The year that was 2014

With the close of the year 2014, I sit with a mixed bag of feelings. 2014 is a year that will remain in my mind for years to come. A year I feel changes -positive ones. Yes and I feel it from within. A growth of positive thoughts, a growth of better understanding, and a growth of a sense of calmness. I have always been a person filled with anxieties, fears and insecurities. You could blame it on multiple factors. The environment I grew up in, upbringing and influences of school. It did get better after I got married though.

Does your report say " Lesion" or " Tumor"?

Cancer patients often here medical practitioners, radiologists and doctors, use terms such as Lesions and tumors. Sometimes they are used interchangeably. However they are not the same and have different medical implications. Lets understand the terms so that a diagnosis and its implications are clear to patients. A “Lesion” is an abnormal change in a tissue or organ of any kind. It could be due to an injury, disease, an inflammation almost any abnormal change involving any tissue or organ due to disease or injury. So typically it is any abnormality. They range from purely harmless ones to some serious ones.

A Cancer Patient's Caregiver – A support, a pillar and a strong fighter

When we hear of cancer diagnosis, the first thing that comes to almost all minds is the patient going through cycles of chemotherapy, battling out and getting tired. But have we every stopped and thought for a while, what a cancer diagnosis means to the care giver of the patient? A cancer patients immediate caregiver, goes through as much trauma, strain-both physically as well as mentally, anxiety, sadness etc… The caregiver is the biggest pillar of support to help a cancer patient in his fight against the disease. Dad’s diagnosis of colorectal cancer way back in March 2010, came as a

The Genetics of Cancer- Is There a Test?

When Dad was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, a thought that came to my mind was if cancer was genetic. Is it possible that it lies in my family? I tried tracing back to up to 3-4 generations on how they passed away, yet could come to no definitive conclusion. The Onco at Manipal hospital clarified to me that it is possible to inherit certain kind of cancer such as breast , ovarian cervical and probably colorectal cancer. But – cancer as such is not a heridity disease. A stronger player is lifestyle and the environment we live in which is

A visit, a carnival and ….

Oh what a weekend !!! Ofcourse it’s just Saturday night and already an action packed weekend. Yesterday being Friday, I visited an aunt of mine at CP (Connaught Place) with my two girls. CP- what a place. A walk on Janpath and a visit to Shankar Market, two musts if you are in Connaught Place. Shankar Market probably houses any kind of material you can even think of. Great bargains, loads of kurtis, salwars, stoles and dupattas. Coulorful apparels that would make your eyes pop out. Loved every bit of it. And Janpath- the Tibetan shops are good, but you

Life has its own way of giving you one tight slap!!!

Life has its own unique and strange ways. And many a times it acts as a leveler. An important lesson I have learnt in all these years is that “LIfe sure has its own way of giving you one tight slap. A certain Mr K I know, often harped about having a grandson. He was very confident about his son producing one as it was of utmost importance 1) to continue the family name and 2) to do the last rites of his son, when the situation occurs. I of course found this ridiculous. Nevertheless, I kept nodding my head

A PET Scan- Hmmm not really your pet isnt it?

“Positron Emission Tomography”- Thats what the PET scan stands for. For almost all cancer patients, the term PET scan becomes part and parcel of life. For some it may be a carrier of positive news, and for a few others not so great a news. Before the scan- What should you do? PET Scan uses radioactive tracers in a special dye called contrast commonly. Medical specialists require you to do a blood test and only on satisfaction is the dye injected. More specifically, your serum creatinine a kidney count. You would also require to fast for at least 4 hours before the

CEA- The KIller Count

CEA is the tumor marker used in certain types of cancers especially for colo rectal cancer. An abbreviation for ” Carcino Embryonic Anigen, it is nothing but a reflection of a “certain antigen produced by these cancers”. So typically if you have a raised CEA, it is generally synonymous with a cancer thriving inside you. Getting CEA measured A very simple procedure, CEA is measured by doing a blood test. Of course it could also be done by testing body fluids or  biopsy tissue. But the most common method prescribed is a blood test. you wouldn’t need to really prepare your