“Cancer” derived from Greek dictionary is threatening word to hear from the doctors. Cancer is actually uncontrolled abnormal division of cells of any part of the body which destroys the normal tissue and hampers the function of that part of the organ. The tumour can develop rapidly or slowly depending upon the nature of cancer cells.
The Word “cancer” when declared to patient’s and there relatives bring a nervous break down in them. As there are numerous myths and stories behind various cancers , they hear from their friends, relatives , various articles and social media handles.
The very first question comes to the mind “ Doctor, told me I got cancer , will I survive? “. You need to understand the very fact that “ Cancer is curable”. Yes, you hear it right “Cancer is curable” when diagnosed in time and treated appropriately by cancer specialists and surgeons. We often keep educating the patients about the early symptoms , signs and risk factors of the cancers through various mediums.
Apart from the symptoms of the organ involved, the general symptoms like unexplained weight loss, fever, tiredness, loss of appetite and weakness are common symptoms associated with most cancers. It is advisable as you notice any organ related symptoms or general symptoms you consult ur clinician/ surgeons for appropriate guidance and investigations to the treatment. The timely diagnosis of the cancer and reaching for doctors help is utmost importance and almost acts like deciding factor for your treatment of cancers and further course of the disease.
At the same time, we sincerely advice our readers and patients to see positivity once they are diagnosed with cancer in correct time, discuss the treatment options and Mangenent for disease with “strong will” to get cured. It is really important to show belief in your doctor and hospital for treatment and follow the treatment sincerely.
The caretakers, family and friends should encourage the patients through their fight with cancers. We will like to clarify from the point of healthcare professionals and institutions, that most of us follow evidence based protocols to practice standard care for cancer treatment which are laid by national/ international guidelines. The key lies believing in yourself and your doctors for treatment.
The second myth comes is “Should I for go for other non medical treatments?” As professionals, we never advice you to go for home based therapies/ other locally available treatments which could be dangerous to assess and can have unsightly outcomes. Please take it as “ word of caution” .
The other myth which commonly surrounds “Cancer treatment have too much side effects and is very expensive”. With the advancement of surgery, better cancer drugs and radiation treatment for the cancer, the overall treatment have become very safe. We don’t deny there might be side effects which are well taken care with medications. So there is no need to panic about the treatment modality as the doctor suggests you.
The expense of the treatment usually depends upon various factors. Every different cancer treatment have different protocol, nature of the disease, stage of the disease, drugs involved , surgery or radiotherapy and organisations which costs differently and it is difficult to predict the cost of the overall treatment exactly. But organisations and doctors do assure the rough estimates for the treatment at every step so patient is aware of their expenditures.
Other strange myths which run in some communities “Is cancer communicable disease?”, can it spread from patients. The answer is “No” . It cannot transmit like infections. But it can transmit in families as some cancers know to run in genes.
The other very common question by the patients many a times is ”How long I will live?”. You need to understand the overall survival and quality of life depends upon nature of disease, stage of cancer, course of disease and effectiveness of cancer treatment. Just remember even “Doctors are not even god “ They always treat you in best interests.
The answer to all cancer related apprehensions and worries of the patients lies in appropriate guidance by clinicians, organisations and patients belief and trust in their treating doctors. The various misconceptions built around you regarding cancers can be tackled with positivity and correct guidance of ur clinician.
As “ We fight cancer” it’s important that doctors and patients show empathy towards each other concerns for better outcomes.
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Dr Saurabh Bansal (Surgeon)
Founder and Managing Director
Surgeons House Limited