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Cancer

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Over the years, science and medicine has come a long way towards improving healthcare. There was a time when we knew little about ailments like breast cancer, but today, we know that early intervention helps reduce risk significantly. And this intervention begins with you!

Before we get into the technicalities, let us know what breast cancer really is. Simply put, breast cancer is a form of cancer that is found in the breast when the cells grow out of control. These mutated cells cause a tumour, which leads to various health complications.

 Though the disease occurs mainly in women, a few men can fall prey to breast cancer as well. According to the World Health Organization, an estimate of 110 000 cases of breast cancer are recorded every year in both developed and developing countries.

To understand breast cancer better, we need to know a bit about the breast. Broadly put, breasts are made up of three main parts: Connective tissues, Ducts, and Lobules. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The tube that carries milk to the nipples are called ducts and the connective tissue surrounds and holds everything together. While most forms of breast cancer begin in either the ducts or lobules, there’s always a chance that it forms in another part of the breast.

Through blood vessels and lymph vessels, breast cancer can also spread outside the breast. It is said to have metastasized when cancer spreads to other parts of the body. It is important to know that all breast lumps are not cancerous. In most cases, they are benign and not life-threatening. Non-cancerous tumours grow abnormally but do not spread outside of the breast. But some forms of benign lumps can increase a women’s risk of getting breast cancer. So, it is important to visit a healthcare professional as soon as you notice any changes or lumps.

The Different Forms of Breast Cancer

The most common kinds of breast cancer are: 

  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: They grow outside the ducts in other parts of the breast tissue. They can metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. 
  • Invasive Lobular carcinoma: The cancer cells spread from the lobules to the tissues close by and can also spread to other parts of the body.

Some rare forms of breast cancers include Phyllodes tumours and Angiosarcoma

Cancer detection begins with a diagnostic procedure called a biopsy. Once the biopsy is done, the cancer cells are tested for proteins called Estrogen receptors, Progesterone receptors, and HER2. The tumour cells are tested closely in the lab to know which grade it is which helps decide treatment options.

Types of breast cancer surgery

Once your doctor looks at the biopsy reports, they decide on surgical intervention basis several factors. These include:

  • The cancer size
  • The location of the cancer lump in your breast
  • The size of the breast
  • The grade of your cancer

Moving to the surgical table:

Basis the factors mentioned above, your doctor may present you with surgical options which may be from one of the below –

  • Lumpectomy: A Lumpectomy is also known as a breast conversing surgery because only a portion of the breast is removed. In this surgery, the surgeon removes the tumour along with other abnormal tissues while leaving behind the healthy tissues. Along with the surgery, your doctor may also suggest radiation therapy to kill any remaining abnormal cells.

While a Lumpectomy is pretty straightforward, there are chances that cancer in your breast is at a complicated stage. At such times, your doctor may suggest you undergo a Mastectomy. A Mastectomy usually involves the removal of the whole breast.

There are various kinds of Mastectomy surgeries. These include –

  1. Simple or total mastectomy: The entire breast is removed, the surgeon does not perform axillary lymph node dissection, which is, the removal of lymph nodes in the underarm area. No muscles are removed beneath the breast.
  2. Modified radical mastectomy: The entire breast is removed and the surgeon performs axillary dissection and no muscles are removed from beneath the breast. 
  3. Radical Mastectomy: The entire breast is removed along with levels 1, 2, and 3 of the underarm lymph nodes and the surgeon also removes the chest wall muscles under the breast. Radical mastectomy is recommended only when cancer has spread to the chest and muscles under the breast.
  4. Partial mastectomy: Only the cancerous part of the breast is removed along with normal tissues around it. More tissues are removed in partial mastectomy compared to lumpectomy.
  5. Nipple-sparing mastectomy: All of the breast tissue is removed but the nipple is left alone. 
  • Lymph node removal and analysis

Cancer can be found in cells of Axillary lymph nodes in some cancer cases. Hence it is important to find out whether the lymph nodes near the breast contain cancer. This helps in treatment and prognosis. The procedure includes –

  1. Sentinel lymph node biopsy: The sentinel nodes are the first few lymph nodes into which a tumour drains. Sentinel node biopsy is a surgical procedure to determine whether cancer has spread beyond a primary tumour.
  2. Axillary lymph node dissection: Axillary lymph node dissection is a surgical procedure that removes nodes in levels 1 and 2 for women with invasive breast cancer.  
  • Reconstructive surgery

After Mastectomy, doctors might suggest a reconstruction of the breast. This is a surgery to recreate the breast using the tissue taken from another part of the body or synthetic implants. It is usually performed by a plastic surgeon.

Can Side Effects Occur Post Surgery?

Like any other major surgery, breast cancer surgery may present symptoms post the operation. These side effects include –

  • Fatigue: Fatigue or Cancer tiredness is the most common side effects of cancer treatment. Though the emotional impact of the diagnosis may continue for a few weeks or months, it is paramount to be physically active.
  • Shoulder stiffness: Gentle arm and shoulder exercise can prevent this, ask your doctor when you can start exercising. 
  • Numbness and tingling: Bruising or injury to nerves can be caused due to surgery which can lead to numbness and tingling in the armpit, upper arm, or chest area.
  • Seroma: This is most common after a mastectomy. The fluid collects in or around the surgical scar and causes a balloon-like swelling.
  • Change in nipple, breast, or arm sensation: It is temporary but might be permanent in few patients. 
  • Lymphedema: After the lymph nodes surgery, fluid building up in the tissue of the arm and the breast may cause swelling.

Some of the late side effects of the surgery are:

  • Loss of fertility
  • Weight gain
  • Early-onset of menopause
  • Anxiety
  • Problems of intimacy and sexual behaviour
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Problems in bone health
  • Hot flashes

So, should you be worried about Breast Cancer Surgery?

While there are, a few risks involved, our understanding of Breast Cancer has grown significantly over the years. So, if your doctor advises you to undergo surgery, do consider it. Indeed, certain side effects, either short term or long term, may present. But in most cases, it far outweighs the risk that breast cancer presents. Even if you aren’t suffering from Breast Cancer yet, you must do a self-check from time to time so that you can stay ahead of the ailment!

Cancer – just the word is enough to scare the best of us. But in reality, Cancer isn’t a singular, blanket term. There are many different types of cancers that can be formed in the body. Usually, once cancer forms, they spread to other parts of the body, which makes it fatal. Generally speaking, these are the clinical terms used for cancer –

  • Cancer that starts in the skin or the tissues which line other organs is Carcinoma.
  • The cancer of connective tissues such as muscles, bones, and blood vessels is Sarcoma.
  • The cancer of bone marrow is Leukemia.
  • The cancer of the immune system is Lymphoma and Myeloma.

Cancer cells grow out of control and become invasive, unlike normal cells. Cancer cells are less specialized than normal cells. Normal cells mature into distant cells, unlike cancer cells. They can influence normal cells, molecules, and blood vessels that feed and surround the tumor.

So, what is Cervical Cancer?

Unlike most other cancers, Cervical cancer spreads slowly, giving enough time for specialists to diagnose and treat it before it gets complicated. But Cervical cancer shouldn’t be taken lightly as it can metastasize, which is, spread to other parts of the body. These often include cancer spreading to the Liver, Bladder, Lungs, Vagina, and Rectum.

In the majority of cases, cervical cancer is caused by various strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that is preventable through vaccines. When exposed to HPV, the body itself fights against the virus. But in some cases, the virus survives for years contributing to the development of cancer. Hence it is important to go for regular screen testing or to get an HPV vaccine.

The HPV vaccine protects women against these infections. The purpose of the vaccine is to produce antibodies that help fight against the HPV, thus preventing it from infecting cells.

The vaccine does not treat the existing HPV infection or prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.

In the year 2018, an estimated 570, 000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 311 000 women died from cancer. It is the fourth most common type of cancer. But that being said, if Cervical cancer is detected early and managed effectively, it is one of the most successful and treatable types of cancer. 

What are the symptoms you need to look out for?

A woman might experience no signs or symptoms at all in the early stage of cancer . Depending on the tissue and organ in which the disease has spread, the symptoms might differ. As a result of which women should have regular cervical smear tests or pap tests.

The most common signs or symptoms of cervical cancer are: 

  • Increased watery or bloody vaginal discharge will have a foul odor. 
  • Bleeding after menopause. 
  • Bleeding in between periods. 
  • Pelvic or back pain is unexplainable.
  • Bleeding after intercourse.
  • Pain while having intercourse. 
  • Longer and heavier menstrual bleeding. 

The cause of these symptoms may also occur due to some other medical condition or infection but it is important to visit the doctor if you spot any of the symptoms.

How is Cervical Cancer Treated?

While the final call for treatment lies in the hands of your doctor, there are some factors that they will consider which include the stage of cancer, age as well as overall health.

Cervical cancer treatments include Surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, or the combination of these according to cancer. 

The early-stage treatment: 

When cancer has not spread from the cervix, surgery is the common treatment method. If the doctor feels the cancer cells are still inside the body then they might suggest radiation therapy. 

Radiation therapy also decreases the chances of reoccurrence.

Advanced cancer treatment:

Advanced cancer is also referred to as invasive cancer because it has invaded other parts of the body. Surgery is usually not an option after cancer has spread beyond the cervix. 

In the advanced stages, doctors often suggest palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. 

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is an aggressive drug treatment that targets the cancer cells that divide and grow rapidly. In simpler terms, chemotherapy is the use of medication to treat the disease.

What are the side effects after treatment?

Post-treatment, women may experience certain symptoms. These vary from treatment to treatment. While your doctor will tell you about these in detail, on a general note, these are some of the side effects you may face.

The side effects after Chemotherapy –

  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea 
  • Mood swings 
  • Early menopause 
  • Hair loss 
  • Fatigue 
  • Infertility 

The side effects from Radiation Therapy 

Radiation therapy involves the high energy of beam that is used to destroy the cancer cells. Radiation therapy is targeted to the pelvic area. It also has certain side effects which may occur after the course of treatment is over such as: 

  • Upset stomach 
  • Bladder Irritation 
  • Interrupted menstrual cycle 
  • Narrowing of the vagina 

It is important to remember that the success rate of the treatment in the early stage is more compared to the ones detected after it has injected the other tissues or organs. So, you must take steps to prevent it as much as possible.

Here are ways to prevent Cervical Cancer:

  • Have regular Pap tests with screenings: A pap test can help you find any precancerous cells to treat and monitor them to prevent cervical cancer.
  • Safe Sex: Take measures to prevent sexually transmitted infections like using condoms every time you have sex and limiting sexual partners one has. 
  • HPV vaccine: Talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccine and whether it is appropriate for you. 
  • Say no to smoking: If you are a regular smoker then talk to your doctor about the methods to quit smoking. Smoking is linked to various cancers.

Regular tests and visiting the doctor when you observe any change are important. Practicing all the preventive measures can reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer. Cervical cancer found in the early stages is highly treatable and is associated with long survival and good quality of life.

Cancer can start anywhere in the body. They are a group of large cells that invades the organ or tissue and start growing aggressively if not controlled in time can lead to spreading to other parts of the body. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths, in 2018.

Breast cancer is cancer that develops in the cells of the breast. Lobules are the glands that produce milk and ducts are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands of the nipples. The cancer cells are generally formed in these glands but they can also form in the fatty tissue or the connective tissue within your breast.

The lymph nodes are the general pathway that helps the cancer cells spread to the rest of the body parts. The unchecked cancer cells invade their way to healthy cells then can travel through lymph nodes under the arms.

Breast cancer cells can develop in both males and females, but it is most commonly diagnosed in females. It is the most common type of cancer. As per the American Society of clinical oncology 1 in 29 females develop breast cancer in India.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

In the early stages, it is difficult to detect breast cancer as it may not have any clear symptoms, sometimes the lump could be small making it hard to know. However, a mammogram could detect any abnormality.

The first symptom would a lump under your arms or on your breast that was not there before.

Other symptoms of Breast cancer are:

  • Pain in the breast
  • Rash around the nipples
  • Inverted nipples
  • Bloody discharge from the nipples
  • Redness and pit around the breasts
  • Change in the size and shape of the breast
  • Any change of appearance of the skin on the breast or nipples

All lumps are not cancerous it could also be a benign cyst but if there is any lump or other symptoms it is ideal to visit a doctor to exam further.

Key steps to prevent developing Breast Cancer in the future.

There is no way one could prevent breast cancer. But certain lifestyle decisions in one’s life can decrease the risk of breast cancer.

  1. Be active and maintain a healthy weight

It is necessary to have a healthy weight to prevent cancer. Hormone receptors can cause breast cancer cells to grow and develop. An increase in Hormone receptors can be caused due to excess fat in the body.

If you have a healthy weight maintaining it is very important as it decreases the chances of developing breast cancer. If you have an unhealthy try to get it under control through your diet. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate activity.

  1. Avoid alcohol and smoking

There are pieces of evidence that show a strong link between smoking and breast cancer. Smoking is unhealthy and is linked to several cancers including lung cancer. Based on research it is advised to take not more than one glass of alcohol per day as having alcohol at a small amount still puts one at risk.

The more you drink or smoke the higher the chance of developing breast cancer.

  1. Regular visits to gynecologists and mammograms

It is ideal for women above the age of 40 to visit a gynecologist for an annual mammogram. Mammograms are effective to detect any abnormality and catching signs of cancer. Additional to regular visits and annual mammograms women should also self-examine their breasts as it will help to notice any changes in size and shape. Regular mammograms would not prevent cancer but help it detect at an early stage. If you detect any breast cancer symptoms it is important to communicate them to a doctor.

  1. Hereditary Factor.

Few women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer due to hereditary factors. If a close relative in one’s family has or had breast cancer then the person’s chance increase. Women who carry certain mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are genes that produce a protein that repairs damaged DNA. Everyone has two copies of this gene that we inherit from our parents. They are also called tumor suppressor genes as they have certain changes that are harmful (pathogenic) variants (mutation) that can also have a higher chance of developing it. You may need to do a DNA test and to diagnose this mutation.

  1. Limitation in hormonal therapy

Discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of hormonal therapy if you are taking it for menopause and chronic diseases. Combination hormonal therapy may put people at higher risk. That is why it is important to study and talk to your doctor regarding alternative medication and treatment.  If at all there is no substitute then consult your doctor and limit the dosage of medication.

Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer treatment includes:

  • Surgery

There are two types of surgery depending on the size of the tumor.

  1. Lumpectomy- The tumor and small amount of healthy tissue around the tumor along with tissues under your arms are removed.
  2. Mastectomy- The surgical removal of the entire breast.
  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is drugs used to destroy the cancer cells keeping the cancer cells from growing and multiplying.

It can be suggested to be given before surgery if the tumor is larger. As it will help it to shrink a bit making surgery go easier.

May also be given after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence.

  • Radiation

The use of high x-ray particles to destroy cancer cells.

After lumpectomy radiation therapy is advised 3-4 times per week that is if the cancer cells have not spread to lymph nodes.

After a mastectomy, it is usually given 5 days a week.

The length of your radiation therapy depends upon the tumor and spread of cancer cells.

Following few steps and adding them to your lifestyle could be lifesaving. Be vigilant regarding any changes that are unusual and consult your doctor.

Today, Cancer is one of the most enigmatic topics in the field of medicine. Even though we know cancer as one of the most dreadful diseases, there’s more to it. To beat or prevent cancer, it is important to know its significance inside out. To put some light on Cancer treatment and its diagnosis, Dr Abhinav Deshpande (MBBS, MS, Mch Oncology, FIAGES), a well-known Cancer Surgeon from Nagpur, specialized in surgical oncology and a fellowship in Robotic surgery shares his experience and knowledge about Cancer via AMTL – Add more to Life’s Facebook LIVE conducted on the topic- Understanding Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment on 11th February 2021 at 12 PM.

Here’s what Dr Abhinav Deshpande has got to say about the diagnosis and treatment of Cancer:

What is Cancer?

Very few people know the significance of the term ‘Cancer’. Cancer is derived from the Greek word Carcinos. Carcinos in layman’s term stands for ‘crab’. It is derived from this term because a crab has one main mass and its limbs spread in its underlying region. This formation of crab can be linked to Cancer. Because the swollen veins around a tumour mass resemble the limbs of a crab.

Cancer is not one particular disease. It is a group of diseases which involves the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.

 There are 3 important aspects to be considered while talking about Cancer.

–          Uncontrolled growth

–          Abnormal cells

–          Potential to spread or invade

Cancer is also known as ‘neoplasm’ or ‘malignant tumour’. This is very different from benign tumour- comparatively harmless.

Cancer in Numbers

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the entire world. And globally, according to WHO, one in six deaths is unfortunately because of Cancer. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, in India, one woman is dying of cervical cancer every 8 minutes. For every two females diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India. Now, due to tobacco, more than 3.5k people are affected in India, every day.

If we consider these and more such scenarios, there will be more than 15 lakhs cases of Cancer in India by 2025. That means 1 out of 10 Indians will suffer from Cancer and 1 out of 15 will lose their battle to cancer – according to WHO.

The best news is that if we are aware of this and if we receive the treatment early, it can be cured.

Beating Cancer

When surgeons try to treat cancer, there are 3 questions to be answered.

–          What are we trying to target?

–          Why are we trying to use the system?

–          How are we going to target it?

It’s like hitting the bull’s eye. Cancer has evolved over some time and undergoes different mechanics to escape the conventional mode of cancer treatment. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to beat Cancer.

Risk factors
Various factors lead to certain types of cancers. These factors can be divided into 3 types.
–          Vulnerable factors
–          Contributing factors
–          Direct factors
Taking an example of Breast Cancer, here are various risk factors that can cause the disease in a woman.
Vulnerable factor – Early menses or late menopause
Contributing factors – Lack of exercise, excess of alcoholism, injection of pesticide or chemicals
Direct factors – Radiation, inherent mutations. If the genes are present already, these can be considered as direct factors.
These are the various factors that increase the chances of having breast cancer in a woman.  

Diagnosing Cancer

Diagnosing Cancer is major classified in steps. These are as follows.

Good clinical examination

Conventionally, a good clinical examination is the best possible way Cancer can be picked up and diagnosed at an early stage. It includes a general examination, followed by identifying the symptoms and confirming the underlying problem.

Pathological testing

After a good clinical examination, a pathological test is conducted, where a particular body part will be tested. Blood and urine test are usually put down on the list to detect Cancer. But apart from that, it also includes microscopic testing – which involves testing tissues using the needle test that helps is detecting Cancer and its types.

Radiology If after pathological testing, the results are positive, doctors need to understand the stage of cancer. Depending on that, the treatment will be subjected to patients which will include different radiology tests and nuclear.

How doctors all over the globe are coming together to fight cancer?

Due to advancement in technology, cancer specialists, cancer fighters, as well as cancer caregivers all over the world, has adopted ‘team-approach against this illness. Surgical oncologists may tackle this illness with surgery, medical oncologists will take care through chemo-therapy, immune-therapy, targeted-therapy or hormonal treatment, Radiation-oncologist may try to kill cancer via radiation protocols and radiation beams. According to literature, it is observed that more than 30-50% of patients have a significant amount of pain in Cancer. So, the pain-management teams help patients to tackle and minimize pain. Once Radiologists are specialized in finding out important parts affected by cancer through radiology. Another branch of the team consists of onco-pathologists that carry out the molecular diagnostics and genetic testing of Cancer. Oncoplastic surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, nursing staff, rehabilitation, physiotherapy department, nutritionists, etc all form an important part of this team approach.

There are times when cancer has already spread to various body parts of the patient. Such palliative cases are handled by palliative care experts who take care of the patient by trying to minimize his agony in the best possible way. Undergoing cancer treatment is a tremendous emotional turmoil for the patient. To aid the patient to live a normal life post-surgery and cope up with the situation, psychological and Physiatrist counsellors play an important role.

medicines scans. There are different types of radiological tests. For example, X-ray for lung, mammography for breast, CT Scan, MRI, thyroid scan, etc.

Once these steps are covered, the stage and the type of cancer is diagnosed.

This team-approach of the care-givers and doctors all around the world work as a multidisciplinary team to fight against Cancer.

Three important treatments

When it comes to treating cancer, three main options are available:

·         Surgical oncology

It deals with the surgical aspects of treating Cancer- ‘How do you remove cancer from the body through operations?’.  This process takes care of the parts affected with cancer as well as the potential organs where the disease might spread.

·         Medical oncology

This treatment deals with treating Cancer through medical processes like Chemotherapy.  targeted therapy, and Immunotherapy

Targeted therapy is very precise and targets only cancer cells minimizing any other side effects, unlike chemotherapy. In Immunotherapy, the body’s immune system fights against the cancer cell.

·         Radiation Oncology

It involves radiation therapy to target cancer tumours- the extremely focussed radiation branches like image-guided radiation therapy or immuno-guided radiation therapy reduces to treat cancer that prevents side effects on the surrounding organs and maximizes the effect on cancer cells.

How treatment patterns have changed in recent times?

With the advancement in technology, treatment options have evolved over some time. Following are a few patterns and what do they stand for:

Oncological clearance – It removes cancer and does not spread throughout the body.

Cosmesis of the patient – Cosmesis stands for preservation, restoration, or bestowing of body part’s structure affected with cancer.

Organ preservation – Normal organ function is safeguarded while tackling cancer.

Quality of life – An idea of improved lifestyle post-surgery for patients.

Can Cancer be prevented?

Yes. It can be prevented. Frequent tobacco smoking is one of the most important causes of cancer. If the person does not smoke, cancer can be prevented at an early stage. Other factors like alcohol consumption, excess body weight, obesity may also lead to cancer. Being physically active can help one to avoid cancer.

Certain vaccines like hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also help to prevent cancer.

Progression in Cancer Treatment

Knowing the basic cause of Cancer or knowing how to identify the basic symptoms can save a million lives. For example, if your immediate relatives have cancer or many people from one side of the family have some type of cancer, consult a doctor for genetic counselling. Self-examination in-case of breast cancer or even pap smear test for cervical cancer should be encouraged after a particular age group.

To conclude on a positive note, robotic surgery, personalized oncology, immune therapy, liquid-biopsy, and much more advancements are happening in the cancer treatments that boost self-esteem in cancer patients.

When it comes to the wellbeing of  COVID-19 and Cancer patients- one has to be more cautious and follow the hygiene guidelines applicable to everyone. Wash your hands frequently, maintain social distance and use an alcohol-based hand rub to stay safe.

It is important to look forward to optimistic survivors as Cancer awareness is a paramount step to fight and defeat cancer.

If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer then there must be a lot going in your mind. It can put you in shock and make you feel out of control and overwhelmed.  From treatment to actual success rate to life after any cancer treatment, there’s a lot of anxiousness and nervousness attached to every possible aspect related to the disease. By staying informed can help you alleviate these feelings. 

It is important to know that not all cancers require emergency treatment and you may have time to learn and understand in detail about your diagnosis and treatment options, ask for answers and get a second opinion. Cancer is one of the deadliest causes of death worldwide and hence it shouldn’t be taken for granted at any cost. With multiple treatment options available, cancer if detected at an early stage can surely be cured. Usually, when suggested a Chemotherapy or radiotherapy, many unpleasant thoughts are created in your mind but as the journey of survival begins and the final output is picturized then there are more than a few reasons to be happy with it.  And, for all those who are not completely aware of the treatment options available especially when it comes to cancer surgery, we will help you learn more about the treatment and what to expect afterward.

Cancer treatment:

Cancer surgery is the first option considered in the treatment of many firm malignant tumors. It helps in removing the cancerous tumor and the healthy tissue surrounding it to prevent the spread further. In simple words, the objective of any cancer surgery is to get rid of the cancerous cells from the body. But, it depends on the doctor who is diagnosing it to whether suggest you surgery or any other standard procedure considering the seriousness of the disease.

Tumors that cannot be treated with other treatments like radiation or chemotherapy are removed through surgeries. The cancer cells that produce blood-borne factors, responsible for stimulating the growth of cancer in distant body parts, are removed by surgery. Surgery alone can completely remove cancer cells that are confined in a small restricted area, which eliminates the need for any other treatment. But in some cases, surgery does not aim at removing the entire tumor because of the location of the tumor. If the tumor mass is sizeable then surgery is suggested to diminish the size of the tumor so that it is eliminated with the help of other treatment options like chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Surgery enables one to examine the cancerous tumor for deciding the most suitable treatment option for each patient based on the pathology. It can also guide the future course of treatment and also helps to analyze the treatment response. Above all, it is comparatively convenient to the patient, as it needs to be performed in a day and lasts only a few hours.

Benefits of Cancer surgery

Out of all the above-discussed treatment options available to treat cancer, surgery is by far the most common treatment for treating cancer.  As mentioned earlier it eliminates the cancerous cells that help in increasing life expectancy. It also helps in reducing the pain, symptoms and problems with digestion. Cancer surgery can tackle existing weight issues effectively and support the human body to respond better to other medical conditions. Sometimes, surgery may be used to help with body functions, such as breathing and getting enough nutrition. On the other hand, it surely gives a boost to the self-esteem of the patient. Most importantly, a surge in energy levels is observed post cancer surgery. Patients have a better sleep cycle and a positive attitude in life.

The success rate of cancer surgery

The rate of success of cancer surgery is directly dependent upon the extent and type of tumor along with the overall health status of the patient. Many other factors influence survival in addition to cancer type, including age and stage at diagnosis, treatment, insurance status, competing for health conditions, and financial resources. Cancer treatment can be more challenging and complex for older adults. This is because older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions, such as blood pressure, diabetes, etc.  The success, failure and survival rates for cancer patients vary for each individual depending on the changing traits of each patient including tumor location and tumor type. Physician and patient factors, including never give up attitudes, beliefs, preferences, and implicit or explicit biases, also influence treatment recommendations and delivery and likely contribute to the survivorship of a person. As per multiple surveys, tumor surgeries carry a greater chance of success in the younger patient subgroup as they are more fit physically.

Similarly, access to high-quality cancer care defines the outcome of the treatment. It increases the chances of survival and is directly proportional to the patient’s improved quality of life.

To conclude, cancer surgery is a part of the cancer treatment plan and may be used along with other cancer treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery can be used to prevent cancer, removing cancer, diagnosing the stage of cancer, relieving symptoms, support other treatment and body functions. Also with recent advancements in medical technology, the success rate of cancer surgery is improving day by day and patients have seen a drastic improvement in their quality of life. Cancer surgery has surely given a new lease of life to a million people worldwide.