Cancer treatment made easy with hi-tech facilities in India (Feb 4 is World Cancer Day)

February 4th, 2010 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS  

By Richa Sharma
New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) For 54-year-old Sharda Sethi, who was detected with breast cancer last year, life couldn’t be more unfair. She had lost all hopes of survival and every passing day was a misery. The thought of undergoing painful treatment made the going all the more tough.

However, a counselling session about modern cancer treatment facilities in India changed her approach towards the disease.

“I was shocked and scared… I then went to a cancer specialist, who told me about targeted cancer therapies available in the country. My treatment got over last month and I am feeling much better,” said a relieved Sharda.

The introduction of hi-tech cancer treatment facilities in India has completely changed the approach of doctors as well as patients towards tackling the disease.

“Breast cancer in one of the most common form of cancer in women. It used to be treated with the standard therapies of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. All of these methods treat the cancer, but affect healthy tissue as well,” said Amit Bhargava, medical consultant Oncologist, B.L.K. Memorial Hospital, Delhi.

“However, targeted cancer therapies have revolutionised the treatment. Targeted therapies do their work on specific cancer cells, and are less likely to affect healthy tissues,” he said.

Targeted therapies are a group of cancer medications that treat cancer by targeting a specific weakness found in the cancer cells. They may be used instead of, or in conjunction with, other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

Cyberknife is another technology that is proving a boon for cancer patients. It relies on image-guided robotic technology and has two cameras and infrared technology.

“Cyberknife allows doctors to treat tumours in hard-to-reach places like brain, lungs, liver, prostate and spine. It is a painless, non-invasive approach to radiosurgery that results in fewer complications than open surgery,” said B.S. Ajaikumar, chairman of HealthCare Global Enterprises, a network of 20 cancer treatment centers across Asia.

RapidArc is another latest technique for effective treatment of the dreaded desease.

“It is one of the most precise, non-invasive radiosurgery treatments available for cancerous and non-cancerous conditions of the entire body. It represents a new standard in radiosurgery treatment that deliver highly precise treatment while protecting surrounding healthy tissues. It offers one of the fastest treatment times available - minutes, not hours - giving new hope to patients with tumours once considered untreatable,” said A.K. Anand, chief Radiation Oncology, Max Healthcare.

According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an estimated 440,000 die of cancer each year and about 700,000 to 900,000 new cancer cases are detected annually in India.

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