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Interview with Dr Prachi Thakar (Surgical Oncologist)

Interview with Dr Prachi Thakar (Surgical Oncologist)

About Dr Prachi Thakar

Doctors are the miracle workers who make a difference in their patients’ lives every day by caring for them. Dr Prachi Thakar (Surgical Oncologist) is one of them. She’s one of the well-known surgical oncologist in Mumbai, recognized for offering excellent medical care to each of her patients. Dr Prachi proudly completed her MBBS and MD, with a Gynecology and Obstetrics specialization. She has remained one of the evangelists in gynecologic surgical oncology practice for about a decade now. She has also done extensive training in Breast Cancer and gynecology Surgery at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, India.

Furthermore, she also has abundant experience in the field by training abroad. Dr Thakar excelled in learning the laparoscopic cancer Surgery when she was in Strasbourg, France. She completed her fellowship on advanced cancer Surgery and robotic training from IEO, Italy. She currently works exclusively as a gynecologist consultant and an on-call Breast Cancer surgeon at the leading cancer center Sun Cancer Center situated at Borivali West. She is one of the Sun Cancer Center founders and originally started it with her husband, Dr K D Thakar, to provide meticulous cancer care all under a single roof.

It depends on how far the cancer has spread in the patient’s body. If the patient has ovarian cancer, which has quickly spread in the upper part of her abdomen, then immediate Chemotherapy is given to the patient. The disease is lowered down to the pelvis as it contains the removable organs. Surgery is scheduled to make the patient’s body cancer-free accordingly.

In another case, if the patient is relatively young and is suffering from breast cancer, she can also undergo a similar process. If the same patient has requested a breast conversion, but cancer has spread throughout her tissues, Chemotherapy works best. The Chemotherapy approach can be aggressive, depending upon the cancer cells’ several attributes. Once the disease has been alleviated, the patient is ready to undergo Surgery. However, Chemotherapy is not the standard treatment to cure either Cervical Cancer or uterine cancer.

The bottom line is that irrespective of the type of cancer you have, Surgery is an appropriate mainstream option to treat it. If Surgery is not feasible for the patient, Chemotherapy is another distinguished alternative to cure it.

Uterine cancer

Most people may be unaware of the uterus’s anatomy, which is divided into two parts. The first region is the body of the uterus, and the second is the mouth of the uterus. When people say uterine cancer, it is easy to assume that the entire system has it. However, in reality, not the whole uterus ultimately gets cancer. About 99% of the time, uterus cancer indeed turns out to be a case of endometrial cancer. This type of cancer is found in the uterus wall’s inner lining, otherwise known as the endometrium. The primary cause behind endometrial cancer is an uncontrollable and abnormal growth of the endometrium.

Furthermore, this type of uterine cancer has seen a steady increase in the population’s urban sector due to the lower number of children, unhealthy lifestyle, elevated hormonal stimulation, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. In most cases, Surgery has proved to be the ultimate cure for this type of cancer. In sporadic cases, radiation is required to control or cure endometrial cancer.

Uterine cancer

Most people may be unaware of the uterus’s anatomy, which is divided into two parts. The first region is the body of the uterus, and the second is the mouth of the uterus. When people say uterine cancer, it is easy to assume that the entire system has it. However, in reality, not the whole uterus ultimately gets cancer. About 99% of the time, uterus cancer indeed turns out to be a case of endometrial cancer. This type of cancer is found in the uterus wall’s inner lining, otherwise known as the endometrium. The primary cause behind endometrial cancer is an uncontrollable and abnormal growth of the endometrium.

Furthermore, this type of uterine cancer has seen a steady increase in the population’s urban sector due to the lower number of children, unhealthy lifestyle, elevated hormonal stimulation, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. In most cases, Surgery has proved to be the ultimate cure for this type of cancer. In sporadic cases, radiation is required to control or cure endometrial cancer.

Treatment plans for Gynecologic cancers

Age group plays a crucial part in gynecology. If a younger patient visits to check out their uterine or ovarian cyst, there is not much need to worry. A standard test protocol would be conducted. If the cyst or the breast lump can be treated with simple hormonal treatment and medications, Surgery is completely avoided. 40-45 age groups from the urban area form a majority of Breast Cancer cases. If it is menopause-related, then anything ranging from increasing ovary size, the uterus lining, breast lump have to be thoroughly checked.

Healthy Procreation measures

The younger generation is advised to practice safe sex. Barriers should be used to prevent STDs and Human papillomavirus(HPV). HPV can cause mainly five types of cancer in females; ovarian, vaginal, vulval, cervical, and anal cancer. Female teens should smoke and drink less as female bodies react to such lifestyles differently compared to males. A healthy diet, taking less stress, mediating, pranayama, and Yoga play a vital role in living a healthy and stress-free life.

Ovarian cancer

Presently, India is leading in the number of gynecologic cancer cases. Moreover, these types of cancer cannot be detected early. Cancers like Ovarian Cancer can be seen only in stage three. Since Surgery in the initial stages is excruciatingly tricky, Chemotherapy is used to treat these stages. Once the three cycles of Chemotherapy reduce the tumor’s size, a surgical procedure is followed to remove the bulk.

Cervical cancer

This type of cancer has a high chance of survival because it can be caught early and can even be prevented. Pap smear and HPV vaccine plays an essential role in the treatment of Cervical Cancer. Pap smear tests should be done by every woman once a year. Most of the time, if the Pap smear test is standard, but ulcers are present in the cervix, it is surgically removed as it is the risk of turning into cancer.

The lesser the tumor size, the more emphasis is given on Surgery. However, if it spreads to other parts of the body, radiation is used to diminish it.

Breast cancer

In India, the doctors usually detect Breast Cancer cases in either stage two or three of the cancer. Due to a lack of accessibility, most of the population is not educated on various Breast Cancer awareness programs. A regular check-up can make a significant difference. If any woman experiences breast lumps or abnormal nipple discharge, she is advised to get it checked immediately instead of ignoring it.

Effects of Gynecologic cancers on young females

Sadly, Ovarian Cancer is commonly found in girls aged 13-25. Unfortunately, one of the ovaries is removed surgically, and the other is treated through Chemotherapy. By using conservative surgery, the ovaries and the uterus can be conserved. However, all this is possible only if the patient comes early. But since Ovarian Cancer shows minimal symptoms, it is tough to diagnose, and many patients come with stage three or four cancer, making it increasingly difficult to treat it.

Cancers after menopause and how reproductive cancers affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant

Cancer cases are usually detected in older age groups, mostly after menopause. Reproductive cancer is relatively easy to see and is more commonly diagnosed in the early stages. The outcomes and prognosis are positive too.

At younger ages, cancer affects most of the organs. If cancer affects women in the 20s-30s who haven’t had children yet, it becomes difficult to treat such types of cancer. The patient can suffer through a lot of psychological problems and social predicaments. However, surrogacy, oocyte preservation, IVF are some of the well-known methods used for fertility management.

Challenges faced by Onco Surgeons

The main challenges we face are with providing our patients with a good quality of life after treatment. We also face hardships while trying to convince patients of the best choice of treatment for them. Sometimes, we may even need to talk to their family members in a bid to convince them.

Palliative care

There are several palliative care centers. In those centers, a Pain specialist is provided to each of the patients. They are admitted for a certain period, and specific Pain management doses are given to the patients. Palliative care patients need a lot of counseling, and thus the society needs to be more empathetic towards them.

Urogynecology

Urogynecology is the new advanced branch recently introduced in the field of gynecology. Most women come with problems like loosening of the urinary bladder due to increasing age. Urogynaechologists deal with such kinds of issues by treating it with Surgery.

A Healthy Lifestyle

Decrease junk food consumption, increase consumption of raw vegetables, incorporate a balanced diet, and never skip meals. One is encouraged to do physical exercises like yoga, meditation, and jogging regularly. Following and maintaining a proper sleep schedule is also beneficial. Furthermore, regular monthly check-ups, self-breast examination, sonography after reaching 20 years of age, and annual pap smear is strictly advised for all.

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