What is cancer?
Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably. This abnormal growth of cells is also called as tumour. These tumours develop when normal control mechanism of the cell division stops working. The malignant tumours commonly called cancerous can invade nearby tissues and manage to move through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.
What are the different types of cancer?
The main types of cancers are: carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma.
• Carcinomas begins from the cells that cover external and internal body surfaces such as the skin, lung, breast, and colons
• Sarcomas are cancers arising from cells found in the supporting tissues of the body such as bone, cartilage, fat, connective tissue and muscle.
• Lymphomas are cancers that arise in the lymph nodes and tissues of the body's immune system.
• Leukemia is cancer that starts in immature blood cells that grow in the bone marrow and causes abnormal blood cells to accumulate in large numbers in the bloodstream.
• Myeloma is a cancer that develops in the plasma cells of bone marrow.
What causes cancer?
Cancer cells develop because of damage to DNA, a substance in every cell that directs all activity of the cell. Usually when DNA becomes faulty, the body is able to repair it; however, some times it is not repaired and the cell becomes abnormal. Scientists are working to better understand what causes DNA to become damaged. I hereditary forms of cancer, people inherit damaged DNA, which accounts for inherited cancers.
More often, though, cancer is caused by exposure to carcinogenic substances present in environmental (UV rays, pollution) or individual behaviors such as smoking.
What are the signs and symptoms of cancer?
The signs and symptoms vary depending on the specific kind of cancer, but there are some general signs and symptoms that may indicate a need for testing. These include fatigue, a sore that does not heal, nagging cough, pain, unexplained weight loss, fever and changes on the skin. Although there could be other reasons for these signs and symptoms, anyone experiencing these should consult their physician.
Are all tumors cancerous?
No. Some tumors are benign (noncancerous) and do not spread to other parts of the body. Cancerous tumors are called malignant.
What is a risk factor?
A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of getting a disease. Some risk factors can be negated, such as factors in the environment or lifestyle choices, and others, such as age, family history and race, cannot
What are risk factors for cancer?
Risk factors vary by kind of cancer. For example, someone who has used tobacco products has a greater risk of developing lung and/or mouth cancer
What are treatment options for cancer?
Standard types of treatment for cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and biological therapy. These treatments may be used alone, but often combined to maximize the patients’ long-term survival. Surgery and radiation therapy are considered local treatments, as they target the cancer cells in the tumor and near it. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy and biological therapy are systemic treatments, meaning they travel through the bloodstream reaching cancer cells all over the body. Patients should work closely with their Oncologist to determine the best individualized treatment options.
What is staging?
Staging is the process of determining to what extent cancer has spread in the body. It is essential to know the stage of the cancer before determining which treatment options are best. In dedicated center, doctors use the TNM system for staging. This system gives three key pieces of information: • T describes the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to nearby tissue and organs.
• N describes how far the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
• M shows whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other organs of the body.
• Staging of the cancer is done preoperatively by non-invasive techniques such whole body PET scan, CT scanning, or MRI
What are clinical trials?
Clinical trials are studies of new or experimental treatments in patients. This type of study is offered to eligible patients when there is reason to believe that the treatment being studied may offer benefits to the patient, such as improved outcomes or side effect management. There are three phases of clinical trials a treatment must complete before it is eligible for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Phase I is to study the best way to give a new treatment and study its safety. It is often the first time the specific agent has been tested in a human, outside a laboratory. Phase II is designed to see if the treatment works. Phase III involves large numbers of patients and divides patients into two groups—a control group and the group receiving the new treatment
What is remission?
Remission is a decrease in or disappearance of signs and symptoms of cancer. In partial remission, some, but not all, signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although cancer still may be in the body.
Is there a cure for cancer?
Today, it may be best to say that there is no cure. Tremendous scientific advances have significantly extended patient survival rates and longevity, and many patients today will never have recurrence of their disease. However, even after successful treatment, there may remain cancerous or precancerous cells in the body. Cancer patients, must maintain a high level of vigilance for the rest of their life, as the risk still remains.
What is comprehensive- cancer care?
Comprehensive cancer care integrates all aspects of outpatient cancer care, from laboratory and diagnostic imaging capabilities, to chemotherapy and radiation therapy in treatment centers located within patients’ communities. It is based on the concept that providing convenient, high-quality care closer to patients and 360 degrees support in a holistic manner, enhances maintenance of quality of life and improves patient adherence to therapy, a crucial element in the treatment process.
Do I need a second opinion for new diagnosis of cancer?
In world’s best centers, it is standard to relook the cancer biopsy before commencing treatment. This sort of peer review, and in complex cases by a dedicate specialist reduces the chances of error significantly and gives confidence to the treating doctor that he is on the right path. Many insurance companies also require that you have a second opinion. For more information about how to get a second opinion, please contact PATHSOS
What is PATHSOS ?
PATHSOS is a specialist cancer second opinion service specializing in diagnosis and biopsy review. Since PATHSOS is independent medical practice exclusively devoted to the care of cancer patients and we are not affiliated to any hospital, we give unbiased opinion. We bring highly trained oncologists and supportive services to local communities, so cancer patients no longer need to travel long distances to receive today's best available cancer care. For more information about PATHSOS , click here
Why is pathology biopsy report important?
The final diagnosis of cancer can only be made on the pathological assessment of the tumor biopsy. This report not only tells you if there is cancer present or not; it also gives you and your doctor critical information about the cancer like grade, type, phenotype, immunotype etc that will help the doctor in making important therapy related decisions and treatment planning.
Are diagnostic errors common?
Research from some of the most reputed institutions has found that over 29% cases of medical errors are due to diagnostic error alone. That’s how critical it is to get the diagnosis right especially in diseases like cancer
Why should I get a second opinion in pathology?
Getting a second opinion in cancer cases or complex cases is almost a routine occurrence in cancer centers around the world. An expert diagnostic consultation and sometimes repeat advanced testing in a quality lab can give you more accurate and complete diagnosis. Most importantly, it provides “Peace of Mind” to cancer patients and their families that we have taken all necessary steps to avoid ‘medical errors’ and improve patient outcomes.
When do I need a second opinion?
Consider getting a second opinion if you:
• Have doubts about your current course of treatment or diagnosis
• Seek an independent unbiased confirmation of the diagnosis and extent of disease
• Desire a fuller understanding of test results and their significance
• Seek suggestions for additional treatment alternatives or additional diagnostic procedures
• Would like suggestions for supplementary support services
How do I avail the services?
• Complete the patient intake form
• Deposit your slides in person or send through courier to one of our collection center along with the form
• Make payment; (Online / Cash/ Bank Transfer ) Call +91-0124-4995078 for details.
• We will send you an email notification when we receive your specimen and payment.
• Our expert specialists will review your case to give the most accurate diagnosis.
• A final comprehensive ‘Diagnostic Consultation’ report will be issued to the patient & the physician via secure mail and post/courier.
What is included in the second opinion consultation report?
The report will include:
• Comprehensive clinicopathological report according to international protocol.
• Integrated reporting with convergence of morphology with IHC, FISH & Molecular analysis
• Facility for case review with the Oncologist
• Clinicopathology consultation review.
The second opinion report can be used as a basis for further discussion between you and your physician. We understand that you or your physician may have more questions after reviewing your second opinion report. That’s why we have a toll free number where you can call and talk to one of our Client Relationship Executives who will help you with any doubts/questions that you have.
How long will it take to get my second opinion consultation report?
• You should get your expert diagnostic consultation report within two weeks.
• In case of delay, please contact us on +91-0124-4995078
How does PathSOS work?
• Send us your tissue blocks and slides along with your previous medical reports.
• These specimens along with your medical history are reviewed by our specialized pathologist.
• Once the case is reviewed by our expert panelists a comprehensive report is generated to give you the best possible solution which will help you and your physician to choose the best possible treatment plan for you resulting in better outcomes.
Why do I need Cancer Counselling when I am already taking the treatment?
Cancer does not just affect your body, it also brings in emotional, social and psychological challenges for the patient as well as their family. Our counsellors focus specifically on the emotional and psychological impact of cancer. Our Team specializes in the psychological screening for emotional distress caused by cancer and providing healthy solutions for positive outcomes.