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All you want to know about cancer

April 26, 2011 10:00 IST

In an online chat with Get Ahead readers on April 21, Dr Sanket Mehta, Consultant Oncosurgeon, Bombay Hospital and Medical research centre discussed various types of cancers and how to get treatment for the same.

Here is the unedited chat transcript:

Tyag asked, Have been advised rads for 5 weeks following lumpectomy of stage 1 breast carcinoma that is over 95percent ER PR positive and Her negative and aux lymph node negative. I read that in the west for such conditions rads are Optional. Are we being too safe in India . Is radiation advisable for patients near in 70yrs of age
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers,  at 2011-04-21 16:57:53Whenever breast conservation is done the rest of the breast has to be irradiated. there are 2 ways of giving radiation. one is intraoperative and the second is postoperative the kind which you are going to receive. In India this kind of intraoperative radiation is not available in many places and postoperative radiation is quite safe even in her age group and infact necessary.

sheetalsm asked, Can the 4th stage colon or ovarian cancer be treated and if yes what is the sucess rate
DR. SANKET MEHTA answers, Both stage 4 ovary and colon cancer can now be treated with good survival and even a chance of cure. this includes treatment of metastasis to liver as well as peritoneum as well as the lungs. you should consult a specialist involved in the treatment of metastatic disease to have the best results

KHAN asked, why the case of cancer is diagnosed so late.
DR. SANKET MEHTA answers, Majority of times, cancer presents with vague symptoms to start with and only a vigilant doctor and patient with a high degree of suspicion can diagnose it. Also in our country, we do not have cancer screening being practised widely which leads to late diagnosis of cancer

surajit asked, sir, my mom died in tongue cancer on 1983 (27 yrs ago). now i am 38. is there any chance of attack for me also ? i am happliy married with 2 child at present & sound health.
Dr Sanket Mehta answers, Tongue cancer is not known to have a hereditary cause. Tobacco is the commonestcause for oral cavity cancers. Avoid tobacco

kmrajesh asked, sir my father being diagnoised with ca prostate and undergone the surgery after three years he had severe back pain and last week we have done the bone scan and found that it has affected to the bone and result is bone metastatic and doctor has advised for radiaiton. please give me suggestion on this
Dr Sanket Mehta answers, Has he undergone an Orchiedectomy? If not that is the 1st step. Radiation has got very specific indication in prostrate cancer. Please consult an oncologist for further advise.

amrut asked, Sir,my dad is 70years old & suffering from lever cirohsis since 2 years.Now it is diagnosed that it is cancer.Currently we have started treatment of Dr.Boman Bhabhar.He is taking Soranib 200mg Tabs now.Is it possible to cure it completely or can we go for tranplantation in later stages ??
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Soranib cannot cure HCC. If the criteria for transplantation are fulfilled that is the best treatment for your father.

Rinkushah asked, Hello Dr Metha. I was in Europe for about an year and got to know from there that they use a technique that cures stage 3 and 4 cancers. Is this true? and does anyone use such a technique in India?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Yes it is true there is new treatment for peritoneal metastasis which is perhaps what you are talking about. It is called as cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. This treatment is now available in some hospitals in Mumbai. I head this program in one of these hospitals

Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It depends on the type of blood cancer as well as the response to chemotherapy. Pls consult your medical oncologist

shruthi asked, PLEASE ANSWER:hi, I have a family history of cancer. My Maternal and paternal grandmother have passed away because of cancer.(Cervical and Oral). Am i at risk of getting cancer? What precautions can i take?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Yes you may have a slightly increased risk starting from the age of 45 yrs you need a mammography every year and a half. also irrespective of your age pls get a Pap smear every year

Tyag asked, Thanks dr. Have been advised femara due to the ER positive. Do I hv to take this for many years. At 70 there is a risk of bone weakening. Have been taking triple a cal even before and continue this. Should this be augmented with other calcium fortifications.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, You have to take it for at least 5 years. along with triple cal you need to take tablet Osteophos once a week

vasu asked, what are the symtoms to suspect he may be suffering oral cancer, and what tests should be advised for diagnosing Oral Cancer
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, A routine examination of the oral cavity by an experienced doctor is all that is required. Attention. STOP TOBACCO INTAKE

aask asked, hello sir, what cause when a breast cancer female not take chemo and radiation after the operation ( removing tumour at underarm) age of women is 60yrs
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, It depends on the stage of the tumor (extent of spread of tumor). If it is a large tumor or has spread to the lymph nodes or if she has undergone a breast conservation surgery she needs radiation and chemotherapy. Both are extremly safe at 60 years of age

aask asked, hello sir, what cause when a breast cancer female not take chemo and radiation after the operation ( removing tumour at underarm) age of women is 60yrs
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, At 60 yrs of age both chemotherapy and radiation are extremely safe. the need for both depends on whether breast conservative surgery is performed or not, the stage of the tumor, and certain other tumor charecteristic. If your doctor has advised radiation or chemotherapy, pls go ahead.

zeshaan asked, Does alcohol increase cancer risk?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Yes, alcohol increases the risk for hepatocellular cancers and it also augments the carcinogenic effects of tobacco. Therefore all the cancer that are caused by tobacco consumption occur at an even higher rate if associated with alcoholism

KHAN asked, a patient of renal carcinoma, (left kidney) diagnosed about four months back. conditioning is worsening day by day. Is there any hope of his recovery with medicine.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There are certain types of medications which can help although they cannot cure renal cancer. if the cancer is in the operable stage, surgery is the only option that can offer a chance of cure.

parag asked, What may be the cause of Liver Cancer if a Person is not addict to liquor or tobbaco?
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There are certain heriditary and genetic conditions that predispose to liver cancer however these are quite rare. Majority, in the absence of alcohol intake do not have an attributable cause for liver cancer

vin asked, I have been smoking for 8 years now and have quit recently. Is it possible for me to accertain if i have got any risk and can i recover.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, First of all, stop smoking. There is definitely a risk of getting cancer and which exists upto 10 years after stopping smoking. A regular physical checkup by your doctor along with an x-ray chest is necessary during this period

Xtreame asked, My Aunty is detected +ve with Cancer of breasts. and said that it an early stage.. Is it possible that it is totally cured.. What is the quick steps that she need to take to cure it//
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, There is a very high chance of cure if it is in an early stage. Surgery is the cornerstone of treatment and depending on the stage she may require any one or all of the following. 1.Chemotherapy. 2. Radiotherapy. 3.Hormone therapy. 4.Targeted Therapy.

chikka asked, i have black path inside mouth due to chewing tobacco, now i have quit chewing tobacco, i fear whether it is leukoplakia, please help
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, You need an urgent check up by a qualified surgical oncologist. Yes you may have leukoplakia or malignancy.

kakkireni asked, My sister aged about 40 years suffered cervical cancer and operated 2 years back. She was operated in Indo-American Cancer Inst. at Hyd. Coulple of days back when tested there was small tumor of 4 x 4" found. What could be the cause ? Is it revival of old disease ? Pl enlighten us.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, If there is a tumor at the same site of the previous surgery that is in the pelvis, there is a very high risk that it is a recurrence. You need to consult your surgical oncologist for further guidance

sheetalsm asked, What are the new developments in the field of abdominal cancer
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Abdominal cancer encompasses a variety of tumors, generally speaking one of the major advances has been in the field of treatment of metastatic, i.e., stage IV disease. Now tumors metastatic to the liver and the peritoneum can also be treated with long term survival and a significant chance of cure.

bharti asked, is it necessary tht if my mother had canser i would laso get cancer
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, Depends on what type of cancer she had and the age at which she had that cancer.

vikrant asked, My mother has got CA Overy and we did 3 chemo-operation- 3 chemo.We couidnt able to remove her uterus thru operation and she finished 3 chemo.right now she is fine and CA-125 under control.but whwt will be the next step to increase her life.she is leaving normal happy ilfe.please suggest some other tratment to increase her life.
Dr. Sanket Mehta answers, She needs regular surveillance by your surgical oncologist including a CA-125 every 3 months and a CT scan at least every 6 months for the first 2 years.If it does recur treatment is still possible by cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC with a fairly good chance of cure.

Dr. Sanket Mehta says, It was pleasure talking to you and answering all your queries. For any further questions you can mail me at and i will be more than happy to answer them.