CANCER PREVENTION IN WOMEN

Recently we celebrated Women’s day with lot of enthusiasm and zeal. Everyone spoke a lot about women equality, women empowerment and all related things. A day before I was about to give seminar on women related cancer, a patient visited to clinic with the history of cervical cancer. When asked if she has a habit of eating stale food, she gave a very surprised gaze towards me and sarcastically said that “being a woman it is my duty to eat it myself and not to serve it to my family! I was so disappointed having heard this on the occasion of International Women’s day.

 

Next day I heard a woman speaking that women should be allowed to do things the way they want. I questioned the group of ladies that who should allow you? Who should empower you? Who should give you the equal rights? It is no one else but YOU. You should start respecting yourself, your thoughts and most importantly your own body. Women in urban population are so busy working for themselves and their family that they completely ignore their health issues. Only 1 in 50 women actually does any form of exercise regularly. How can you empower yourself without actually being healthy?

 

The Indian Council of Medical Research recently surveyed that India might register over 17 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8 lakh deaths due to cancer by 2020.

 

Among these cases, it is more of women than men, who have been diagnosed with cancer, with the most common forms being breast, lung and cervical cancer.

 

Stress is an important factor in everyone’s life these days which could also be a major risk factor for Cancer. Indulging in any form of hobby like dance, music, painting etc can also help you deal with stress. But again the ratio of woman actually doing this stuff as compared to men is disappointing.

 

Ayurveda believes that prevention is better than cure. Moreover while talking about cancer; early detection always has greater chances of successful treatment. Visiting a doctor for check up in case of any problem or going for a routine follow-up for general check up is the most ignored fact by women.

 

Eating healthy food, doing exercise or yoga, indulging in any form of stress busting activity and not ignoring their health issues are the facts women should really reconsider as it could certainly empower them.

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ONE IN EIGHT – THE RISK OF BEING A WOMAN

When we ask females what is it likely meant to be a woman, many reply that being a woman means having strength, courage, equality, ability to maintain family and so on. Is it all about? It doesn’t end there, as a women we need to understand our health, our risk factors and our life style. Our health is not just self-wellbeing but also our family and community wellbeing. It is really surprising that being a woman itself is a risk factor for few cancers.

 

One in Eight denotes the incidence of Breast cancer in women. For every 8 women one develops breast cancer in her life time. As per National Institute of Cancer Prevention And Research, for every 2 women diagnosed with breast cancer one succumbs to it in India. Breast cancer has risen to No. 1 cancer in world pushing Cervical Cancer behind.

 

While there are many risk factors which are uncontrollable, equally there are risk factors that can be prevented or controlled which primarily include lifestyle. Staying aware of these risk factors that can be controlled and adopting to good lifestyle can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.

 

High Risk Factors that can’t be controlled:

1. Gender: Even though breast cancer is also seen in Men it is highly seen in women.

2. Age: As age advances women are more prone to breast cancer. Age group 30-60 and above.

3. Familial History: history of breast cancer in mother, sister [first degree relative] or relatives may increase your risk of getting it.

4. Personal History : if you had previous history of breast, endometrium, ovarian, colon cancer you are at high risk

5. Genetic Mutations: Inherited/ defective genes BRCA1 and BRCA 2.

6. Reproductive Factors: Early Menarche and Late Menopause increases the risk by increased exposure to hormones for longer period.

7. High Breast Density

 

High Risk Factors that can be controlled:

1. Obesity: studies suggest that high Fat tissue can increase oestrogen levels there by increased risk of breast cancer mainly in post-menopausal women.

2. High Fat Diet: risk is less in low fat diet women compared to high fat diet.

3. Physical-Inactivity: being physically fit reduces the risk of breast cancer.

4. Alcohol consumption: few studies show that increased alcohol consumption increases hormones mainly oestrogen thereby increasing risk for breast cancer.

5. Hormonal replacement therapy: studies have established that greater risk is associated with Hormonal replacement therapy mainly in women using HRT to treat menopausal symptoms.

6. Recent/ current use of Oral contraceptives.

7. Late Pregnancy: pregnancy after 30 years of age increases risk of breast cancer.

8. Breast Feeding: during breast feed mothers have hormonal changes that delay menstruation and decrease exposure to hormones especially oestrogen thereby reducing breast cancer risk.

 

The more you are aware, the less is the risk, if you can’t control your risk factors they make sure to take control over you. Stay aware, stay healthy.

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Harmony through Ayurveda

The healing methods of Ayurveda teaches how to maintain our health and wellbeing. Health cannot only be absence of sickness .This includes “Prassanna Atma Manah & Indriya” i.e. A Happy or Content state of our Soul, Mind & Senses.
Ayurveda recommends a variety of practical techniques for keeping a Healthy state of body, soul & senses if we can incorporate following few of the steps:

 

• Meditate on a regular basis: Studies are increasingly confirming the genetic changes that occur with regular meditation, which can help restore the body’s homeostasis, including the processes controlling digestion. To achieve maximum benefit, meditate for 20 to 30 minutes, twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.

• Do some form of yoga every morning, or a daily walk.

• Don’t overeat: Ayurveda recommends that we leave one-third to one-quarter of our stomach empty to allow space for our body to easily digest our meal. If we eat food more than our stomach can accommodate, then adequate breakdown of food is not possible leading to indigestion.

• Eat your largest meal at lunchtime: Ayurveda says that our Agni i.e. digestive fire or power is strongest at noon between 12p.m. to 2p.m., so we must have a heavy meal in between this duration. Studies have shown that digestive juices are in high amount during noon.

• Focus on releasing negative emotions: Our emotions influence your digestion. You may get heartburn when you are under stress, loss of appetite when sad, feel nausea before a big exam or presentation. Research show that stress associated with negative emotions can inhibit the normal digestion process and lead to chronic digestive issues.

• Helping respiratory distress: If Respiratory system or cardiovascular system has to be maintained in healthy state one must solve condition of chronic Constipation. Ayurveda states that both are interrelated through Vata dosha.

 

“Applying a paste prepared of Ghee & Rock salt over chest & back will help to ease respiratory distress.”

“Helping Cough bouts: If a person suffers cough bouts wrapping a cotton scarf, sipping Luke warm water also helps.”
The outcome of recommended method of Ayurveda harmonizes Mental & Physical balance, resulting in regularization of Physiological & Metabolic activity in body.

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“WORLD CANCER DAY – 4 FEB 2019“– A DSRC INITIATIVE

World Cancer Day is a landmark annual event observed on February 4 dedicated to raise the awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day targets misinformation, raises awareness, and reduces stigma. We at D. S. Research Centre conducted various awareness programs across all our centres in the country to make the citizens aware about the dreaded cancer. The initiative is to instill hope in the minds of the common people against cancer and make them stronger in the fight against the deadly monster called cancer.

 

At Kolkata, our team organized a rally of around 500 people comprising of 350 school students along with cancer fighters and common people. The Rally was flagged off at 10.30 am from DS Bhawan to ESI Hospital via Kankurgachi and return to DS Bhawan via same route.
The participants of the rally were segregated based on the theme of 4 types of cancers which are Lung cancer, Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer and Stomach Cancer. The rally was well covered by press and media.

 

Down south at Hyderabad, our team organized a walk at People’s Plaza. The participants numbering around 650+ gathered at people’s plaza by 07:00 am and the walk started from People’s Plaza to Jalavihar water park in the early morning 07:30 Am. The MNJ Institute of Oncology & Regional Cancer Centre also provided their whole hearted support towards this event and cause. During the Walk, all the participants with great energy and enthusiasm raised cancer slogans like “I am and I will”, “Early detection is better then cure” “I CAN & WE CAN –Kill cancer” etc. After reaching end point point of walk all the participants released orange and white colour balloons into the sky. MNJ Director Dr.N.Jayalatha expressed her gratitude towards D.S. Research Centre management and employees for all support & collaboration in WCD Walk through which we can eradicate the Cancer in the society and make it Cancer Free..!
Team also conducted a drawing competition On Cancer Theme in St.Alphonsus High School, Banjarahills-Hyderabad. Tanuja Giri (DSRC Cancer Survivor) was the chief guest of the activity & she presented prizes for that top 3 winners on World Cancer Day.

 

At the neighbouring city of Bengaluru, a big rally was organized by team with school students at the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens. There was a huge gathering of over 200 students. After the rally, the students flew balloons in the sky to mark the occasion. Morning walkers also joined us in the rally and participated whole heartedly for the cause.

 

At the west of India in Mumbai, team organized a White – A- Thon, where doctors from Sion Ayurvedic Medical College participated in the morning march, Over 150 doctors participated in a White – A – Thon rally march. Placards & Banners were the source & medium to spread the messages about cancer, precaution & prevention.
Team also got associated with government school at Nashik, Maharashtra. The crowd of the school kids made a chain with the message “Together We Can Defeat Cancer” with “I Am & I Will” along with “DSRC logo” & “WCD”. This formation was captured by upgraded technological camera / drone which gave a bird’s eye view. Over 1500 school going kids participated in this activity. It was a huge success with World Cancer Day Organization in Switzerland acknowledging and appreciating the event.

 

At the North-East of the country in Guwahati, a rally was organized for mass awareness against cancer with participation of school children.The program started at 10 am and Venue was Dighuliphukri. Ribbon cutting by some renowned guests followed by starting of the rally by holding of WCD banner and marching to some of the major places of Guwahati. After the rally the guests were felicitated.

 

At Tripura, Agartala…a rally by college students of TIPS (Tripura Institute of Paramedical Sciences) was organized. After the rally, the faculty members visited the Govt. Cancer Hospital to gift the cancer fighters with fruits and goodie bags.

 

At Varanasi, a press meet was organized along with Cancer Fighters and Survivors who have benefitted from our treatment along with the members of the press. It was heartening to see the enthusiasm and eagerness among the attendees to know and spread the awareness against cancer.

 

All in all, a great day to be remembered for the whole year dedicated to the Cancer fighters across the length and breadth of this country with the sole motto of D. S. Research Centre, “Together We Can” – “Defeat Cancer”!

 

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NOTHING CLASSY ABOUT LIFESTYLE DISEASES

Diet and lifestyle are major factors to influence susceptibility to many diseases. The shift in purchasing power and the coming in of technology has changed our way of living. Less physical activity, more availability of resources and no time to spare, we have become preys to some extremely uncommon diseases called “Lifestyle diseases”.

 

They are defined as diseases linked with the way people live their life and their inappropriate relationship with their environment. The onset of these lifestyle diseases is insidious, they take years to develop, and once encountered do not lend themselves easily to cure.

 

Since lifestyle diseases are diseases that are a result of the lifestyle choices that we make, contributing factors are closely related.

 

 Bad diet options

 

 Lack of adequate exercise

 

 Poor posture

 

 Disruption in biological clock

 

 Poor lifestyle choices

 

 Environmental conditions – occupational lifestyle diseases

 

Some of the common diseases encountered because of occupational lifestyle are:

 

 Alzheimer’s disease

 

 Arteriosclerosis

 

 Cancer

 

 Chronic liver disease/cirrhosis

 

 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

 

 Diabetes & hypertension

 

 Heart disease & stroke

 

 Nephritis/CRF

 

There is corroborative evidence that diet and lifestyle is playing a major role in predisposition to various diseases like cancer. Peoples’ diet changed with time with increase in consumption of meat, dairy products, vegetable oils, fruit juice, and alcoholic beverages, and decrease in consumption of starchy staple foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, and maize flour. Diets high in animal products, fat, and sugar resulted in high rates of cancer of the colorectum, breast, prostate, endometrium, and lungs than diet based on one or two starchy staple foods, with low intakes of animal products, fat. These observations suggest that the diet [or lifestyle] of different populations might partly determine their rates of cancer.
While our lifestyles have become more convenient, there certainly is nothing classy about lifestyle diseases. We pay a high price for our press-of-a-button lifestyles. Eventually, we may need to take a step back and relearn how to lead physically active lives, and, in turn, disease-free lives.

 

In the 1970s it was noted that people in many western countries had diets high in animal products, fat, and sugar, and high rates of cancer of the colorectum, breast, prostate, endometrium, and lung; by contrast, individuals in developing countries usually had diet which were based on one or two starchy staple foods, with low intakes of animal products, fat, and sugar, and low rates of these cancers. These observations suggest that the diet [or lifestyle] of different populations might partly determine their rates of cancer.

 

A healthy lifestyle must be adopted to combat these diseases with a proper balanced diet, physical activity and by giving due respect to biological clock. The good thing about lifestyle diseases is that if we do something about them, it is possible to reverse the condition. Listed below are some things that you can do to prevent lifestyle diseases.

• Eat a healthy diet

 

• Engage in moderate exercise (30 minutes every day)

 

• Sit and stand in the right postures

 

• Avoid foods that are high in fats, salt, sugar and refined products.

 

We may conclude that early to bed and early to rise with emphasis on moderate physical labor, supported by fresh and easily digestible food should be the motto to lead a healthy, peaceful life with no disease.

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HUMAN CELLS AND CANCER

Human body is made of millions of cells coming together to form different systems and performing various functions in our body. Thus in every human being cells grow and divide to form new cells. This way the older damaged cells die and new healthy cells take their place. This cycle of cell formation and destruction ensures proper function of every system in our body.

In Cancer some of the body cells begin to divide when they are not needed and some cells survive and remain in the body when they should die. This causes break down of the orderly cycle of cell formation resulting in unwanted multiplication of cells. Thus the beginning of this disease occurs with abnormal cell division and hence prevention should aim at avoiding or restricting the same.

Since cells play a major role in pathophysiology of this disease, maintaining healthy cells in our body is a way which can help us to overcome their ability of dividing abnormally.

Healthier the cells, lesser are their chances of starting abnormal division.

In an event of uncontrolled cell division these healthier cells can themselves take over the abnormally dividing cells and stop the disease process right away.

A balance diet, good physical activity like exercise, yoga etc., breathing exercises like pranayama & positive attitude in life can certainly help us nourish our body cells.

Avoiding excess exposure to harmful radiations emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi stations etc., excess consumption of hybridized food and exposure to harmful chemicals in the form of herbicides, chemical cleansers, toxic cosmetics etc. are certain ways we can adopt to maintain the health of our body cells.

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Unfortunate reality of rise in Cancer incidence

Half a century ago a person was far more likely to die from heart disease. Now cancer is on the verge of overtaking it as the No. 1 cause of death.

I am frequently asked why so many people these days are being diagnosed with cancer?

So …what could account for the rise in cancer cases? While human genes haven’t changed drastically over recent years, conditions in and around them have shifted. Lifestyle factors like diet and bad habits certainly play a role in our cellular health, as our life expectancy and the job we do. The rates of many chronic diseases have fallen in the past decades, but cancer is not behaving in the same fashion for a few reasons. When coming to cancer, one fact is very clear the older we get the higher is our risk; the longer we live, the more time we have for errors to build up. And so, as time passes, our risk of developing cancer goes up as we accumulate more of these faults in our genes. While tools for cancer diagnosis and treatment have improved, lifestyle has gone in the other direction. Poor lifestyle and sedentary habits have become the norm, which makes people overweight or obese increasing the risk of cancer. It has been estimated that over half a million cancers worldwide can be directly linked to obesity and inactivity every year. Obesity is tied to number of cancers including Breast, Colon, Oesophagus, Pancreatic, Endometrial, Kidney and Thyroid. In fact obesity threatens to overtake smoking as a number one risk factor for cancer. Other lifestyles like a diet that is high in red meats (such as beef, pork, lamb, or liver) and processed meats (such as hot dogs and some luncheon meats) can raise our risk of colorectal cancer .Drinking more alcohol, more regularly ups our risk for Breast, mouth, oesophageal and colon cancer. Sun bathing increases risk of skin cancer. On the other hand changing reproductive habits could explain why rates of breast ovarian and some other reproductive cancer haven’t fallen much despite introduction of HPV vaccine and more conscientious screening. How we choose to feed and protect our body can go far to reducing our risk of invasive cancer, most notably skin and colon cancer.

Cancer is currently more common in men than women, but due to changes in lifestyle women are catching up fast. It’s clear that unless progress is made in tackling obesity and other preventable causes of cancer, more people of both sexes will be diagnosed with the disease every year. We can all take the initiative in reducing our chance of getting cancer by eating more healthily, drinking less and doing more exercise.

Facing cancer was never easy, but you can take some comfort in that, prognosis has never been better than it is today. Like many life threatening medical conditions, early diagnosis can increase your likely hood of beating the disease and living a long life.

Thankfully in this day and age, receiving a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.

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Cancer Causing Foods We Probably Eat Every Day

We know that foods can be both poison & medicine if we intake in proper quantity & in proper manner. There are several foods that we consume regular without knowing that may cause cancer.

 

In summer season, most consumed food product is soda. Loaded with sugar, that cause weight gain and contribute to the nationwide epidemic of obesity. Sodas contain artificial colorings and food chemicals like derivative 4-methylimidazole (4-MI); no wonder soda pop has been shown to cause cancer.

 

Processed & smoked meats are also our favorite food item, which cause cancer. Processed meats contain numerous chemicals and preservatives, including sodium nitrates, which make them, look appealing and fresh but are well known carcinogens. Smoking meats seem to be particularly bad as the meat picks up tar from the smoking process. Yes, tar, the same deadly ingredient that cigarette smoke contains.

 

Now let’s talk about our favorite snack. Yes, we know, potato chips are cheap, great tasting, quick snack, however, the negative effects they have on your body may not be worth the little bit of pleasure you derive from these crispy snacks.Potato chips have artificial flavors, numerous preservatives, and colors as well, which is something else your body doesn’t need.Potato chips are fried in high temperatures to make them crispy but this also causes them to make a material called acrylamide, a known carcinogen that is also found in cigarettes.

 

Another well-known food item is hydrogenated oils. These are used to preserve processed foods and keep them looking appealing for a long as possible. Hydrogenated oils influence our cell membranes’ structure and flexibility, which is linked to cancer.

 

Foods that are highly salted, pickled, or smoked are very much carcinogenic.There is overwhelming evidence that eating these types of foods greatly increases the risk of colorectal cancer and higher rates of stomach cancer. The rates of stomach cancer are much greater in places such as Japan where a traditional diet contains many foods that are highly salted, and/or smoked.

 

Food which tastes sweet, looks sweet are always not sweet for us. Refined sugars are not only known to spike insulin levels, but also to be the most preferable food for cancer cells, thus promoting their growth.And since cakes, pies, cookies, sodas, juices, sauces, cereals, and many other extremely popular, mostly processed, food items are loaded with refined sugars, this helps explain why cancer rates are on the rise these days. Even with artificial sweeteners there is mounting evidence that the chemicals that make up these sweeteners, especially aspartame, break down in the body into a deadly toxin called DKP. When your stomach processes this chemical, it in turn produces chemicals that can cause cancer, especially brain tumors.

 

Alcohol use is the second leading cause of cancer, right behind tobacco use.

 

Last but not the least, Fruits that are non-organic are contaminated with some very dangerous pesticides such as atrazine, thiodicarb, and organophosphates, as well as high nitrogen fertilizers cause cancer. Washing fruit does not remove 100 per cent of the residue. Pesticides are toxic chemicals to insects as well as human beings.

 

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SUPERGREENS

Health Benefits of Shalgam patte (Turnip Greens)

• Improves digestive health

• High in antioxidant

• Anti-inflammatory

• Improves heart health

• Improves bone health

• Rich source of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate , fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin B6

• Rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus

• Reduces bad cholesterol

• Increases haemoglobin levels

Health Benefits of Colocassia leaves (arbi ke patte)

• Best eaten when cooked

• Rich in antioxidant

• High in fibre and boost digestive health

• Improves eye sight (rich in beta carotene)

• Lowers cholesterol (fibre & methionione)

• Rich in iron (increases haemoglobin levels)

• Rich in Folate (good for pregnant women)

• Boost heart health (Potassium, fibre, reduces homocysteine level)

• Rich in Vitamin C & Threonine (slows aging)

Health Benefits of Amaranth (Chauli leaves)

• High in iron –increases haemoglobin

• Rich in antioxidant

• Rich in calcium- strengthens bones

• Boost digestive health

• Rich in vitamin K

• Boost eye health (rich in beta carotene)

• Lowers cholesterol levels

• Presence of lysine (an essential amino acid) along with vitamin E, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and vitamin C helps to fight against formation of malignant cells.

Health Benefits of Radish Leaves (Muli ke patte)

• Reduces constipation

• Rich in Iron (increases haemoglobin levels )

• Rich in calcium, folic acid, vitamin C

• Controls blood sugar levels

• Helps in flushing out toxins from the body- antibacterial

• Boost immune system

Health Benefits of Curry leaves – kadi patta

• Rich in antioxidant

• Lowers cholesterol levels

• Helps to cure indigestion (gas, acidity)

• Controls blood sugar levels

• Cancer fighting properties

• Rich in Beta carotene – strengthens eye sight and good for hair growth

• Protects liver and helps in detoxification

Health Benefits of Dill leaves/Shepu/Sowa/Suvani bhaji

• Chemo protective

• Boost immunity

• Reduces inflammation

• Contains potent antioxidant enzyme

• Good source of calcium thereby making bones stronger

• Prevents bacterial overgrowth

• Improves digestive health- releases digestive juices and relives from constipation

• Good source of Vitamin A & C

• Rich in iron thus maintains haemoglobin levels

• Maintains proper menstrual cycle

• Has calming properties and can aid insomnia

Health Benefits of Cauliflower greens

• Richest source of iron- increases haemoglobin

• Rich source of calcium- strengthens bones

• High in fibre

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EFFECTIVE CANCER MANAGEMENT

“Cancer” – Since years this disease has threatened mankind and it’s increasing evidence in population has further added to the fear about this disease in people’s mind.

During our seminars we come across patients who have been taking conventional treatments for Cancer from renowned hospitals since years but when it is asked to them that what do they know about the disease, the answer is – “ I have Cancer and it leads to death…”.

This is the only definition of Cancer most of the people have. Unfortunately the scenario remains same even for the urban population. This fear of death is inseparably associated with cancer and hence most of the people when they come to know that they are having cancer, just give up instead of fighting against it. Fear comes from ignorance & knowledge is the only tool to overcome it. It is very essential to have correct knowledge of the disease you are suffering as only then you can win over it.

Cancer is curable now and it doesn’t necessarily lead to death is the truth we all should propagate amongst the masses. Patients should be thoroughly educated about disease pathology, its risk factors, correct line of treatment to be adopted, diet to be followed, hygiene to be maintained, precautions to be taken during and after the treatment, etc. Treated patients must know about the lifestyle modifications they should adopt to avoid recurrence of disease.

Moreover there are various myths in people’s mind about Cancer like; cancer is a communicable disease, it is caused by virus or bacteria and it produces germs in patient’s body, cancer and tumor are the same entities, there is no treatment available for last stage cancer etc. All these are false beliefs and it’s a high time we should eradicate such myths right away from the society.

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