Cancer vaccines, bowel habits, bowel movements, onset of colon cancer and many more concerns related to colo-rectal cancer were addressed by Dr Abhijit Joshi
On Saturday, October 3, Seniors Today hosted Dr Abhijit Joshi to address concerns related to colon cancer – prevention, therapy and care. He is a consultant general, gastrointestinal and advanced endo-laparoscopic surgeon at the Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai.
Dr Joshi has been in surgical practice for over twenty years and has performed thousands of laparoscopic surgeries till date. The advanced laparoscopic operations that he specialises in are hiatus hernia surgeries, achalasia cardia repairs, pancreatic pseudocyst surgeries, rectal prolapse repairs, bowel resections, repair of bowel perforation and obstruction, repair of internal hernias, urological operations such as adrenalectomy, pyeloplasty, nephrectomy, and colo-rectal cancer surgeries.
He has published many original research papers and interesting case reports in national and international journals of repute. He loves travel, hiking, bird watching and Hindustani classical music.
Here are the takeaways from Health Live @ Seniors Today with Dr Abhijit Joshi
1. Limit processed and red meat – To prevent colo-rectal cancer you should cut down on processed and red meat instead eating more vegetables is an excellent way to keep your colon healthy.
2. Age is a risk factor – After the age of 50, the risk of contracting colo-rectal cancer is higher than the general population.
3. Active lifestyle – Sedentary lifestyle puts you on a higher risk of colo-rectal cancer. Hence, living an active life – regular exercise, healthy food habits, limiting processed and red meat, eating lots of fruits and vegetable, maintaining healthy bowel habits, keeping your weight in check, and limiting alcohol consumption and smoking, all these factors play a role in prevention of colo-rectal cancer.
4. Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) – If you don’t have any family history of colo-rectal cancer and would like to get yourself screened, opt for a fecal occult blood test annually. If the first test comes positive, do two more, if two or all three tests are positive then you will have to proceed further with a colonoscopy.
5. Carcinoembryonic Antigen Test (CEA) – A blood test that indicates liver metastases (cancerous tumour). Undergoing CEA at the beginning of the investigation is not required instead opting for a FOBT will give you a better idea about your health condition.
6. Healthy bowel movements – Bowel movements differs from person to person, country to country – in the western culture where people predominantly have a non-vegetarian diet having one bowel movement in two to three days is considered normal. Whereas in India having one or two bowel movements a day is considered normal. So, what is normal or healthy bowel movement differs population wise.
7. Bowel habits – It refers to the frequency of the bowel movements as well as the consistency of the motions. If there is a change, either in frequency or consistency, that means a change in bowel habits. If this change is persistent then you need to consult a gastroenterologist.
8. Onset of colon cancer – Onset of colon cancer will differ from patient to patient. Some may find themselves in a dramatic situation where they may experience painful cramps, vomiting, difficulty or no bowel movement – this is an extreme presentation. While other may experience loss of appetite, loss of weight or in some cases patient may pass blood in their stool.
9. Cancer vaccines – They are genetically modified viruses which are being trained to specifically attach themselves to certain cancer cells and then destroy the genomes – basically destroy the cancer cells. Cancer vaccines are essentially for therapy and not prevention.