Screening for Cancer should be started early when there are no symptoms to ensure early detection and cure, said Dr.Bhavna Parikh, a renowned Oncologist from Mumbai, while speaking recently at Rotary Club of Bombay West on Understanding Cancer.
According to Dr.Bhavna Parikh, males after age of 50 must go for screening for Colon Cancer – per Rectal (internal examination), stool examination for bleeding and s.CEA – Tumor Marker test and for Prostrate Cancer – s.PSA Tumor Marker Test. For females, she suggested PAP Smear to be done by a Gynecologist for detection of Cervical Cancer, after age 45 Self Breast Examination, Mammography and annual breast examination by a clinician. For screening for Cancer of Ovary, she suggested Sonography of Pelvis and CA 125 Tumor Marker Test.
Giving a glimpse of the Cancer scenario in India, Dr.Parikh said there is a significant increase in the number of Cancer cases in last one decade. This is expected to increase in coming decades. India has all the facilities to treat Cancer including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Standard of care in India is at par with international standards in dedicated oncology centers. Cancer can be cured if detected in early stage (e.g. Cure rates for breast cancer in stage I and II is about 90%). Cancer if detected in advanced stage, may not be cured but can be controlled with a reasonably good prolongation of life.
In her closing remarks, she advised the members and guests to have a healthy life-style, go for regular screening, consult an oncologist whether cancer is detected in early or advanced stage and never lose hope!