Interview with Dr. Susanta Paikaray (Pediatric Hemato Oncologist): Hematology malignancies, Breast Cancer, Colon Rectal Cancer, Pediatric Cancer and its treatments  

Dr. Susanta Paikaray is a Paediatric Hemeto Oncologist at HCG Panda Cancer Hospital, Cuttack. His interests lie in the area of Breast Cancer and Hematological malignancies. He has more than 15 years of experience in this field.  

Dr.Paikaray believes that with the surge of government schemes, health insurances, availability of drugs, and facilities, the cancer patients are tremendously benefitted in India. Previously, the word ‘Cancer’ meant a death sentence, but now it is curable due to the increase in the number of survivors.  

Moreover, cancer treatments have improved due to the upgrade of technology. He also highlighted the fact that Indian doctors are intelligent enough to cure and treat Cancer patients. Indian Doctors are invited to foreign countries as well to examine and treat the Cancer patients.  

 Haematology malignancies and its treatments:  

For a common man, Cancer is divided into two groups- Liquid malignancy (Haemoglobin malignancy) and Solid malignancy which belongs to different parts of the body like Oral Cancer, Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer, and Lung Cancer. Liquid malignancy (Haemoglobin malignancy) is known as the body fluid cancer (originates from the blood cells). This classification includes various types of leukemias- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Chronic Myeloid Leukemia(CML), Myeloma, and Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s (NHL). 

Liquid malignancy is mostly seen in the children and Solid malignancy is popularly seen in the adults. IIn case of Acute malignancy such as Acute Myeloma, and Acute Lymphoma, the first treatment option will be chemotherapy, followed by consolidation. If a patient relapses, at the time of consolidation, a bone marrow transplant is considered to be the best option. A matching blood group is required; preferably, the family or the patient’s siblings. If the blood group matches, Dr.Paikaray suggests that we could go ahead with the transplant. Otherwise, the patient is required to register in the Bone Marrow Transplant Registry.

Dr.Paikaray also suggested that in India and in Australia, the cord blood of the baby could be stored for future use: just in case, the baby’s blood group is matched and is diagnosed with Acute malignancy. Autologous transplant includes taking the blood sample, collecting the stem cell and transfusing it into the patient. The bone marrow transplant is now known as stem cell transplant.  Allogeneic transplant occurs from a different person.  

 Breast Cancer, Side-Effects and its Symptoms  

Dr.Paikaray urges women to self-assess themselves; especially rural villages. Most of the rural women get scared of their lump in the breasts. In case of discharge or swelling women should immediately consult the doctor.

Lack of awareness is a major concern. Breast is considered to be an external organ, and it can be easily detected and cured. Hence, the earlier one treats the breast lump, the better.  More than 90% of the time, it is curable. 

If the breast cancer is advanced, there are many treatment options available. Even hormonal therapies are available as well. Regular check-ups are suggested for families who have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and to detect the lump in the breasts, as early as possible. If there are any genetic linkages of BRC-1 and BRC-2 in the families, the patients should monitor themselves, due to the family history of Cancer.  

Mammography and an MRI Scan are the go-to solutions for the diagnosis of Breast Cancer. 0.5-1 cm of lump can be detected via Mammography and 2 or more than 3 cm  lump can be detected via MRI Scan. Breast Conservative Surgery is also another option where the breast is not needed to be removed. Nonetheless, this is recommended to be done in the early stages of Breast Cancer.  

Dr.Paikaray also recommends educating the society, with all the symptoms, facilities and treatments available to diagnose and treat Breast Cancer, as early as possible. He also recommends that the rural doctors should be educated with the necessary requirements, information and knowledge needed when rural patients consult their practitioners.  

Colorectal Cancer and its treatments:  

Dr.Paikaray had written an article on Colorectal Cancer 2 years ago.  

He highlights the fact that Colorectal cancer is considered to be the 5th most common type of cancer in Males and the 6th most common type of Cancer in Females.  

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer includes blood in stools, anaemia(low blood/low haemoglobin), constipation, or any adnominal or bowel symptom. This cancer can be easily detected and more than 80% is curable during Stage 1 and Stage 2 Colorectal Cancer.  

Dr.Paikaray urges all the patients to be treated when diagnosed with early stages of cancer. Treatments are available for Stage 4 Cancer patients as well such as  Targeted Therapy, chemotherapy and oral tablets.  

Patients can take multiple treatments. However, if there are no other options available, alternative therapies like Homeopathy and Ayurveda therapies also can be recommended for the patients.  

 Misconceptions about Cancer 

There are some misconceptions, that cancer is a communicable disease, which means that it can spread from one person to another, just like COVID. This is a complete myth! Another myth is that Chemotherapy is painful and it is a life-threatening treatment. Dr.Paikaray assures the patients that the side-effects of Chemotherapy stays only for 4-5 months longer from the 6 months of Chemotherapy treatment. 

Paediatric Cancer and its treatments:  

There is less likely availability and usage of Targeted Therapies for Paediatric Cancer patients, since most of the Paediatric Cancer patients are diagnosed with blood cancer. If the cancer relapses, Stem cell transplant is recommended.  Intake of chemotherapy drugs can be reduced for the children to increase their survival rates and the side-effects of chemotherapy.  

ZenOnco.io 

As per him, ZenOnco.io is the go-to supportive platform for his Orissa cancer patients too; especially during this pandemic.

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