Radiotherapy may cause cancer

Radiotherapy may cause cancer

This is one piece of oncologists’ advice which cancer patients should adhere to. Excessive exposure to radiotherapy during the treatment of cancer of oral cavity and neck could lead to malignancy (a form of cancer) of thyroid glands.

This is what senior doctors attending a seminar on “cancer of thyroid glands”, which was organised by the Society of Oncology, Bihar, opined. “Radiologist should be very particular in exposing the patients to radiotherapy, as that may cause malignancy of thyroid,” said Dr Rajesh Singh, Associate Professor at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS).

The noted oncologist cited five instances which could provide symptoms of this type of cancer. First, the presence of a mass in thyroid region. Secondly, difficulty in swallowing. Third, it could cause pain in the neck. “Fourth symptom could be hoarseness of voice and the last one – occasional breathlessness,” he said, even as the audience listened to his observations in rapt attention.

President of the Oncology Society Dr V P Singh said that if they were detected early, and treated on time, there were high chances (80 to 100 per cent) of the disease getting cured. Arguing that radiotherapy and chemotherapy had restricted roles, the senior doctor said surgery was a major component of the treatment followed by radiolodine treatment (a form of nuclear medicine).

Dr Prabhat Ranjan, a histopathologist, also emphasised on the need for early detection of the infection. “The prognosis of patients below the age of 40 was better than in elderly patients,” the noted doctor observed.
 DH News Service

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