Docs discuss how to tackle cancer

Recurrent brain tumor is a matter of concern in cancer treatment. Lack of knowledge of molecular nature of tumors makes this area complicated while treating and saving patients.

“The exact molecular behaviour of tumor is not known. Certain tumors grow fast, while others don’t.

“We are never sure whether the slow growth of tumor is because of therapy or the nature of tumor itself,” said Dr Rahul Gupta, associate professor of neurosurgery, GB Pant Hospital.

“Glioma brain tumor is one of the most fatal. The patient dies soon after it recurs. There is a lot of research in this field but the results are not satisfactory yet,” said Gupta at a continuing medical education symposium on Sunday.

Neurosurgeons, radio oncologists and other doctors involved in cancer treatment discussed the management of recurrent brain tumor.

“The conference brought experts from various fields together. Understanding new techniques of other’s areas helps in referring a patient to the correct person for right treatment,” said Dr Gupta.

In tumors like glioblastoma, which is the most common and most aggressive malignant brain tumor, the recurrence rate is nearly 90 per cent within three years.
In benign tumors, on the other hand, the recurrence rate is only 10 per cent if treated well.

Regular check up

Experts at the conference said regular follow-up checks are needed to reduce a patient’s death due to recurring cancer.

“It is difficult to predict if a patient’s tumor may recur even after it has been completely cured.

“While treating tumor through radiation or chemotherapy, it either disappears or reaches a state where the tumor cells cease to multiply,” said Dr I C Premsagar, senior consultant of neurosurgery, Action Cancer Hospital, which organised the event.

Temporary relief

“But this state can be permanent or temporary. The onus lies with us to make sure that the patient undergoes regular follow-up treatment, which usually includes MRI imaging,” said Dr Premsagar.

He said patients must maintain a good diet to improve the body’s resistance.
“Physiotherapy is also essential, which can help in reducing the risk of recurrence of brain tumors,” he added.

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