BENGALURU, India, March 1, 2024 -- Manipal Hospital Sarjapur Road Bengaluru organized 'The Med Talk – A Conversation on Cancer Awareness' at Krupanidhi Degree College to educate young minds about various aspects of cancer. Manipal Hospital Sarjapur Road identifies the younger generation as future leaders and influencers of our society, with the potential to spearhead initiatives to raise awareness, advocate positive behavioral changes, and inspire the community to take proactive measures towards a cancer-free society. With this initiative, Manipal Hospital Sarjapur Road aimed to equip the younger generation with the right knowledge about cancer. 




Four distinguished oncologists, Dr. Rahul S Kanaka, Consultant – Surgical Oncology, Dr. Nitin Yashas Murthy, Consultant – Medical Oncology and Haemato Oncology, Dr. Baswantrao Malipatil, Consultant – Medical Oncology, and Dr. Dharma Kumar G, Consultant – Surgical Oncology, from Manipal Hospital Sarjapur Road, Bengaluru, graced the event and shared their knowledge on various aspects of cancer, busting myths, illuminating therapeutic developments, and highlighting the significance of early identification.


For the last few years, cancer treatment has greatly advanced, because of the ongoing technological changes in medical and surgical procedures. The future of cancer treatment is now being redefined by exceptional accuracy that also boosts patient recovery time and enhances overall treatment outcomes. Dr. Rahul S Kanaka, Consultant- Surgical Oncology, took to the podium to enlighten the students about recent developments in surgical cancer care. He spoke at length on how robotic surgery has changed the practice of cancer surgery stating, "Robotic surgery plays a significant role in oncology by offering several advantages such as improved precision, smaller incisions, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times for cancer patients. It allows surgeons to perform complex procedures with enhanced dexterity and visualization, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach using traditional surgical methods. This technology is increasingly used in various cancer treatments including prostate, gynecologic, colorectal, and head and neck cancers, among others, leading to better outcomes and quality of life for patients."


Cancer is probably one of those diseases that is strongly associated with strong social stigma and deep-rooted myths. Dr. Nitin Yashas Murthy, Consultant – Medical Oncology and Haemato Oncology, addressed the audience to emphasize the importance of dispelling the rampant myths and overcoming the stigma as crucial steps in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and encourage them to take proactive health measures such as regular screening which are imperial in combating cancer. Speaking about one such popular myth, 'cancer has no cure', Dr. Murthy explained, "Cancer treatment has advanced over the last decade or so. Immunotherapy wherein the body's immune system is activated to attack the cancer cells, has prolonged survival in stage 4 malignancies in years in those who respond to it, particularly in kidney, lung, head and neck, and gastric cancers. Furthermore, precision oncology wherein tumor samples are analyzed for protein expression or genetic mutations helps us in selecting appropriate targeted therapy is becoming the standard of treatment in many cancers such as breast, lung, ovarian cancers, lymphomas, etc."


Dr. Baswantrao Malipatil, Consultant – Medical Oncology, spoke about a diverse group of cancer, blood cancers, with greater emphasis on Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia (AML). He spoke at length about what makes blood cancers different from solid cancers of other organs and organ systems and their treatment approach. Dr. Malipatil stated that blood cancers cannot be treated surgically. The treatment is mainly by chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and stem cell therapy (bone marrow transplantation). Additionally, he spoke about the role of exposure to environmental toxins, including habits such as smoking and tobacco (gutka) consumption as one of the probable causes of AML. Urging the young audience to steer clear of habits, Dr. Baswantrao Malipatil said, "poisons (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.) are required to treat cancers arising from the consumption of poisons (cigarette, gutka, etc.). So, to avoid such poisons, better to avoid getting into any bad habits and lead a healthy lifestyle"


Dr. Dharma Kumar G, Consultant – Surgical Oncology, exclusively spoke about breast cancer and said, "breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in India and across the world. Not having baby, not breast feeding, increased exposure to estrogen hormone, obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking and family history of breast cancer are the risk factors for breast cancer. If breast cancer is detected early it is immensely curable, hence it is very important to undergo regular annual screening mammogram after 40 years of age." Dr Dharma Kumar also added that "family history contributes to only 10-15% of breast cancer. Genetic counselling and screening at younger age helps to take necessary preventive measure in individual with family history of breast cancer".


Overall, the event showcased Manipal Hospital Sarjapur Road's commitment to spreading cancer awareness in the community and marching towards building a cancer-free society. The event also serves as a platform for young minds to indulge in fruitful discussions and gain valuable insights into cancer prevention, treatment, and management.


For more information, please visit: https://www.manipalhospitals.com/


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