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Interview with Dr. Susanta Paikaray (Pediatric Hemato Oncologist)

Interview with Dr. Susanta Paikaray (Pediatric Hemato Oncologist)

Dr. Susanta Paikaray is a Paediatric hematologist 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 insurance, availability of drugs, and facilities, cancer patients have a tremendous impact 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 also now welcome in foreign countries as well to examine and treat cancer patients. 

 Hematology malignancies and their 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 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 in children and Solid malignancy is popularly in adults. In cases 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 the best option. This requires a matching blood group; 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 can also register in the Bone Marrow Transplant Registry.

Dr.Paikaray also suggests that in India and 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 a stem cell transplant.  Allogeneic transplant occurs in a different person.  

 Breast Cancer, Side-Effects, and its Symptoms  

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

Lack of awareness is a major concern. The breast is an external organ, and it is a more easy cure. 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 help families who have a history of breast cancer to detect the lump in the breasts, to detect it 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 is detectable via Mammography and 2 or more than 3 cm lump is detectable via MRI Scan. Breast Conservative Surgery is also another option where breast removal is not necessary. Nonetheless, it might be necessary in the early stages of breast cancer.  

Dr.Paikaray also recommends educating society, about all the symptoms, facilities, and treatments available to diagnose and treat breast cancer, as early as possible. He also recommends that rural doctors require education with the 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 the 5th most common type of cancer in Males and the 6th most common type of cancer in Females.  

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

Dr.Paikaray urges all patients to get immediate treatment in the early stages of a cancer diagnosis. 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 beneficial 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 stay only for 4-5 months longer than the 6 months of Chemotherapy treatment. 

Pediatric Cancer and its Treatments:  

There is less likely availability and usage of targeted therapies for pediatric cancer patients since most pediatric cancer patients are diagnosed with blood cancer. If the cancer relapses, a Stem cell transplant can be effective. Reducing the intake of chemotherapy drugs can help the children to increase their survival rates and the side effects of chemotherapy. 

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

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