He is a medical oncologist with an experience of more than 32 years. And is currently practicing at Medella Cancer Cure Centre in Kolkata. He graduated from Jaipur and worked at the AIIMS for almost three and a half years. He also worked in Saudi Arabia as a medical oncologist and at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) for nearly a year. Now he is settled in Kolkata. He has his hospital with the name of Medalla Cancer Care Centre. It has the latest radiation equipment from 2018 and also has day-care equipment to do chemotherapy.
What are your thoughts on Cancer? How has your journey been as an oncologist?
Cancer is something we are trying to understand, and we have understood it to a pretty fair degree. Many things have changed like earlier; the patient lived for six months. Now, we see patients living for 5-6 years. 60% of Leukemia is now curable. Surgery and chemo drugs have also improved a lot.
What is Hodgkin’s lymphoma? How is it treated?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma, formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a lymphatic system cancer. It can affect people of any age but is most common between 20 and 40 years old and above 55 years.
In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond it.
Advancement in diagnosis and the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma have helped people with this disease chances for a full recovery. Prognosis continues to improve for people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck or armpit.
- Persistent fatigue.
- Night sweats.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Severe itching.
- Increased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol or pain in lymph nodes after drinking alcohol.
What is the typical form of treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma?
The first step is a biopsy. After the biopsy, the doctors get to know whether it’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma or not. Then comes the staging of the disease to see the extent of the problem by proper CT scan, bone marrow evaluation, and PET scan.
The treatment process starts with surgery but mostly, the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is chemotherapy. it begins with two cycles and continues depending on the need. If the patient is not cured with chemotherapy, radiotherapy is performed.
How does a Brain tumor affect the human body? How is it different for adults and children?
The brain is the control center of the body. Every cell or part of the body is represented by an area of the brain.
Symptoms include headache, vomiting, nausea, vision change, and problems in balancing while walking or standing. If it affects the respiratory system and so you will have issues while breathing. If it’s in the area representing the hands or the feet, you will not be able to raise your hand or feel your leg. This is how brain tumors affect the body.
What are benign and malignant tumors?
Both of them occupy space in the brain and can cause nasty symptoms
Benign tumors aren’t cancerous. While benign bone tumors typically stay in place and are unlikely to be fatal, they’re still abnormal cells and may require treatment. Benign tumors can grow and could compress your healthy bone tissue. Once it gets removed, it will not come back. It doesn’t need more than one surgery to be removed. It doesn’t multiply and spread outside.
Malignant tumors are cancerous. It’s just the opposite. It keeps on increasing in size and multiplies rapidly. It can spread anywhere in the body. Surgery may not be the perfect treatment. Chemotherapy is the best treatment option.
If you have 100 tumors in the brain, 60 would be benign, and 40 would be malignant.
What is testicular cancer treatment, and how is it done?
It’s treatable and curable. It usually occurs in old age. It is easy to operate as it is located outside the body. There are fewer chances of spreading. Various testicular tumors segregate two blood markers that can be evaluated in the blood every month. Thus it is easy to assess the progress of the treatment or the progress of the disease.
What does the road to recovery of a testicular cancer patient look like?
The treatment requires an active treatment of 6-8 months, including Surgery, PET, and CT scan. After this follow-up is done.
According to you, how does age affect the treatment of Cancer?
Age doesn’t matter much more than the type of disease or cause. Age is just a number.
Which is the most challenging case you have come across till now?
In 2011, an old man came into my OPD along with two other people. He was stinking from the blood all over his head. He said he has a malignant Ulcer. At that time, a drug was introduced, which stated that it can help in the cure of skin disease. I wrote him the medicine and asked him to take the medicines daily. I also asked him to see him after six weeks. He didn’t come back in six weeks, and even I forgot about him. After three and half months, an 80-year-old man came to see me with a small Ulcer in his head. He was the same old man. He gave me the old prescription which I gave him. I was happy that he was not bleeding or infected anymore. This was a good experience.
How do you believe a Cancer patient and family should deal with Cancer and control the fears surrounding them?
Fear starts with the name “Cancer” itself. People don’t even want to come to a screening camp because of the fear of being diagnosed. Then comes the fear of biopsy. Most people don’t want the biopsy done because they think it can spread the disease. Fear of treatment and fear of chemotherapy are the other two fears. There are many myths about cancer, like the person will turn black, etc which makes common people move further away from the treatment options available.
Dr. Rajesh Jindal on ZenOnco
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