Friday, December 14, 2012
Sequel to National Seminar on "Management of Cancer"
There were some eminent speakers who could not attend the first National Seminar on "Management of Cancer which was held On Sunday, 23rd of September, 2012, at THE TAJ VIVANTA HOTEL, Yeshwanthpur, in our very garden city of Bangalore. The sequel was organized to cover all the fields of cancer management by bringing in the missed out topic and presentations.
Cancer is a broad term used for identifying a large number of diseases. Perhaps the only common feature of these diseases is the ability of uncontrolled or abnormal proliferation of cells that cannot be checked by the homeostatic mechanism. A normal cell suddenly turns into a rogue cell and starts dividing continuously without check, leading to development of tumors or an unusual rise in the number of cells. Occurrence of cancer can be in any part of the body, and in any organ or tissue. Cancer originates in our own cells, but several factors, both internal and external to the body, which influence our daily life can add to the life time cancer risk. The intrinsic factors include the age and hormonal status of the individual, family history and genetic disposition, whereas the extraneous factors include food or diet and life style, stress, individual habits like smoking and alcohol consumption, exposure to environmental pollutants, toxic chemicals and radiation.
With the advances in medical sciences and technology, it has been possible to slowdown, contain and even control the proliferation of cells and metastatic manifestations. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery either alone or in combination have brought about remission in cancer patients to a considerable extent. Chemotherapy alone has been the mainstay in the effective treatment of most cancers. In the cancer management, alternative approaches and complementary procedures constituting holistic medicine such as ayurveda, herbal medicine and homoeopathy have gained acceptance, partly because of affordability and faith in these systems, besides their having hardly any side effects. However, more scientific studies and evidential research in these systems of medicine would have to be carried out if they have to become widely acceptable. Yoga and Nutrition are known to contribute to improving the quality of life of cancer patients, and in the prevention and management of cancer. It is said that beyond modern and alternative therapies, the body and mind of cancer patients alone have to manage cancer eventually. In this context, the role of naturopathy, meditation and prayer have become significant. Then, it is the constant personalized counseling, encouragement and infusion of confidence in the cancer patients by the attending oncologists and health professionals that would make a difference, and bring about the required determination and positive outlook in them to fight against, and conquer the disease.
The seminar kicked off at 11.15 a.m. with the introduction by Mr. J.S. Pant, Hony. Director of ISHA, who was short and crisp with his introduction. Dr. Sita Bhateja spoke about how the first seminar had made a great impact on whole of the nation, which had woken up to look at the question why we are failing in management of cancer. Questions raised at the seminar had thrown light on formerly unknown areas of cancer management and why they were not being taken advantage of. Most of the cancer patients are diagnosed at very late stage in our country, one of the reasons why the success rate of treatment is very low. Early detection and right treatment will help in treating cancer more successfully. As the first step towards early detection, it is important to make every medical professional, even in the remote village of India, efficient in diagnosing the early symptoms of cancer. Only then will early detection of cancer will be possible.