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Interview with Dr. Amit Bagdia

Interview with Dr. Amit Bagdia

He has completed his M.B.B.S from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik. And completed his M.S from A.I.I.M.S, New Delhi with three years of undergraduate teaching experience. He is an oncologist in the nearby districts in Maharashtra. He practices at Bagdia Hospital as a consultant Oncosurgeon. 

What are the common Head & Neck cancers? 

The most common is the oral cavity. Next comes cancer of the Throat or pharynx, paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, and salivary glands. Most common are the oral cavity & throat Cancer. 

What are some early signs & symptoms of Head & Neck Cancer?  

If cancer is developing in the mouth area then there will be a visible image of ulcer or fungal growth. And if the cancer is developing in the pharynx area then there will be a change in voice, difficulty in swallowing food or even saliva. If the cancer is developing in the Nasal area then there can be headaches, bleeding from the nasal cavity, and difficulty in breathing. 

What are the major risk factors that can lead to head & neck cancers? 

The most common is tobacco chewing or smoking. In tobacco, not just one but many elements are there which cause cancer among which the main one is nicotine. People should be aware of it. Tobacco not just causes head and neck cancer but also cancer of the bladder and lungs. 

How do you motivate your patients to give up on smoking once they detect cancer? 

It’s not difficult because people themselves leave tobacco once they know they have cancer. What’s important is to stop the consumption of tobacco before cancer. We should target the common age group who are addicted to tobacco. Quitting tobacco after being detected would be the best way to help in treatment. Smokers should be detected at an early age for better prevention. 

What are the most common screening tests for Head & Neck Cancers?

An individual should have a yearly physical examination of the head and neck and oropharynx (the middle section of the throat that includes the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils) by their primary care physician, as well as a yearly routine dental evaluation. 

How do head & neck cancers undergo metastasis? 

Pulmonary metastases are the most frequent ones accounting for 66% of distant metastases. It may be difficult to distinguish pulmonary metastasis from a new primary tumor, particularly if solitary. Other metastatic sites include bone (22%), liver (10%), skin, mediastinum, and bone marrow.

How important is it to know your stage of cancer? 

A stage is just a number. He thinks that patients should not know about the stage just the physician should know about the stage. People think that once they know about the stage they get to know how long they will survive but it’s not like that. Also, stage 3 of breast cancer is not the same as stage 3 of lung cancer or head & neck cancer. Every cancer has different biology. The stage doesn't matter but it will make patients more worried & confused, which is not right. If the person is into biology they should be given a broad overview of the disease, therapy, and all. 

What are the treatment options for Head & Neck Cancer? 

The best curative option is radical surgery. This is done along with noodle dissection. The treatment is different for different cancers. In the oropharynx, surgery is not the topmost treatment, some patients may be treated by radiotherapy. Some people who have lymphoma are treated with chemotherapy. Patients who have small cancer where surgery is not the only choice can undergo radiotherapy. In most cases, the best option is surgery followed by chemotherapy & radiation if required. 

How do everyday life functions change after undergoing surgery for head & neck cancer? 

These surgeries just alter the identity of patients. Because these cancers & surgery affect the way the person speaks or looks. In the surgery, the doctor has to remove the part & then reconstruct it that changes the identity of the person. But with the advancement in reconstruction, a good reconstruction is given to the person with the help of plastic surgery. It gives a good impact. 

What steps can people take to give up on tobacco? 

Giving up is not easy. But it's not impossible. 

He gave them a 5 step plan:- 

  • Make a plan that from this day you would give up. 
  • Tell people around you. Tell more & more people. 
  • Keep yourself busy. Engage yourself in walking, running, or whatever you like or want to try. 
  • Avoid the places that trigger you towards smoking. Make two groups & engage with the group who do not smoke rather than challenging your willpower by staying with the group of people. 
  • After this, reward yourself by keeping reminding you of what you have done & that will keep you motivated. 

There are two groups like one who decides not to smoke from a particular day or time. Another one, who decides to go to 4 cigarettes this week then 3 then 1 per week. Both ways are valid. 

What are the everyday life functions that people can take to avoid cancer? 

  • People should enroll themselves in an awareness program. 
  • Follow a healthy diet. 
  • People should exercise daily. 
  • Avoid unhealthy or junk food. 
  • Limit tobacco & alcohol consumption.
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