Dr Naveen Bhambani (Surgical Oncologist) is an experienced Surgical Oncologist with a special interest in Thoracic and GI Oncology. He did his 3-year rotational residency in Oncosurgery and a one-year Fellowship in Thoracic Surgery from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. Dr. Naveen has completed various other fellowships in Thoracic and Minimal Access Oncosurgery from National Cancer Center, Tokyo. He also did his CRSA European Chapter Colorectal Course at ACOI’s Special School of Mini Invasive Robotic Surgery of Misericordia Hospital, Grosseto (Italy). After that, he was an Associate Consultant in Oncosurgery at the P.D.Hinduja National Hospital & Research Center, Mumbai, for over two years and spent a year as Consultant Surgical Oncologist & Minimal Access Oncosurgery in-charge at Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, Jaipur. He is presently developing the role of Minimal-Access Surgery (MAS) and Robotic Surgery in Oncology. Currently, he is a freelance consultant, primarily working at Jupiter Hospital and Hinduja Khar.
Head and Neck Cancer and Thoracic Cancer
The primary cause for head and neck cancers is Tobacco and its related toxins. People in India consume a lot of Tobacco and betel Nut in many forms, which is why Head and Neck Cancer is in trend in the country. The head and neck zone is a very functional zone, it’s the input point for all our five senses, so it is now crucial to stop Tobacco use. The habit of eating spicy food mainly causes thoracic cancer, which is often accidentally classified as tuberculosis in our country.
The Gastro-Intestinal system is primarily the system that assimilates the nutrition that we take. One of the common issues is that people intake very low Fiber content and very high refined flour in their diet, one of the most significant fast food components. The longer the food stays in contact with the Gastro-Intestinal lining, they tend to instigate mutation in the cell, leading to cancer. It is important to note that cancers like Colon Cancer and Gastro-Intestinal cancer have a good prognosis if detected early.
Different Types of Surgery
Early-stage cancer and solid tumors are the two points in which the treatment modality is Surgery. A surgical oncologist has a different perspective when looking at cancer. We do not just focus on removing organs; we focus on how the patient gets treatment over the next few months to get the best survival and functional outcome. When we look at the disease, we don’t want only to remove the tumor; we want adequate margins around it, the concept of what an adequate margin is what an onco surgeon adds to the treatment of the disease.
Minimal Access Surgery
I would say that I am completely sold out to Minimal Access Surgery because I am a thoracic surgeon, and I do a lot of esophagus Surgery where we have to operate at three zones, which could leave a lot of scars on the patient’s body. In the last ten years of my practice, I did not do a single open esophagus Surgery because minimal access allows me to enter the entire ribcage without giving many cuts to the patient, and the patient walks out with a new organ with hardly any scars. People have the misconception that it’s robocops operating them, but it’s not like that. It is purely the computer interface that is between the surgeon’s hand and the patient. The arms that go into the patient’s body are the robot’s arm, but the arm’s control is at the surgeon’s fingertips.
Robotic Surgery is putting a computer interface between the surgeon’s hand and the patient. I’ll be manipulating the robotic arms put in through keyholes into the surgical site. There’ll be a screen through which I’ll direct the arms and take care that no nearby organs are affected. The amount of precision that can be attained through Robotic Surgery is pretty helpful in prostate, lung, colorectal, and thoracic cancer cases.
Recovering after a Surgery
The focus nowadays on Cancer Treatment is not only on survival but the quality of life also. Today we have devices that enable people without voice box to talk even after its removal through Surgery. Treatment Protocols for Different Stages of Cancer In early-stage cancer, the intent of treatment is curative; you look at the patient as a long-term survivor. When you look at advanced cancer, you intent to treatment is palliative. At this stage, you fight for a dignified end to life.
Rare and Challenging Cases
Endobronchial carcinoma is one of the very rare varieties of cancers. It’s like a simple Mushroom growing inside your airway. It is a tiny little thing that sits in the airway, but it can even compromise one lung. A 32-year young boy was admitted to the hospital, and his one lung was completely collapsed.
We then detected that he was suffering from endobronchial carcinoma, which was choking the left lung’s bronchi. The chief reason why treating him was challenging was because he wasn’t fit enough for Surgery as he was breathing from just one lung. We planned to do a bronchoscopy and use a laser to burn out the tumor to channelize and open the passage so that the lung gets ventilated. We did it, and it took 3 hours, but it came out so well that we de-bulked the entire tumor at the end of it, and he was saved from major Surgery.
Palliative Care and Caregivers
Palliative care patients need to undergo tremendous counseling. Every other patient goes through psychosomatic issues. The disease itself can kick in Depression among the patients. Thus, reaching a level of acceptance is essential for them to have a real chance of recovering. Similarly, caregiver counseling is equally important. Palliative care should essentially be limited to just symptomatic care and the convenience of the patient.
A Healthy Lifestyle
An essential tip that every other expert may give you is to stay away from Tobacco. Balance your life and draw a line between living healthy and giving into junk. Also, increase the Fiber content in your diet and follow a healthy and nutritious diet. Additionally, make sure that you take some time to exercise to look after your physical and mental well-being.