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Doctors beware: Declining number of cancer survivors linked to poor symptom recognition

oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay said.. “The number of survivors has decreased This should be related to the recognition of poor symptoms in the early stages While some forms of the disease such as lung, liver, gallbladder or uterine cancers are difficult to detect, physicians should not take chances. you must remember that time is a very important factor in cancer treatment and a few weeks could mean the difference between life and death. “

A cancerous tumor could grow 4 cm in four months Diptendra said Sarkar, head of the department of breast cancer in IPGMER. “A malignant tumor of 2 cm long could grow up to 6 cm in four months . While the former is treatable, this could lead to death in less than two years. In dozens of cases, stomach cancer particularly high region, patients are misled by doctors. when a simple test could have revealed the disease, the latter prescribe drugs without making any attempt to detect the cause. It is only when medications fail that specialist opinion is sought. But it is often too late by then, “he said.

“The first signs of cancer include a painless lump, white patches in the mouth, a mole on growth, the sudden change in bowel habits, unexplained loss of appetite and bleeding from the orifices. These are the early signs of cancer which are common to several diseases. But they should not be ignored. Interestingly, while diagnostic methods have improved, there is a tendency to defer that is proving to be fatal in many cases, “said the oncologist Up Ganguly.

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lung and intestinal cited as the two forms of cancer that were detected late in Calcutta. “While the initial symptoms of old were similar to breathing disorder, the latter was similar to chronic indigestion. Furthermore, patients were often loathe to seek expert opinion and went into a denial mode, even after that the signs were evident, “he said.

Deficiencies in the MBBS curriculum were responsible for not making doctors more cautious about cancer, she felt experts. “We need a reorientation of the course with more emphasis on recognizing cancer. Currently, the program is a vague and not properly trained,” Sarkar said. Oncology lacks focus on undergraduate medical courses, Ganguly felt. “He was not given due importance which is unfortunate. In addition, we have a practical component of the course that is now absent,” said Ganguly.

Thousands of cancer patients in the city or are based on self-medication or take no specific medicines of the disease during the first two months. “This is where we are losing the battle. Once cancer cells proliferate, we were playing a game of updating and the chances of survival decrease dramatically,” Ganguly said.

Courtesy: Health ET

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