October is Ovarian cancer awareness month also

All female cancers are not PINK. Ovarian cancer is the seventh most common cancer in women worldwide. In India, it is the 3rd leading site of cancer in women. Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed at late stages, hence disease-free and long term survival is low. This month is devoted to raising awareness for breast and ovarian cancers and get them diagnosed at an early stage to improve treatment outcomes.

The largest category of breast cancers are hormone receptor (HR) positive. These comprise 55-60% of all breast cancers globally as well as in India. Unlike triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), HR positive breast cancers respond well to personalized treatment with newer drugs and have a high chance of successful treatment and long-term survival even in advanced stages. Hence it is important to get them diagnosed and typed for HR positivity early on and tailor the treatment for each patient.

The Forum for Breast Cancer Protection, an NGO co-founded by caring oncologists and clinicians such as the inspiring, untiring Dr. Ramesh Sarin who continues to operate at the young age of 80 and give excellent care to her breast cancer patients. Col Pant, Dr. Sangeeta Taneja, @Karuna Sharma, Dipali Bhasin are catalysts that are active in organizing informative webinars and awareness sessions. This one on the 12th October was particularly memorable in that Ms. Sonam Kalra, a renowned singer, spoke of her mother who was diagnosed of lung cancer at the most advanced stage. She was given 6 months to live, but through her positive attitude, good routine and food, family and medical support, she lived life for 8 years, composing haikus till the end! Sonam spoke movingly of her mother and her determination to fight cancer. Her mother coined the term Cancer Samurai. Sonam sang ‘ek naam, satnam’ so beautifully it gave us goosebumps. What a treat. Then came the advice on how to use affirmation and visualization to think positively to heal our body and mind by Shivani ji, sage words in her soothing voice. Close your eyes, just listen, and feel the stress fade away.

Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Typical symptoms start with fever, swelling of some lymph nodes, weight loss, tiredness. The affected lymph nodes could be in the neck, armpit, groin, tonsils, stomach, small intestine. Once a cancer begins in one part of the lymphatic system, it can spread rapidly to other lymph nodes so early diagnosis is important. Diagnosis is done by PET or CT scan and/or biopsy, as suggested by a doctor. The incidence of lymphomas is ~5-7% among all childhood cancers. It is 2-3 time more common in boys than in girls. In India, lymphoma was reported to be the 2nd most common cancer in young boys.

 

Resources:   https://www.worldchildcancer.org/, https://www.indiancancersociety.org/, https://www.acco.org/childhood-lymphomas/, https://www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk/, https://curechildhoodcancer.org/, https://lymphoma-action.org.uk/types-lymphoma-lymphoma-children-and-young-people/lymphoma-children

Kidney cancer rarely affects children. The most common one is Wilms’ tumor, also called nephroblastoma, that accounts for up to 95% of childhood kidney cancers, with most children being below the age of 5 years. It is a fast growing tumor that can spread (metastasize). It is usually treated by surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Commonly used chemo drugs are doxorubicin, vincristine and actinomycin D. Overall survival rates tend to be high (>90%), with favourable histopathology diagnosis and timely treatment.

 

https://www.indiacancersurgerysite.com/wilms-tumor-treatment-india.html

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 30,000 children in India and 10 times that number worldwide develop cancer every year. There is a lack of awareness and timely diagnosis to treat them. Sapien will be sharing the Indian cancer data it has throughout September, starting with colorectal cancer.

Resources: https://www.worldchildcancer.org/, https://www.indiancancersociety.org/, https://www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk/, https://curechildhoodcancer.org/,