What is a tumour ?
A tumour is the name of for a lump, usually solid and formed by an abnormal of cells (termed
neoplastic). Tumour is not synonymous with cancer.
Types of Tumours
• Malignant (cancers)
What is cancer?
In some tumours the cells have the power to undergo abnormal and uncontrolled cell division and
these may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream. The
term cancer is used for these tumours.
Types of cancers
• Carcinoma (epithelial tissue-Mouth, Lungs Stomach, Intestines, etc.)
• Sarcoma (connective tissue-Bones, Muscles)
• Leukemia & Lymphoma (blood & lymph node cancers)
Basic Staging of Cancers
• Early/operable. Stage l & ll
• Locally advanced/inoperable: Stage lll
• Metastatic: Stage lV
• NO SMOKING or chewing of tobacco (khaini / gutkha / paan / zarda) to prevent head & neck / lung / oesophagus / bladder cancers
• Good diet, with less spice / salt / oil, more green leaves vegetables may prevent GI cancers
• Barrier contraceptives & anti-HPV vaccine may prevent cervical cancer
• Anti-Hepatites B vaccine, proper screening before blood transfusions & avoidance of needle sharing may prevent some liver cancers
• Cervical, breast & colo-rectal cancers can be effectively screened
What is screening?
Screening, in medicine, is a strategy used in a population to detect a disease in individuals without
signs or symptoms of that disease.
What to do if you suspect you have cancer?
• Consult your local GP
• You may need medical/surgical referral & investigations
• Best to attend multi-speciality hospitals
• Physical examination
• Imaging: X-ray/USG/CT scan, etc.
• Cancer is NEVER diagnosed by only clinical examination/imaging
• Biopsy proof is almost always necessary
What are the modalities of cancer treatment?
What is the Radiotherapy?
Radiotherapy is the treatment of malignant (and some non-malignant) diseases using ionising
radiation (gamma rays, X-rays, etc).
How is radiotherapy administered?
Radiotherapy is given in 2 ways:
• Teletherapy is administered by telecobalt unit or linear accelerator
• Here the source of radiation is placed away from the patient
• Liner accelerators give superior dose distribution to cobalt units
• Also, modern methods of radiotherapy viz 3D CRT and IMRT are deliverable by these machines only.
What are 3D CRT and IMRT?
These are modern methods to accurately deliver radiation to the tumour and protect available at
our hospital the surrounding normal tissue using small motorized blocks called multi-leaf
collimators (MLCs) along with sophisticated Treatment Planning software.
• In brachytherapy, the source of radiation is placed within or close to the patient’s body
• Brachytherapy uses radioactive isotopes such as Cesium 137 (Low Dose Rate brachytherapy) or Iridium 192 (High Dose Rate brachytherapy)
• HDR brachytherapy is preferable as it allows precise computerized planning of the treatment and also is of much shorter duration