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Most common cancers in women

May 16, 2011 16:15 IST

In a chat with Get Ahead readers on May 11, Dr Sanket Mehta, Consultant Oncosurgeon, Bombay Hospital and Medical research centre discussed various types of cancers in women and how to get the treatment for the same.

Here's the unedited excerpt:

Inderpreet asked, Hi Mam..sumtimes i feel pain in my breast i m worried..pls adv
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers,  at 2011-05-11 16:00:35Pain in the breast is an extremely common symptom related to variety of conditions apart from cancer of the breast. A breast examination and a mammography (if you are above 35)may be required. You can contact me with further details if you have any doubts..

kj asked, what is the symtoms of breast cancer
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, A lump in the breast, discharge from the nipple, occasionally even pain in the breast may be the presenting symptoms. However, we can even pick it up when it is not large enough to cause symptoms by using a mammography

prabhu asked, Is laproscopic surgery of CA cervix equivalent to the routine surgical methods or are there some distinct advantages?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, In terms of adequacy of surgery to eradicate the disease, it is equivalent to routine (open) method in expert hands. However, laparoscopic method offers certain distinct advantages. It gives much lesser pain, has scars which are hardly visible later on, there is lesser chance of infection, lesser need for medications, lesser duration of hospitalization and even can turn out to be cheaper than routine surgery.

xxxx asked, My mom has been identified for stage 4 overy cancer last august... after opration they are giving chemo theraphy..fisrt they suggested 6 later 4 with different and now since every week small dose they are giving.. before opration CA125 was 5800 and now after 6+4 cycle of chemo it is reduced to 127, but PET CT shows some metaboilic activity, please suggest
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It is evident that there is residual disease that needs to be treated. I understand your concern and there may be something that can be offered provided there is no spread outside the abdomen. However, more details and a review of the reports is necessary to give an opinion. It is possible that she may need another surgery, but this time associated with Hyperthermic Intra-peritoneal chemotherapy or HIPEC.

khyati asked, Sir, in your introduction you have briefly mentioned about a new form of therapy called as HIPEC. Could you elaborate some more about the same and whether the patient survival rate is significantly more as compared to commonly practiced methods?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, HIPEC stands for Hyperthermic Intra-peritoneal Chemotherapy and is a form of treatment which is used in conjunction with a surgery called cytoreductive surgery. For diseases in which there is spread of the cancer to the peritoneum (that is stage 4 cancers), that is the membrane lining the abdomen, it can offer long term survival of upto 50% at 5 years and even a chance of cure. It is a significant step forward for cancers like stage 3 and stage 4 cancer of the ovary where the results are dismal with the traditional method of treatment of surgery followed by IV chemotherapy

harishankar asked, My mother died of Ovarian cancer 8 years ago. Is it hereditary,
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It is hereditary only in a small proportions of patients. If there were any other of her or your siblings that were also affected with breast or ovarian cancer, then there is a much higher chance that there may be a hereditary transmission.

akash_chopra85 asked, hi mam... my wife has two lumps in the breast. 7 years back also, she had the same problem and got operated for the same. That time mammography was done and doctors found nothing wrong with the lump. Please advice ..
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, All you need is a mammography every 1 and half years and a regular check up at the same time..

xxxx asked, and another question what is your suggestion on Homeopathy treatment for overy cancer stage 4 after removing tumor ?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There is practically no role of homeopathy that has been documented in studies for ca ovary

badcells asked, hi what tests for bladder cancer...AND precautions for a young man who has urinary stricture and recent detection of cystitis...
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Cystitis does not predispose you to bladder cancer. If you have bleeding in your urine, then you need further investigations for bladder cancer, including a cystoscopy

deepak asked, Is hyperthermic intra-peritoneal chemotherapy treatment easily available at all major medical centers?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, This form of treatment is available at around 30 centers worldwide. In India, there is only a single team of surgeons led by me who are trained to perform this surgery and give the HIPEC. It is only done in 2 leading hospitals in Mumbai.

kunal asked, What are the different types of cancers that can be treated with the HIPEC therapy?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, The different types of cancers that can be treated by HIPEC are : ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer, pseudomyxoma peritoneii, mesotheliomas and some other rare tumors of peritoneal origin.

Mona asked, I some times feel giddy with slight headache and nausea; can this be related to any common type of cancer. The giddiness sometime makes me panicky .
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Please consult our family physician or a neurologist. It may be related to a variety of conditions related to the brain or the internal ear and not necessarily a cancer.

mu asked, Hi Mam..sumtimes i feel pain in my breast i m worried but although my breats are very soft..pls adv
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Please refer to answers already posted

xxxx asked, recently in news UK has identified one medicine for cancer which is in form of single injection is it available ? how much HIPEC may cost for overy cancer stage 4 and which hospital in bangalore is good to go for this?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There is only one center in INdia that offers this treatment and this is in Mumbai. As for your first question, please do not let yourself be misguided by articles in the newspapers. For ovarian stage for cancer, the best available treatment option is a combination of IV chemotherapy and surgery in the form of cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. Again, the feasibility of this treatment strategy depends on a thorough evaluation by an expert trained in this treatment.

deepak asked, Just as there are self-breast examinations for early detection of breast cancer, are there some home examinations or specific symptoms to detect cervical or ovarian cancers.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There are no home examinations to detect these types of cancers. For Cancer of the cervix, a pap smear done every yearly starting from the age of first sexual contact can detect cervical cancer at an early or even a pre-cancerous stage.

xxxx asked, Thanks a lot for your suggestions and answers... have a great day
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, I will be posting my contact details at the end of the chat. If you need further help, please do not hesitate to contact on the details provided.

mu asked, what is the age- range of having Breast cancer..are there chances if a person is below 35 yrs can she be prone to this disease
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, The chances of getting a breast cancer before the age of 35 is very low, hence Screening for this age group is not recommended. However, if you do have symptoms related to the breast, an examination by an experienced clinician is mandatory

Riya asked, Hi, what precautions or treatment to be taken to avoid hereditary cancer growth in next generation.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There are no precautions that can prevent transmission into the next generation. However, certain types of genetically transmitted cancers can be screened using genetic testing and identifying the defective gene. This can help your oncologist or surgeon to screen you closely or even offer surgery to prevent future cancer..

deepak asked, is pregnancy safe for patients of ovarian or cervical cancers.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, No, pregnancy is not safe in the presence of these cancers, nor should a pregnancy be planned without proper medical advice in survivors of these cancers

Riya asked, My mother and maternal uncle died of stomach cancer and another one is suffering from the same. It is hereditary in my mother's maternal side.Please guide me if there are any injections or vaccine to be taken against the same as early precaution. Pls help me out.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Please find out whether it is indeed stomach (as in the organ stomach) or an abdominal cancer that affected 3 siblings on your maternal side. The advice that I can give will differ accordingly.

xyz asked, I have delivered a baby 6 month ago.I have lump in my right breast but gets soft once I feed my baby .Is there anything to worry about?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Usually, this is a simple collection of milk in a dilated duct system. However, if it is worrisome please get it examined by a surgeon.

Pravin asked, Is tumor in overy is always symtems of Cancer?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Tumors of the ovary can be benign or malignant. When we say cancer, it refers to the malignant variety.

lallu asked, Hi, I am a unmarried girl of 29 yrs...There are certain hard portions in my breast around nipple...and the other part is softer..are those lumps?? Is it a cause of concern????How do i understand the difference between lumps or any other things??
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, If these hard areas are something that you have noticed recently, please consult a doctor. If you are concerned whether they are normal or not, it is best to get expert advice.

deepak asked, there are lots of articles floating around regarding cancer-preventing foods and vitamins supplements etc., what is the varacity of such claims.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There is very little evidence to these claims and further studies are needed to ascertain these claims

spel asked, age -27 pain in one side breast
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It may be a benign condition that may subside with simple medications and there may be nothing to worry about. However, please consult a doctor for further advice.

Riya asked, My mother was suffering from cancer in the intestine and one uncle is suffering from cancer in Jujuba(hope i spelt it correctly)
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, If you could provide more details, it would be helpful. Like was it small or large intestine (colon) and at what age was she diagnosed? Jujuba is not a medical term, so please find out what was the organ involved and again at what age.

sps asked, Hi, Should I give my 12 year old daughter vaccine for cervical cancer
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Yes, it is beneficial and protective and there is no risk involved.

bunny asked, Until what stage of cancer is HIPEC treatment effective, i.e., can a patient of stage III or stage IV respond favorably to HIPEc.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Stage 1 and 2 ovarian cancer do not require this treatment. It is only beneficial in stage 3 and 4 cancers.

sarbjit asked, is AML is cureable
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, AML is curable in about 40-50% of the cases. However, it depends on the type of AML and its response to chemotherapy

lallu asked, Does delayed marriage around 30+ for a woman and obviously delayed pregnancy increases the chance of breast cancer..???or any other cancer???
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It increases the chances of getting a breast cancer but only marginally. For all practical purposes, the individual risk is negligible.

Riya asked, Can period problems lead to cervical cancer in future.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Cervical cancer can be a cause of period problems. However, having irregular menstrual cycles per se does not affect the chances of getting cervical cancer.

Riya asked, Thanks for your prompt reply.Sorry, but i don't have these details now.My mother's age was 42 yrs & same was the age of uncles's when they suffered the disease.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, You may need some form of screening in that case. Please get back to me with further details on the contact details provided at the end of the chat

vikrant asked, In yr last chat u mentioned HIPEC tretament for Stage 3 CA Overy.Could you please suggest good HIPEC treatement hospital in Central India like Nagpur or any other location. Right now my mother is fine after 3 Chemo- surgery ( Couldnot able to remove tumour) - 3 Chemo.Pls advise
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, At present, I am the only trained surgeon that performs HIPEC in INdia. I will be glad to help you in any way I can. You will find my contact details at the end of the chat.

priynk asked, Dear Sir, I havent had periods for more than a year it a matter of concern??? what I can do naturally to have normal periods???
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It is definitely a matter of concern. Are you lactating? That may be a reason. Please consult a gynaecologist for further advice..

sarbjit asked, what does mean by response to chemotherapy
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It means the reduction or improvement of the blood markers on first line or standard chemotherapy

shefali asked, age is 29 & i have lumps in my both underarms right from my scholl days....they pain before the periods...& then the pain disappers...they have grown over a period....can this be related to cancer?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, This classical of cyclilcal mastalgia related to fibroadenosis. It does not increase your chances of getting cancer. There is a very simple treatment available for it and all you need is medications. Please consult a good surgeon for advice.

Dr. Sanket Mehta says, Thanks for all your questions.. I am signing out now and will be back in a fortnight. If there are any further questions, please mail me on I will answer them at my earliest possible convenience. Have a good day