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Updated: December 27, 2013 17:21 IST

‘60 per cent of cancer cases preventable’

Special Correspondent
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Dr. Praful B.Desai at the Basavatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital Research Institute in Hyderabad on Sunday. — Photo: G. Ramakrishna
Dr. Praful B.Desai at the Basavatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital Research Institute in Hyderabad on Sunday. — Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Senior surgical oncologist Praful B. Desai has said most of the cancer diseases among humans are caused by their habits and lifestyle and about 60 per cent of all cancers are preventable.

Speaking on the sidelines of a live surgical workshop on Esophagectomy organised at Basavatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital & Research Centre here on Sunday, Dr. Desai said oesophagus (food pipe) cancer was mostly caused by consumption of tobacco in different forms – chewing, smoking and others.

It was one of the first four common cancer diseases in India after cervix, breast and mouth/throat cancers.

“We give oesophagus cancer ourselves by using tobacco in different forms and it can be controlled with high survival rate, if detected in early stages”, Dr. Desai said, adding that it was more prevalent in north-eastern States, Kashmir and Karnataka.

Esophagectomy was a surgical procedure to control food pipe cancer and it was part of the combined treatment method which includes chemotherapy and radiation-therapy.

“Surgery on oesophagus cancer patients is done four months after the first two phases of treatment for better results”, he stated.

Early diagnosis

Success rate in the procedure was over 70 pc, if the disease was diagnosed in early stages, but it would come down to just 10 per cent, if intervened in lateral stages, he explained.

A German-born surgeon Franz Torek had performed the first thoracic Esophagectomy in a New York Hospital in 1913, he stated.

“We need to pay more attention to educating people on the harmful effects of tobacco to prevent oesophagus cancer”, Dr. Desai said and stressed the importance of creating awareness to prevent incidence of other cancer diseases to a large extent as most of them were lifestyle-related like other health problems such as diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension, asthma, arthritis and others.

Asked whether the humanity could triumph over cancer, Dr. Desai said with optimism that it could happen when “we completely understand our genes and DNA” and till then cancer could only be controlled and not cured.

The headline of this article has been corrected for a factual error.

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