A meeting of Saarthak, the Cancer Support Group of Fortis Hospital, held here on Thursday.
Nearly 40 patients, survivors and their family members, who are members of Saarthak group, attended the meet held at the hospital.
The meet was addressed by Dr Jagdev Singh Sekhon, director, Oncosciences, Dr Parveen Kaur, senior consultant, radiation oncology, and Dr Deepak Gupta, senior consultant and head of the ophthalmology department.
Dr Sekhon said: There are many myths surrounding cancer. The main one is that it is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and prevalent mostly in developed countries. However, the reality is that cancer is a global epidemic and affects all ages and socio-economic groups. In India, there are over 25 lakh cancer cases, with 8 lakh new cases diagnosed every year. There are approximately 5.5 lakh cancer-related deaths every year.”
He said: “The common cancers in men include oral cavity, lung, oesophagus, stomach while in women these are breast, cervix and oral cavity. Around 70% cancer cases are diagnosed only in the advanced stage of the disease, resulting in several avoidable deaths,” he added.
Striking a positive note, Dr Sekhon said cancer could be avoided by leading a healthy lifestyle and reducing risk factors such as alcohol, tobacco, an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. “Maintain a healthy body weight and go for regular health check-ups,” he advised.
Dr Parveen Kaur cleared the misconceptions surrounding radiation therapy for onco patients. She explained how the therapy worked and by the use of the best equipment the cancer tissue was targeted, saving the healthy tissue surrounding it.
The event was taken further by Dr Deepak Gupta, who explained about the benefits of nutrition and eye care for cancer patients. He said: “The patients should add naturally coloured foods in good proportions to their diet which adds up to the nutritional value.”