Get the facts about HIV

 23 Lakh Children and Adults in India: are living with HIV, the second largest in the world.

 70,000 new HIV infections: were reported in 2019 (approx.)

 Only 56% of people living with HIV: are covered by treatment

 Every 2 out of 5 pregnant women: who tested HIV positive are not on treatment

 1100+ deaths every week: due to HIV-related illness were reported in 2019

What Is HIV?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV), or through sharing injection drug equipment.

If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

The human body can’t get rid of HIV and no effective HIV cure exists. So, once you have HIV, you have it for life.

Luckily, however, effective treatment with HIV medicine (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) is available. If taken as prescribed, HIV medicine can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood (also called the viral load) to a very low level. This is called viral suppression. If a person’s viral load is so low that a standard lab can’t detect it, this is called having an undetectable viral load. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex.

In addition, there are effective methods to prevent getting HIV through sex or drug use, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use, and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), HIV medicine is taken within 72 hours after a possible exposure to prevent the virus from taking hold. Learn about other ways to prevent getting or transmitting HIV.

What Is AIDS?

AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.

In the U.S., most people with HIV do not develop AIDS because taking HIV medicine as prescribed stops the progression of the disease.

A person with HIV is considered to have progressed to AIDS when:

 the number of their CD4 cells falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (200 cells/mm3). (In someone with a healthy immune system, CD4 counts are between 500 and 1,600 cells/mm3.) OR

 they develop one or more opportunistic infections regardless of their CD4 count.

Without HIV medicine, people with AIDS typically survive about 3 years. Once someone has a dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy without treatment falls to about 1 year. HIV medicine can still help people at this stage of HIV infection, and it can even be lifesaving. But people who start HIV medicine soon after they get HIV to experience more benefits—that’s why HIV testing is so important.


The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.

Primary infection (Acute HIV)

Some people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within 2 to 4 weeks after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary (acute) HIV infection, may last for a few weeks.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

 Fever

 Headache

 Muscle aches and joint pain

 Rash

 Sore throat and painful mouth sores

 Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck

 Diarrhea

 Weight loss

 Cough

 Night sweats

These symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice them. However, the amount of virus in your bloodstream (viral load) is quite high at this time. As a result, the infection spreads more easily during primary infection than during the next stage.

Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV)

In this stage of infection, HIV is still present in the body and in white blood cells. However, many people may not have any symptoms or infections during this time.

This stage can last for many years if you're receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Some people develop more severe disease much sooner.

Symptomatic HIV infection

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy your immune cells — the cells in your body that help fight off germs — you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as:

 Fever

 Fatigue

 Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection

 Diarrhea

 Weight loss

 Oral yeast infection (thrush)

 Shingles (herpes zoster)

 Pneumonia

Progression to AIDS

Access to better antiviral treatments has dramatically decreased deaths from AIDS worldwide, even in resource-poor countries. Thanks to these life-saving treatments, most people with HIV in the U.S. today don't develop AIDS. Untreated, HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 8 to 10 years.

When AIDS occurs, your immune system has been severely damaged. You'll be more likely to develop diseases that wouldn't usually cause illness in a person with a healthy immune system. These are called opportunistic infections or opportunistic cancers.

The signs and symptoms of some of these infections may include:

 Sweats

 Chills

 Recurring fever

 Chronic diarrhea

 Swollen lymph glands

 Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth

 Persistent, unexplained fatigue

 Weakness

 Weight loss

 Skin rashes or bumps

When to see a doctor

If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, see a health care provider as soon as possible.

Vaping - What You Need To Know

What is vaping?

Vaping products (electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes) are devices that heat a liquid into an aerosol that is inhaled (breathed in) into the lungs. These devices are commonly called vapes, mods, e-hookahs, sub-ohms, tank systems, and vape pens. They may all look a bit different, but work in similar ways.

The liquid (sometimes referred to as e-juice) in a vape product contains a combination of ingredients, usually including nicotine (the highly addictive drug found in tobacco products), propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and flavoring. Many of these substances are considered safe for ingestion (eating); however, when these liquids are heated they create new chemicals that may not be safe to inhale. For example, the heating process can create chemicals like formaldehyde and other contaminants such as nickel, tin, and aluminium.

We recommend the following for considering the use of vaping products:

 Learn the facts: Vaping has significant health risks and understands the potential short and long-term health outcomes before vaping is recommended. There is accumulating evidence that e-cigarettes cause serious lung disease

 Non-smokers, pregnant women, and people who have quit smoking should not vape.

 Younger people should be educated to understand their increased risk of nicotine addiction compared with the general population and should be strongly encouraged not to vape

 If you are vaping:

o monitor for symptoms affecting your lung health and let your healthcare provider know you vape. If you smoke and are using vaping to quit, know that there is no significant evidence to suggest vaping as an effective cessation support. Our recommendation is: do not vape

 Talk to a health professional about clinically proven options for quitting.

There are more than 7,000 flavors of e-juice available to lure youngsters. These range from the cotton candy to chocolate or mango. Young people are drawn to flavors more than any other group. In fact, more than 83 percent of young e-cigarette users (15-19 years of age) report using fruit and candy/dessert-flavored vapes. Dressing up a nicotine-based product with candy and dessert-flavored names hides the product’s harm and increases its appeal. There is more to flavored e-juices than hides behind the vapor.

Aside from addicting new generation nicotine, there are a lot of unknown health risks

While the chemicals used in flavored e-juices have been tested as safe for eating, they have not been tested for inhalation. When heated, the liquids create chemicals that could cause longterm harm to the lungs. The heating process can create chemicals like formaldehyde and other contaminants such as nickel, tin, and aluminum

Flavors were banned from tobacco because of their clear marketing toward young people and vaping should not be treated any differently. Eliminating inviting flavors from vaping products is essential to protecting kids’ lungs

How does vaping work?

Vaping works by the heating liquid in a small device so you can breathe it into your lungs. The e-cigarette, vape pen, or other vaping device heats the liquid in the device to create an aerosol. This isn’t water vapor. Mist from e-cigarettes contains particles of nicotine, flavoring, and other substances suspended in the air. You breathe these particles into your mouth from the mouthpiece, where they go down your throat and into your lungs.

What is the difference between vaping and smoking cigarettes?

Vaping and smoking both involve inhaling nicotine and other substances into your lungs.

E-cigarettes heat liquid to make an aerosol; cigarettes burn tobacco, which creates smoke.

Is vaping worse than cigarettes?

Vaping is often thought of as safer than cigarette smoking, but vaping causes health problems, too. Both vaping and smoking are addictive and bring potentially dangerous chemicals into your body. The levels of many of these chemicals are higher when you burn tobacco. Vaping hasn’t been around long enough to know what kind of long-term damage it might cause.

What does vaping do to your lungs?

The particles you inhale while vaping can cause inflammation (swelling) and irritation in your lungs. This can lead to lung damage like scarring and narrowing of the tubes that bring air in and out of your lungs. Researchers don’t yet know all the effects vaping can have on your body.

Isn’t vaping just water vapor?

No. Despite the name, vaping doesn’t make water vapor. It actually creates an aerosol (or mist) that contains small particles of nicotine, metal, and other harmful substances.

What’s in e-liquid (e-juice)?

E-liquid, also called e-juice or vape juice, is what vaping devices use to make the vapor you breathe in. E-liquids aren’t just water. They usually contain:

 Flavoring. Each flavoring has its own set of ingredients.

 Nicotine is an addictive and harmful substance in cigarettes and other tobacco products.

 Propylene glycol and glycerin are used to create vapor

E-liquids and flavorings sometimes have other ingredients, including:

 Chemicals that can cause cancer (carcinogens), like acetaldehyde and formaldehyde.

 Chemicals are known to cause lung diseases, such as acrolein, diacetyl, and diethylene glycol.

 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is the chemical in marijuana that gets you “high.”

 Vitamin E acetate is linked to lung injury caused by vaping (EVALI, see below).

 Heavy metals like nickel, tin, lead, and cadmium.

 Tiny (ultrafine) particles can get deep into your lungs.

What are the dangers of vaping?

The dangers of vaping include lung and other organ damage, breathing problems, addiction, and more. People tend to think of vaping as “safer” than smoking, but it’s not safe.

Problems vaping causes include:

 Asthma. Vaping can make you more likely to get asthma and other lung conditions. It can make your existing asthma worse.

 Lung scarring.Diacetyl, a chemical used in some flavorings, can cause bronchiolitis obliterans (“popcorn lung”). Bronchiolitis obliterans causes permanent scarring in your lungs.

 Organ damage. In addition to your lungs, nicotine and other substances in e-liquid can hurt your heart and brain. We know nicotine can hurt brain development, raise your blood pressure and narrow your arteries.

 EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury). EVALI is a serious lung condition that vaping causes. It causes widespread damage to your lungs and gives you symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. EVALI can be fatal.

 Addiction. Nicotine is highly addictive. It causes changes in your brain so you want more and more nicotine. You might not be able to stop vaping if you want to or if it starts causing health problems. Even e-liquids that say they’re nicotine free have small amounts of nicotine.

 Cigarette smoking. Many people start out vaping and end up smoking cigarettes, which contain higher amounts of harmful chemicals.

 Second-hand exposure. Vaping doesn’t make smoke, but people around you are exposed to nicotine and other chemicals when you vape.

 Explosions. There have been incidents of batteries in vaping devices exploding and causing serious injuries and burns.

 Cancer. Some ingredients in e-liquids are known to cause cancer.

What are the side effects of vaping?

Short-term side effects of vaping include:

 Coughing

 Shortness of breath.

 Eye irritation

 Headaches.

 Dry and irritated mouth and throat.

 Nausea

Does vaping help you quit smoking?

Vaping isn’t approved as a way to quit smoking. Approved methods include patches, inhalers, lozenges, and gum. While vaping might help you quit smoking, it probably won’t help you quit nicotine altogether.

In a recent study, about 18% of people who switched to vaping had been able to quit smoking. That’s about twice as many people as those who used other methods to quit smoking. However, about 80% of people who quit smoking were still vaping. Of people who used other methods, 91% kicked nicotine products altogether.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Lung Cancer has the most common Cancer-related and tobacco-related mortality worldwide (1.38 million patients i.e 18.2 % of the total cancer death). It is also one of the commonest cancers in Males in developing countries so much so that it will be an epidemic of Lung cancer in the near future. However, there have been advancements in medical science right from preventive strategies to therapeutic strategies which bring a ray of hope in such a dismal scenario the month of November is designated for Lung cancer awareness by various Cancer organizations across the world.

Who are at Risk of Lung Cancer?

 Smoking, including passive smoking, is the most important risk factor for lung cancer. By destroying the cells that line the lungs, smoking causes lung cancer.

 Other risk factors of lung cancer include daily exposure to radiation therapy, radon gas, asbestos, and other carcinogens, family history, old age, obesity, alcohol abuse, and viral infections, such as Human Papilloma Virus.

What are the symptoms of Lung Cancer?

Symptoms associated with Lung Cancer are:

 Continuous cough

 Chest and abdominal pain

 Blood present in cough

 Shortness of breath

 Hoarseness

 Sudden loss of weight

 Bone pain

 Headache

Prevention of Lung Cancer- How to do it

There is no specific method to prevent lung cancer. However, the risk can be lowered by carrying out the following practices:

 It is advised to quit smoking. Try a nicotine patch or chew nicotine gum to help you quit smoking.

 If you live with a friend who smokes, encourage him or her to avoid smoking or invite him or her to smoke outdoors. It's as unhealthy to smoke passively as overt smoking. Stop visiting smoking-prone areas, such as bars and nightclubs. Instead, search for smoke-free alternatives.

 A person working in an industry and hazardous place should take necessary precautions not to inhale toxic substances. Wear a face mask in crowded areas and places related to industrial production.

 Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do cardio exercise daily and stay away from alcohol.

 Maintain a balanced diet. The diet should be rich in fruits and green leafy vegetables.

 Do pranayama and meditation.

What are the advancements in Therapeutic Strategies?

Biopsy in Lung Cancer- Its Importance

The core advancement is in understanding the whole cancer genome either by obtaining the cancer tissue bit by a conventional biopsy or by drawing the patient’s blood and analyzing the cancer cells in the same (liquid biopsy). Better understanding regarding genetic changes in cancer cells has led to the development and introduction of medicines known as “targeted therapy” and Immunotherapy. Though these drugs are used to treat lung cancer, they work differently than the traditional “chemotherapy” agents.

Targeted Therapy

This causes disruption of the process of carcinogenesis i.e. stops the conversion of a normal cell to a cancer cell. The major advantage of targeted therapy is its ability to act more specifically on cancer cells resulting in a lesser risk of damage to normal cells. Targeted therapy helps to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. Examples of targeted therapy include cell receptor inhibitors (e.g. EGFR inhibitors and ALK inhibitors. These inhibit the culprit mutation and result in cancer cell death. Many of these agents are taken as a pill which is very relevant in COVID-19 times. Since they have a specific target to act upon these targeted therapies have lesser side effects as compared to chemotherapy moreover, Cancer carrying the specific mutations responds better to these drugs than to chemotherapy adding several years to the life of the patient.


Another ray of hope has been Immunotherapy which reactivates the patient’s own immune system and has much better effects in treating advanced stage lung cancers. The combination of chemotherapy and Immunotherapy has improved the survival of a significant number of Lung cancer patients.


The major therapeutic advances in the field of medical oncology are preventing and better managing of Side effects of chemotherapy drugs which still find an important place in the management of Lung Cancer management.


Surgery is carried out by a surgeon to remove lung cancer and a margin of healthy tissue. If the cancer is limited only to the lungs, surgery may be a choice. If the lung cancer has spread within the body to a larger region before surgery, the doctor may prescribe chemotherapy or radiation therapy to shrink cancer. The doctor may prescribe chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery if there is a possibility of recurrence.

Radiation Therapy

The combination of chemotherapy with radiation therapy becomes the primary treatment when surgery is not viable. Radiation therapy may help relieve symptoms, such as pain in the patient suffering from advanced lung cancer.

Pink Is Stronger Than You Think

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in India and many other developed countries. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it's far more common in women.

Substantial support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped create advances in diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths associated with this disease is steadily declining, largely due to factors such as earlier detection, a new personalized approach to treatment, and a better understanding of the disease.


Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:

• A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue

• Change in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast

• Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling

• A newly inverted nipple

• Peeling, scaling, crusting, or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin

• Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

When to See a Doctor?

If you find a lump or other change in your breast — even if a recent mammogram was normal — make an appointment with your doctor for prompt evaluation.


Doctors know that breast cancer occurs when some breast cells begin to grow abnormally. These cells divide more rapidly than healthy cells do and continue to accumulate, forming a lump or mass. Cells may spread (metastasize) through your breast to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.

Breast cancer most often begins with cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast.

Researchers have identified hormonal, lifestyle and environmental factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer. But it's not clear why some people who have no risk factors develop cancer, yet other people with risk factors never do. It's likely that breast cancer is caused by a complex interaction of your genetic makeup and your environment.

Inherited breast cancer

Doctors estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family.

A number of inherited mutated genes that can increase the likelihood of breast cancer have been identified. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), both of which significantly increase the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

If you have a strong family history of breast cancer or other cancers, your doctor may recommend a blood test to help identify specific mutations in BRCA or other genes that are being passed through your family.

Consider asking your doctor for a referral to a genetic counselor, who can review your family health history. A genetic counselor can also discuss the benefits, risks, and limitations of genetic testing to assist you with shared decision-making.

Risk Factors

A breast cancer risk factor is anything that makes it more likely you'll get breast cancer. But having one or even several breast cancer risk factors doesn't necessarily mean you'll develop breast cancer. Many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than simply being women.

Factors that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer include:

• Being female. Women are much more likely than men to develop breast cancer.

• Increasing age. Your risk of breast cancer increases as you age.

• A personal history of breast conditions. If you've had a breast biopsy that found lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia of the breast, you have an increased risk of breast cancer.

• A personal history of breast cancer. If you've had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other breast.

• A family history of breast cancer. If your mother, sister, or daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly at a young age, your risk of breast cancer is increased. Still, the majority of people diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

• Inherited genes that increase cancer risk. Certain gene mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer can be passed from parents to children. The most well-known gene mutations are referred to as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These genes can greatly increase your risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but they don't make cancer inevitable.

• Radiation exposure. If you received radiation treatments to your chest as a child or young adult, your risk of breast cancer is increased.

• Obesity. Being obese increases your risk of breast cancer.

• Beginning your period at a younger age. Beginning your period before age 12 increases your risk of breast cancer.

• Beginning menopause at an older age. If you began menopause at an older age, you're more likely to develop breast cancer.

• Having your first child at an older age. Women who give birth to their first child after age 30 may have an increased risk of breast cancer.

• Having never been pregnant. Women who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than women who have had one or more pregnancies.

• Postmenopausal hormone therapy. Women who take hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the signs and symptoms of menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer decreases when women stop taking these medications.

• Drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.


Breast cancer risk reduction for women with an average risk

Making changes in your daily life may help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Try to:

• Ask your doctor about breast cancer screening. Discuss with your doctor when to begin breast cancer screening exams and tests, such as clinical breast exams and mammograms. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening. Together, you can decide what breast cancer screening strategies are right for you.

• Become familiar with your breasts through breast self-exam for breast awareness. Women may choose to become familiar with their breasts by occasionally inspecting their breasts during a breast self-exam for breast awareness. If there is a new change, lumps or other unusual signs in your breasts, talk to your doctor promptly. Breast awareness can't prevent breast cancer, but it may help you to better understand the normal changes that your breasts undergo and identify any unusual signs and symptoms.

• Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day, if you choose to drink.

• Exercise most days of the week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven't been active lately, ask your doctor whether it's OK and start slowly.

• Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy. Some women experience bothersome signs and symptoms during menopause and, for these women, the increased risk of breast cancer may be acceptable in order to relieve menopause signs and symptoms. To reduce the risk of breast cancer, use the lowest dose of hormone therapy possible for the shortest amount of time.

• Maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slowly increase the amount of exercise.

• Choose a healthy diet. Women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter, and fish instead of red meat.

Breast cancer risk reduction for women with a high risk

If your doctor has assessed your family history and determined that you have other factors, such as a precancerous breast condition, that increase your risk of breast cancer, you may discuss options to reduce your risk, such as:

• Preventive medications (chemoprevention). Estrogen-blocking medications, such as selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors, reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with a high risk of the disease. These medications carry a risk of side effects, so doctors reserve these medications for women who have a very high risk of breast cancer. Discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.

• Preventive surgery. Women with a very high risk of breast cancer may choose to have their healthy breasts surgically removed (prophylactic mastectomy). They may also choose to have their healthy ovaries removed (prophylactic oophorectomy) to reduce the risk of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Risk Factors of Breast Cancer -The Ones you can control!

The most common type of breast cancer is “Ductal Carcinoma”, which begins in the lining of milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from lobules of the breast to the nipple). Another type of breast cancer is “Lobular Carcinoma”- begins in the lobules (milk ducts).

As evidence, the US, India, and China account for 1/3rd of the global breast cancer burden. The prevalence of breast cancer is increasing as in India, around 14+ lacs women are newly detected with breast cancer, out of which 70,000 die. To put it in simple terms, for every 2 women diagnosed with breast cancer, one is dying. There has been a significant shift in the paradigm because 25 years back, several patients were above 50+ years of age, presently 48% of patients are below 50. However, many patients are between 25 to 40 years of age, and this is actually a very disturbing trend.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?

• Lump in a breast

• Pain in the armpits or breast that does not seem to be related to the woman's menstrual period

• Pitting or redness of the skin of the breast; like the skin of an orange

• Rash around (or on) one of the nipples

• Swelling (lump) in one of the armpits

• An area of thickened tissue in a breast

• One of the nipples has a discharge; sometimes it may contain blood

• The nipple changes in appearance; it may become sunken or inverted

• The size or the shape of the breast changes

• The nipple-skin or breast-skin may have started to peel, scale, or flake.

To know more about signs

What are the risk factors for Breast Cancer?

Having a risk factor, or even several does not mean that you will get the disease. Most women who have one or more breast cancer risk factors never develop the disease, while many women with breast cancer have no apparent risk factors (other than being a woman and growing older).

The risk factors you cannot change

• Gender

• Aging

• Genetic risk factor

• Family history of breast cancer

• Personal history of breast cancer

• Race and ethnicity

• Menstrual period - Women who have had more menstrual cycles because they started menstruating early (before age 12) and/or went through menopause later (after 55) have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.

The Risk factors you can change

• Having children - Women who have had no children or who had their first child after age 30 have a slightly higher breast cancer risk. Having many pregnancies and becoming pregnant at a young age reduces breast cancer risk.

• Oral contraceptives - Women using oral contraceptives (birth control pills) have a slightly greater risk of breast cancer.

• Hormone therapy after menopause - Using combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of getting breast cancer. It may also increase the chances of dying from breast cancer

• Breastfeeding - Some studies suggest that breastfeeding may slightly lower breast cancer risk, especially if it is continued for 2 years.

• Drinking alcohol - The use of alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

• Being overweight or obese - Being overweight or obese after menopause increases breast cancer risk.

• Physical activity – Exercises reduce the breast cancer risk

How is Breast cancer diagnosed?

Women are usually diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine breast cancer screening or witnessing certain signs and symptoms. Below are examples of diagnostic tests and procedures for breast cancer:

• Breast exam

• Breast ultrasound

• Biopsy

• Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan

What are the treatment options for breast cancer?

A multi-disciplinary team will be involved in a breast cancer patient's treatment. The main breast cancer treatment options may include:

• Surgery

• Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)

• Biological therapy (targeted drug therapy)

• Hormone therapy

• Chemotherapy

Can breast cancer be prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But few things like maintaining an ideal body weight, doing physical activity, and consuming an ideal diet can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Common Cancer Myths And Misconceptions

Certain popular ideas about how cancer starts and spreads—though scientifically wrong—can seem to make sense, especially when those ideas are rooted in old theories. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even hinder good prevention and treatment decisions.


FACT: With the advent of new advances and understanding of cancer, Cancer no longer needs to be a death sentence. Screening, Early detection, and treatment have revolutionalized the outcome of patients with Cancer and there are now a steadily increasing number of survivors today. Sadly, in developing countries, lack of adequate screening and late presentation of disease often creates a dismal picture of cancer


No. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer.


FACT: No, cancer is not contagious and does not spread by touching or kissing. However, organ transplants from cancer-afflicted persons can result in the spread of cancer. But organ donors are carefully screened to prevent this from happening Some viruses like Human Papilloma Virus can be one of the causative agents in cancer of the cervix, vagina, and penis and Ebstein Bar Virus is linked to nose and throat cancers but these infections alone do not cause cancer and there are other factors also involved.


To date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that links a person’s “attitude” to his or her risk of developing or dying from cancer. If you have cancer, it’s normal to feel sad, angry, or discouraged sometimes and positive or upbeat at other times. People with a positive attitude may be more likely to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help you cope with your cancer.


FACT: The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is negligible. The benefits of biopsy or surgery in establishing the diagnosis of cancer, its management, and even cure are well established. Following standard procedures, cancer specialists use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors. For example, if they must remove tissue from more than one area of the body, they use different surgical tools for each area.


No. Exposure to air will not make tumors grow faster or cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body.


No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that does not damage genes.


FACT: As of now there is no authentic documented evidence to prove this. Although some studies suggest that alternative or complementary therapies, including some herbs, may help patients cope with the side effects of cancer treatment, no herbal products have been shown to be effective for treating cancer. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful when taken during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they may interfere with how these treatments work.


FACT: In the current era of safe practice and different modalities to control various age-related morbidities like hypertension, diabetes, etc, age is no longer a deterrent for cancer treatment. Carefully selected patients are now operated on successfully with excellent results.


FACT: Not necessarily. Cancer is caused by harmful changes (mutations) in genes. Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are caused by harmful mutations that are inherited from a person’s parents. In families with an inherited cancer-causing mutation, multiple family members will often develop the same type of cancer. These cancers are called “familial” or “hereditary” cancers. The remaining 90 to 95 percent of cancers are caused by mutations that happen during a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. These cancers are called “non-hereditary” or “spontaneous” cancers.


No. The best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue.


There is no convincing scientific evidence that personal hair dye use increases the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest, however, that hairdressers and barbers who are regularly exposed to large quantities of hair dye and other chemical products may have an increased risk of bladder cancer.