Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread to other parts of the body. But Cancer is not just a disease, one has to pass several terrible stages in their life to get rid of it. Here, some photographs are being used to make those young patients fighting with cancer understand the beauty of life.
A recent report– ‘Cancer Care Delivery Challenges Amidst Coronavirus Disease – 19 (COVID-19) Outbreak’ published in the journal of Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention has pointed out that cancer patients are more susceptible to coronavirus than individuals without cancer as they are in an immunosuppressive state because of the malignancy and anticancer treatment. Oncologists should be more attentive to detect coronavirus infection early, as any type of advanced cancer is at much higher risk for unfavorable outcomes.
Author, Dr Abhishek Shankar, assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology at Lady Hardinge Medical College said that coronavirus has made it difficult to manage the cancer care delivery system.
“As we are having a lockdown in the whole country, patients can’t travel from one place to another. About 95 percent of the cancer care services are restricted to the urban areas but we also know that 70 percent of the people live in rural areas. So, there is a lot of disparity in cancer care. For cancer patients, stress is more disturbing for the patient rather than cancer itself,” Dr Shankar told ANI.
He added that in this situation, it is very difficult to manage these people as they are unable to come to the hospital as we are running only emergency services.
Talking about the report, Dr Shankar said, “We have published the paper on cancer care delivery, although guidance is that you shouldn’t delay and you should continue with the treatment. But there are many challenges that are coming right now. We have also advised cancer patients about the precautions they should take. Also, patients need to verify social media messages coming in from a credible source like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and WHO.”Furthermore, he suggests that persons suffering from cancer should get treated from nearby hospitals and try avoiding the delay.
The cancer specialist remarked that it is a dilemma for healthcare professionals as well as patients because there is an issue regarding what to follow and what not to. “To date, there is no scientific guideline regarding the management of cancer patients in the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak,” Dr Shankar informed.
Contrary to traditional belief, researchers now say that having a child with cancer did not appear to impact parents’ risk of separation or divorce or affect future family planning.
Childhood cancer can cause feelings of fear and uncertainty among parents and burden them with many practical challenges related to caregiving and work-related obligations, according to the study published in the journal Cancer.
For the findings, the research team from the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre examined data from several registries in Denmark, linking information on parents of children diagnosed with cancer in 1982-2014 (7,066 children and 12,418 case parents) with parents of children without cancer (69,993 children and 125,014 comparison parents).
Parents were followed until 10 years after diagnosis, separation or divorce, death, emigration, or the end of 2017, whichever came first.
Overall, parents of children with cancer had a four per cent lower risk of separation and an eight per cent lower risk of divorce compared with parents of children without cancer.
Among parents of children with cancer, those who were younger had less education, and were unemployed had elevated risks for separation and divorce.
The findings showed that risks were also higher among parents of children diagnosed at a younger age.
The investigators also evaluated how the diagnosis of cancer in a child affects parents’ decisions on having another child.
They expected that parents of a child with cancer would have fewer children than parents of children without cancer and that they would postpone having another child.
This was not the case, however, as the researchers found that the childhood cancer experience did not negatively affect parents’ future family planning in Denmark.
The researchers noted that health care providers should communicate these reassuring and encouraging findings to parents, but that support should be offered if needed to improve family life in the long term. (IANS)
Air pollution could be a risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), say researchers, adding that MS risk was 29 per cent higher among people residing in urbanised areas.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. Whilst MS can be diagnosed at any age, it frequently occurs between the ages of 20-40 and is more frequent in women.
Symptoms can change in severity daily and include fatigue, walking difficulty, numbness, pain and muscle spasms. The study, presented at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress, detected a reduced risk for MS in individuals residing in rural areas that have lower levels of air pollutants known as particulate matter (PM).
According to the researchers, it is well recognised that immune diseases such as MS are associated with multiple factors, both genetic and environmental. “We believe that air pollution interacts through several mechanisms in the development of MS and the results of this study strengthen that hypothesis,” said study lead researcher Professor Roberto Bergamaschi from the IRCCS Mondino Foundation in Italy.
Particulate matter (PM) is used to describe a mixture of solid particles and droplets in the air and is divided into two categories. PM10 includes particles with a diameter of 10 micrometres of smaller and PM2.5 which have a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or smaller. Both PM10 and PM2.5 are major pollutants and are known to be linked to various health conditions, including heart and lung disease, cancer and respiratory issues.
The analysis was conducted in the winter, given that this is the season with the highest pollutant concentrations, in the north-western Italian region of Lombardy, home to over 547,000 people.
For the findings, the research team included over 900 MS patients within the region, and MS rates were found to have risen 10-fold in the past 50 years, from 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 1974 to almost 170 cases per 100,000 people today. Whilst the huge increase can partly be explained by increased survival for MS patients, this sharp increase could also be explained by greater exposure to risk factors.
“In the higher risk areas, we are now carrying out specific analytical studies to examine multiple environmental factors possibly related to the heterogeneous distribution of MS risk”, Professor Bergamaschi said. (IANS)