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Mutations in Lung Cancer Driving Targeted Therapy

In recent years, personalized medicine has begun to bring new hope to people with lung cancer, especially non-small cell lung cancer. Personalized medicine involves looking at the cells obtained from a biopsy to see if there are any genetic mutations — changes in your genes — that could be linked to the type of cancer you have. Because certain chemotherapy drugs are either more or less effective than others against tumors with specific mutations, molecular analysis of your tumor, also called genomic testing, can help determine which therapies will be most likely to benefit you. The most common genetic changes that are tested for in lung cancer are in the genes EGFR, ALK, ROS, PDL 1 and KRAS.

November is a Lung cancer awareness month

The National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020, released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), estimates that there will be 13.9 lakh cases of cancer in India in 2020, and this number is likely to rise to 15.7 lakh by 2025. According to the data, tobacco-related PREVENTABLE cancers will account for 27.1 per cent of India’s cancer burden.

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.

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/,