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Home News and Update Year 2010 Watch out for Signs of Big C

Watch out for Signs of Big C

Times of India
03 February 2011
Pune, India

Our body gives us various signals and symptoms like persistent cough, lumps in skin or breast, abnormal bleeding in the urine or stools, change in voice and so on – prompters that indicate we should get ourselves medically checked, say doctors.

"Prevention is better than cure. As the occurrence of cancer grows, timely precautions and medical aid can help reduce the trauma and effects. Cancer is among the top diseases afflicting many in the city," said radiologist Arjan Bhatia.

Breast cancer is on the rise due to a change in lifestyles, late marriages and the tendency to avoid breastfeeding. The incidence of breast cancer begins around the age of 35 and the risk increases in women over 50 years of age.

"Some women with microscopic or even undetectable breast cancer die quickly due to its spread (metastasis) to the lungs and brain, while others with a large mass involving axillary lymph nodes survive longer. Patients get diagnosed late for fear of treatment and a lack of awareness," said Bhatia.

Breast cancer is completely curable in its early stage. However, women forget to take some common and simple precautions.

"When cancer has not spread beyond its site of origin a complete cure is often possible. When cervical cancer is localised, almost 100 per cent cure is possible but when it has spread to the bladder or rectum, not even 20 per cent will live up to five years. Similarly, an early breast cancer when treated adequately would have more than 85 per cent chance of surviving more than five years whereas when it spreads to the lungs less than 10 per cent will survive for five years. Early diagnosis ensures a better cure rate," said oncologist Shona Nag

Most mouth cancers can be prevented by not chewing tobacco and most lung and throat cancers can be prevented by not smoking. "Certain cancers are produced by chemicals used in industry. If workers are protected against contact with such occupational factors, some cancers can be prevented," said oncologist Tushar Patil.

A well–balanced diet with less fat and more green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and milk can protect people.

Though not all cancers are preventable, many deaths can be prevented by early detection and proper treatment.

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