June 13, 2022
Dr. Murali Subramanian, Senior Consultant – Medical Oncology, Director - HCG Day Care Centres, Bengaluru.
Cancer is one disease that is surrounded by plenty of questions. It is important to get these questions answered, as this helps one in making informed health decisions concerning the prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This article aims at addressing some of the most important questions that individuals might have about cancer symptoms, risk factors and treatment.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions associated with cancer:
1. I have a fibrocystic breast. Am I at higher risk for breast cancer?
Answer: This is a common finding in most women who undergo mammography screening; they are part of benign breast disease and do not increase the risk of breast cancer.
2. I have two swellings over my arms that feel like fat balls, is this some type of cancer?
Answer: Long-standing fat lumps could be non-cancerous; however, this can be confirmed by an examination only.
3. I have had an ulcer in my inner cheek for more than a month. It was a teeth bite, but it is not healing. I took medications but there is no improvement yet. Is it a sign of oral cancer?
Answer: Ulcers that do not heal immediate medical attention. The possibility of cancer is high if you are into the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco. It is advised to consult a doctor and get a biopsy done after consultation.
4. Is the HPV vaccine effective in preventing cervical cancer? At what age should this vaccine be taken?
Answer: Yes. Most cervical cancer cases are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which can be sexually transmitted. Immunization with the HPV vaccine helps in reducing the risk of cervical cancer and other cancers caused by HPV. The ideal age for the HPV vaccine is between 9-14 years; however, it can be administered to women until the age of 35 years. It is important to note that as age increases, the HPV vaccine offers limited health benefits.
5. Do women suffering from PCOS carry the risk of developing cancer? How frequently should women with PCOS undergo a pap smear test?
Answer: Reports of PCOS and its association with cancer are inconsistent; however, a few studies do indicate an increased risk of uterine and ovarian cancers. A Pap smear should be done at the interval of once every 2-3 years.
6. What is the difference between the symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer? Does TB increase the risk of lung cancer?
Answer: TB and lung cancer are slightly challenging to detect and treat as their symptoms often overlap. There are also chances where some lung cancers are diagnosed as TB in the early stages. Key symptoms that might indicate lung cancer include hoarseness of voice, back pain, puffiness of the face, etc. In such cases, a CT scan of the chest is recommended to arrive at the right diagnosis.
Treatment at HCG Day Care Chemotherapy Centre
The HCG Day Care Chemotherapy Centre is a state-of-the-art chemotherapy clinic. Day care chemotherapy enables patients to return home the same day as their chemotherapy infusion, saving them both time and money. We take a 360-degree approach to promote well-being among chemotherapy patients throughout their treatment.