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?Chemotherapy does not cause damage?

HEAD OF the breast cancer surgery department of Mumbai?s Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr Rajendra Badwe and medical oncologist from Bhopal Dr Tarini Prasad Sahu delivered expert lectures on breast cancer-related topics at a meeting organised by the Indore Obstetric and Gynaecological Society here on Sunday.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2007 00:18 IST

HEAD OF the breast cancer surgery department of Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr Rajendra Badwe and medical oncologist from Bhopal Dr Tarini Prasad Sahu delivered expert lectures on breast cancer-related topics at a meeting organised by the Indore Obstetric and Gynaecological Society here on Sunday.

Speaking on the ‘Role of Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer’, Dr Sahu not just sought to clear misconceptions about chemotherapy for this ailment but also about the operation of breast cancer in general.

“It is wrongly feared that the whole breast of a woman is needed to be cut. But with advanced techniques, it is now possible to remove only the affected portion and not the whole of it even in the second or third stage of cancer,” Dr Sahu said addressing the meeting held at Hotel President Planet.

Considering the psychological impact, a perfect surgeon would never damage the original shape of breast, he said adding, “In fact, survival benefit after such an operation — where a part is cut instead of the whole — remains intact.”.”

Coming down to the core topic, the expert from Bhopal said, “One major misconception about chemotherapy is that it causes permanent damage. During a chemotherapy treatment, tissues near the affected portion do die but they certainly revive afterwards.”

Also, not all cases would have hair loss as a side effect and even when somebody does undergo loss of hair, they are sure to regain the crowning glory, he added.

However, one needs to stick to the frequency of chemotherapy as advised by the specialist and not leave the treatment in between to avail full benefits, the cancer expert warned.

Dr Badwe spoke on the ‘Role of Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Breast Cancer’ during the meeting, which was attended by as many as 250 gynaecologists from the City and nearby areas.

Indore unit secretary of FOGSI Dr Mukta Jain conducted the programme and joint secretary Dr Shefali Oza proposed the vote of thanks.

Later interacting with media persons, Dr Badwe spoke at length about detection, prevention and also the treatment of breast cancer cases. He also threw light on the incidence of breast cancer in urban and rural India as compared to their counterparts in the western countries.

“As compared to as many as 120 cases of breast cancer per 1 lakh women in the United States and the United Kingdom, there are

at present just 25 women in urban India, particularly metros and only eight in rural India,” the expert from Tata Memorial Hospital said.

Increase in average life expectancy, first pregnancy at a late age and a subsequent greater gap from the start of menstrual cycle to the birth of first child are some of the causes for increase in the incidence of breast cancer among urban women. After menopause, the tendency to put on weight leads to a higher risk of breast cancer, he added.

Relatively, women in rural areas get married early and have children earlier so the incidence of breast cancer among them is lesser than in urban women, he pointed out.

“Changes in reproductive and dietary lifestyles are two important ways that can prevent the cases of breast cancer. This can be done by daily exercise and regulated food intake,” he added.

Dr Badwe also advised women to go for regular self-breast examination or a physical examination by a doctor per year. Annual mammography is also helpful but only for those above 50 years of age, he added.