World Cancer Day 2023

February 4th was observed as ‘World Cancer Day.’ The global theme for this year was ‘Close The Care Gap’ – overcoming socio-economic barriers and making cancer care accessible to all. Manipal Hospitals held an awareness program on account of World Cancer Day. While I had surgery scheduled, and could not be a part of the … Read more

Decision Making In Cancer Treatment – One Size Does Not Fit All

In the current era of multi-modal cancer therapy, designing a personalized treatment plan for cancer is challenging. Patients, their families, and oncologists have to contend with a multitude of factors. These factors come under three categories – disease factors, patient factors, and environmental factors. Disease factors: the primary site of cancer, stage at diagnosis, type … Read more

“But I Have No Symptoms Of Cancer At All”

41-year-old Ravindran had come down to Bangalore from San Francisco for a family visit. When he took his father for an annual health check-up, he thought he may as well get one himself. To his and his family’s surprise, a routine abdominal ultrasound showed that Ravindran had a 4 cm tumor in his right kidney, … Read more

Going Beyond Cure In Cancer Care

Worldwide statistics indicate that currently two out of every three people diagnosed with cancer will have a long-term cure. Without doubt, cure is the most important outcome in cancer care. Having said that, it is also important to focus on outcomes beyond cure. Consider the following examples of people (names changed), all of whom have … Read more

Rectal Cancer Treatment In The Present Day: Organ Conservation And Beyond

A little over a century ago, cancer of the rectum was incurable. Not only was the disease fatal, but in later stages, it was often accompanied by profound physical agony and pain, apart from indignity caused by incontinence to stools. In 1907, the English surgeon Ernest Miles described an operation for rectal cancer which removed … Read more

The Emotions Under The Surgeon’s Mask

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do much.” – Helen Keller Last week, I had the privilege of operating alongside Dr Narendra, a cardiothoracic surgeon and my friend of 30 years. It was a challenging surgery – the patient, a young girl had a cancerous tumor going from her neck down into … Read more

“Can an Ovarian Cancer disappear without treatment?”

“Can an Ovarian Cancer go away on its own?” Mrs. Shalini was very distressed. She had come in for a consultation because an ultrasound scan done as part of a routine health check-up showed that she had a large ovarian mass. “Doctor, I have been scouring the internet about my condition. I came across a … Read more

What Is Stage 0 Cancer?

As we discussed in a previous article, the lethal nature of cancer is because of its propensity to invade (grow into adjacent tissues and organs) and metastasize (spread to distant organs). Cancers occur as a result of normal cells becoming abnormal (mutation). Once the cells become cancerous, cancer progresses in stages. The stage when individual … Read more