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Q: 1. What is cancer?

Cancer is the uncontrolled and uncoordinated growth of body cells which invade surrounding normal tissues and might spread to distant organs if not checked in time. Consult the best oncologists (cancer specialists) for diagnosis and treatment.

Q: 2. Can smoking, tobacco and pan chewing cause cancer?

Yes, smoking a cigarette, beedi, hookah, pipe or cigar increases your chance of getting cancers. Eating pan with tobacco and chewing tobacco increases your chance of getting cancers of the head and neck (mouth, lips, nose and sinuses, voice box, throat), Oesophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon, rectum, ovary and acute myeloid leukaemia (blood cancer). The best oncologists (cancer specialists) will tell you how risky smoking and chewing pan is and why it is crucial to avoid these habits.

Q: 3. Can alcohol abuse lead to cancer?

People who drink alcohol are more likely to get mouth cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer, and throat cancer, which includes pharyngeal cancer, laryngeal cancer and cancer of the food pipe. Oncologists (cancer specialists) will recommend that you avoid alcohol consumption.

Q: 4. How does one come to know that one has cancer?

One should be aware of the warning symptoms and signs of the common cancers. The best way to tackle cancer early is to have regular health checkups and undergo screening for different cancers at various cancer diagnostic centres. Check with a top oncologist (cancer specialist) if you have doubts.

Q: 5. What are some of the warning signs and symptoms of cancer?

Some of the warning signs and symptoms include a change in bowel or bladder habits, unusual bleeding or discharge from any opening in the body, a sore that doesn’t heal, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, difficulty in swallowing or chronic indigestion, and a nagging cough or persistent hoarseness of voice.

Q: 6. Does one feel pain in early stages of cancer?

Many cancers do not cause pain in their early stages. Some cancers only cause pain in the last stages, when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body.

Q: 7. If one notices blood in stool, does it indicate cancer?

If you pass blood in your stools, it means there is bleeding somewhere in your digestive tract. A small amount of blood after going to the toilet is most commonly caused by piles (haemorrhoids) or an anal fissure. However, bleeding can also be caused by cancerous or precancerous conditions of colon or rectum and therefore one should always consult a cancer specialist.

Q: 8. Are all breast lumps cancers?

Not all breast lumps are cancerous. Most lumps are benign (harmless). However, a doctor’s evaluation is vital.

Q: 9. How can we protect ourselves from cancer?

You should have awareness regarding healthy lifestyle (e.g. avoid tobacco, limit alcohol intake, maintain a healthy body weight); awareness of warning signs and symptoms of cancers; regular health checkups; undergo recommended screening for cancers. An oncologist (cancer specialist) will recommend the steps you need to take to protect yourself from cancer.

Q: 10. Can cancer be passed from parents to children?

It is estimated that only 5-10% of all cancers are passed on from parents to children (hereditary cancers). Most cancers are not caused by these rare, cancer-predisposing inherited variants in the genes.

Q: 11. What is chemotherapy?

The use of drugs or chemicals to treat cancer is called chemotherapy. These drugs target and destroy dividing cells.

Q: 12. What is radiotherapy/radiation therapy?

Radiotherapy or radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays, usually x-rays and similar rays (such as electrons) to treat disease. It works by destroying cancer cells in the area that’s treated. The therapy uses ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control or kill malignant cells.

Q: 13. What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is the process of treating cancer by enhancing the immune system of the body. A major advantage of this method is that it has no significant adverse effects.

Q: 14. What is the difference between medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgical oncologist?

A medical oncologist is one who has training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy. A medical oncologist is often the main health care provider for someone with cancer.

A radiation oncologist is a specialist physician who uses ionizing radiation in the treatment of cancer.

A surgical oncologist focuses on the surgical management and removal of tumors, especially cancerous tumors.

Q: 15. Who is an Oncologist (cancer specialist)?

An oncologist (cancer specialist) is a doctor who treats cancer and provides medical care for a person diagnosed with cancer. Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Q: 16. Why should I approach Aster CMI hospital for Cancer Treatment?

Aster CMI Hospital’s approach is unique. The oncologists (cancer specialists) manage your journey during cancer treatment and during life after cancer as well. They make it manageable even though the course of treatment could be long depending on the type of cancer being treated. Besides, the cancer centre treats a range of cancers using state-of-art techniques that rivals the best in the world.