Frequently Asked Questions
A . Cancer is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancers can cause serious illness and death.
A ) No. Some tumors are benign (noncancerous) and do not spread to other parts of the body. Cancerous tumors are called malignant.
- Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among Indian women
- Women’s death rates due to lung cancer have risen 600% since 1950
- About 90% of all lung cancer deaths are attributable to smoking
- Chewing tobacco and snuff contain 28 different carcinogens
- Smoking is a major cause of cancers of the oropharynx (base of the tongue) and bladder among women.
- Women who smoke have increased risks for cancers of the pancreas and kidney.
- Larynx and esophagus cancer rates are also elevated.
- Research shows that smokers infected with human papillomavirus have greater risk of developing invasive cervical cancer than nonsmokers with the virus.
- Indian women have cervical cancer rates 3.5 times the national average. Tobacco is one of the behavioral factors considered to elevate the risk of cervical cancer.
A ) The most common cancers seen in females are cancer of uterine cervix, breast cancer, endometrium, ovary, head and neck cancers
A ) The signs and symptoms vary depending on the specific kind of cancer, but there are some general signs and symptoms that may indicate a need for testing. These include fatigue, a sore that does not heal, nagging cough, pain, unexplained weight loss, fever and changes on the skin. Although there could be other reasons for these sign and symptoms, anyone experiencing these should consult their physician.
A ) Staging is the process of determining how far the cancer has spread. It is important to know the stage of the cancer before determining which treatment options are best. Most often, physicians use the TNM system for staging. This system gives three key pieces of information:
- T describes the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to nearby tissue and organs.
- N describes how far the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- M shows whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other organs of the body.
A ) Cancer is curable if detected early. Tremendous scientific advances have significantly extended patient survival rates, and many patients today may never have recurrence of their disease. However, even after successful treatment, there may remain cancerous or precancerous cells in the body. Cancer patients, must maintain a high level of vigilance for the rest of their life, as the risk still remains.
A ) The options for cancer treatment includes surgery, chemoradiation radiosurgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and the combination of above therapies. Recently gene therapy is gainig popularity.
A ) Seven Cancer Prevention Tips
- Do not smoke
- Healthy Body Weight
- Eat Fruits and Vegetables
- Be Active
- Limit Alcohol
- Protect Yourself in the Sun
- Follow Screening Recommendations
- Balance caloric intake with physical activity
- Choose food or beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat 5 or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits every day.
- Choose whole grains in preference to processed (refined) grains.
- Limit consumption of processed and red meats.
- Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, above usual activities, on 5 or more days of the week; 45 to 60 minutes of intentional physical activity are preferable.
Children and Adolescents:
- Engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week.
A ) Community-based cancer care integrates all aspects of outpatient cancer care, from laboratory and diagnostic imaging capabilities, to chemotherapy and radiation therapy in treatment centers located within patients’ communities. It is based on the concept that providing convenient, high-quality care closer to patients and their support networks aids the maintenance of quality of life and improves patient adherence to therapy, a crucial element in the treatment process.
A ) Clinical trials are studies of new or experimental treatments in patients. This type of study is offered to eligible patients when there is reason to believe that the treatment being studied may offer benefits to the patient, such as improved outcomes or side effect management. There are three phases of clinical trials a treatment must complete before it is eligible for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Phase I is to study the best way to give a new treatment and study its safety. It is often the first time the specific agent has been tested in a human, outside a laboratory. Phase II is designed to see if the treatment works. Phase III involves large numbers of patients and divides patients into two groups—a control group and the group receiving the new treatment.