health care system.
Common cancers which are seen in the male population, and can be easily prevented by screening include:
- Prostate cancer
- Gastro intestinal cancer
- Renal cell carcinoma
Common cancers which are seen in the female population, and can be easily prevented by screening include:
- Uterine cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Ovarian cancer
Early recognition of symptoms can help in early screening, prevention (if possible) and faster diagnosis and treatment of the cancer.
Serum PSA is done for males over the age of 65 years- high levels of Serum PSA indicate towards prostate cancer. Especially in individuals with a history of issues with urination.
In patients with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms such as chronic constipation, diarrhoea, blood in stools, etc- this patient is advised to visit the hospital and an endoscopy is advised to come to a conclusive diagnosis.
Mammography guidelines are available for great cancer screening which include getting a mammography every 2 years after 40 years of age.
For cervical cancer- pap smear testing is advised
Not all carcinomas have a screening guideline available, so the best possible option available is inculcating a healthy lifestyle, this includes:
- Low in fat diet
- Healthy and light food
- Regular exercise
- Brisk walking
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid smoking
Alternative therapy has no proof of cure/ treatment in cases of carcinoma/ cancer, hence is not recommended, in Dr Amit’s opinion.