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Cancer is the second most common cause of death after heart failure across the world. Despite rapid medical advancements and the treatment options available today, cancer remains a major threat to our society. The occurrence of cancer in India is estimated to be around 2.5 million, with about 1.25 million new cases being registered every year and approximately 800,000 deaths related to the illness.
Second opinion is the practice of a patient seeking an alternate evaluation of his or her diagnosis and course of treatment by another, or a few other specialist doctors to confirm the diagnosis and validate their treatment.
Studies have shown that up to 30 per cent of patients who have sought second opinion have found that their initial treatment advice did not match with the alternate advice, and in most cases the latter proved more beneficial. Although taking second opinions is not a new concept, as a medical service it has been gaining popularity in recent times. It is quite common for patients to seek second opinions, especially for life-threatening illnesses like cancer, says Dr Amit Jotwani, co-founder and Chief Medical Affairs, Onco.com.
According to a study published by Mayo Clinic in the US, one in five patients who took second opinions had a change in their diagnosis. Another study by John Hopkins Institute supported the use of second opinions as a life-saving measure.
According to an Onco.com study, published in the year 2018, more than 80 per cent of cancer patients who availed our second opinion service, benefitted in terms of a better understanding of their diagnosis and 40 per cent of patients had a change in their treatment plan, Jotwani points out.
In India, where there is only one cancer specialist for 2,000 cancer patients, and the majority of doctors are available only in big cities, the quality of cancer care is the biggest problem faced by patients which leads to poor results. In a disease like cancer when one doesn’t have enough time, the right treatment is as important as the treatment itself as there is no scope for a second chance for most patients. Hence, it is prudent to get a multidisciplinary second opinion to ensure the best chances of recovery.
Cancer is a complex disease and requires a multi-disciplinary approach in treating a patient. However, in India there is a challenge to such an approach for various reasons such as a lack of access to expert oncologists, advanced treatment centres and affordability. In the case of cancer treatment, it is advisable to consider a multi-disciplinary review that consists of a team of doctors, which include three specialties – surgical, medical and radiation oncology, the expert says.
Such a review can provide a validation of the patient’s treatment plan, or suggest better and more accurate options, thus preventing chances of mistreatment and optimizing medical expenses, he says.
“For instance, we received a case where a patient was diagnosed with lung cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. The family reached out to us and took a second opinion from Onco.com’s panel of experts where the doctors identified that the patient had an operable disease and they were advised to go for surgery which had better chances of cure. The patient eventually underwent surgery and has been on follow up thereafter. This also further amplifies the importance of getting a second opinion for diseases like cancer.
“We believe it is the right of every cancer patient to be fully informed about their diagnosis and the best treatment options available for them. Unbiased second opinions can help empower patients with all the available options, not only to validate the course of their treatment but also to provide them with a sense of confidence to march forward in their fight against the disease.” (IANS)
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods
Just three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week, when delivered in the morning, can significantly improve declining eyesight, finds a new study. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found there was, on average, a 17 per cent improvement in participants' colour contrast vision when exposed to three minutes of 670 nanometre (long wavelength) deep red light in the morning and the effects of this single exposure lasted for at least a week.
However, when the same test was conducted in the afternoon, no improvement was seen. "We demonstrate that one single exposure to long wave deep red light in the morning can significantly improve declining vision, which is a major health and wellbeing issue, affecting millions of people globally," said lead author, Glen Jeffery from the University College London.
Using a provided LED device, all participants were exposed to three minutes of 670nm deep red light in the morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m | Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash
For the study, the team involved a small yet significant number of participants aged between 34 and 70, had no ocular disease, completed a questionnaire regarding eye health prior to testing, and had normal colour vision (cone function). This was assessed using a 'Chroma Test' -- identifying coloured letters that had very low contrast and appeared increasingly blurred, a process called colour contrast.
Using a provided LED device, all participants were exposed to three minutes of 670nm deep red light in the morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Their colour vision was then tested again three hours post exposure and 10 of the participants were also tested one week post exposure. On average there was a 'significant' 17 per cent improvement in colour vision, which lasted a week in tested participants; in some older participants, there was a 20 per cent improvement, also lasting a week.
A few months on from the first test (ensuring any positive effects of the deep red light had been 'washed out') few participants, carried out the same test in the afternoon, between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. When participants then had their colour vision tested again, it showed zero improvement. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Deep red light, therapy, eye sight, study,chroma test