An immediate challenge today is the prevention of Diabetes among the youth and pregnant women, Union Minister of State Dr. Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
The minister, also a renowned Diabetologist, called for a mandatory diabetes test in all maternity hospitals and for every pregnant women, adding that more than 70 per cent of India's population is below 40 years of age.
Calling for an integrated and holistic approach to fight Diabetes, Singh said: Covid has prompted us to discover new norms in adversity and underlined the importance of combining traditional Indian management modalities with the Allopathic System."
"Diabetes is a growing epidemic globally and more so in India. A total of 88 million adult populations in India has diabetes in 2019 as per the latest International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates and this is projected to rise by almost 74 per cent to 153 million by 2045, giving India the dubious distinction of becoming the diabetes capital of the world," Singh said.
Sharing the concerns about of Diabetes that is making fast inroads in rural India with huge economic bearing on poor families, Singh said that there is a need to popularise Telemedicine to provide easy and affordable access to the ailing population.
Talking about the National Digital Health Mission, Singh said it can revolutionise healthcare in India as citizens will be issued a health card that will have all their medical information.
He said, the details of medical tests, illnesses, doctors' prescriptions and medical reports will be on a single identity card and will be the first of its kind in the world.
The Union Minister was speaking at a webinar on diabetes on the occasion of World Diabetes Day, jointly organized by Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samasthana, S-VYASA, Bengaluru and Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, CCRYN, New Delhi.
Read More► Breast Cancer a Life Changing Reality
Recent medical advances have made breast cancer a highly manageable disease, especially when detected early, as in the case of stages 0-to-II cancers.
Timely treatment also minimises disruptions to the patient's daily routine and quality of life. Advancements in digitalisation have also greatly benefited women, as they can easily access information through YouTube on how to self-examine themselves and learn about breast anatomy or changes in breast structure that should be brought to the notice of specialists immediately.
Women above the age group of 20 -25 years should examine themselves monthly, and those above 40 years of age should go for mammography at regular intervals. With earlier breast cancer detection, the survival rate increases to 80 per cent (Stage 1 and stage 2), as compared to 56 per cent in Stage 3 and stage 4.
In India, however, early treatment is the exception rather than the norm. By the time most patients are diagnosed, they are already in stage III or IV of the disease, where treatment modalities are more complex. Additionally, the stigma of living with breast cancer can hamper the patients' quality of life in physical, psychological, and social terms.
Mental health counselling, family and institutional support, and new drugs and modalities can help women at all stages of breast cancer to improve life expectancy, health, and overall happiness, thus ticking all the boxes for improved life quality.
Stigma And Suffering
One in 28 Indian women is at risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime. As per a CII report, the median age for diagnosis is 46 years, and nearly half of all diagnosed women are premenopausal, i.e., relatively young compared to breast cancer patients in Western nations.
The concern, though, is that at the time of diagnosis, around 70 per cent of Indian women are already in stage III or stage IV (known as metastatic breast cancer, or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body). While getting screened early may seem like an evident solution, however, low awareness and culturally ingrained stigmas still prevent many women from getting the timely help they need.
Due to cultural factors and social taboos, women do not get checked for breast cancer or share their symptoms with others, thereby leading to delayed diagnosis. Unfortunately, the pandemic has only amplified the burden of our healthcare system, magnifying these delays.
A QOL-Itative Approach
Focusing on patients' QOL means helping them thrive on the physical, emotional and social parameters by improving their all-around experience of the disease. New hope has also come in the form of targeted therapies that shrink or remove tumours by disabling specific proteins on cancerous cells to block their growth.
These therapies, which can often be taken orally, allow patients to bypass chemotherapy and related harsh side effects. Targeted therapies are proving more effective than chemotherapy in extending the survival rates of patients with stage III or IV cancers up to 5-8 years even if a patient is diagnosed at a metastatic stage.
The rise of non-invasive, chemo-free targeted therapies is opening a new front in the battle against advanced and metastatic breast cancer. By reducing or eliminating frequent hospital visits and the side-effects they earlier took for granted, it is possible to enhance patients' physical and psychological well-being and to help them live longer with dignity and independence.
Breast cancer doesn't mean the end of life. Today, treatment options for breast cancer have advanced, giving hope to patients even in advanced stages. Nowadays, due to government policies (Ayushman Bharat), every woman, regardless of her social strata, can avail of world-class cancer treatment in medical facilities across the country.
Even in advanced stages, families should not lose hope, as newer drugs such as molecular therapy treatment have proven effective for patients suffering from hormone-positive breast cancer, which is the most common form of cancer among Indian women. As many as 60 to 90 per cent of patients respond to these advanced treatments positively, enabling them to lead an enhanced quality of life. With such innovations, cancer can be viewed as a chronic disease that needs management.
Awareness-building and sensitisation are key. Educating women and girls in urban and rural contexts about breast cancer, the importance of regular self-monitoring, and de-stigmatising medical examinations and advanced treatment options, so that they can maximise their chances of identifying and beating the disease.
It would also help address psychosocial impacts like anxiety, depression, or fear by making therapy or psychiatry facilities accessible, affordable, and un-stigmatised for patients. This would also include teaching families and communities to support patients by accompanying them for treatments, helping with chores, spending time with them, and not letting them feel like a "burden".
The late American writer John Diamond said that cancer is "a word and not a sentence". However, for lakhs of women, breast cancer is a life-changing reality. While conventional treatments for breast cancer are constantly evolving and their efficacy is undeniable, life after a breast cancer diagnosis is about more than survival (extending the patient's life) or pain management (alleviating physical discomfort). What's required is a holistic approach towards improving the quality of the patient's life and this is being understood today. (Padma Shri Pankaj Shah, Medical Oncology Haematology, Zydus Hospital, Ahmedabad)
Read More► Is Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain Sciatica?
US researchers have discovered a gene that may help explain why some people who lead enriching lives are less prone to Alzheimer's and age-related dementia.
Many people develop Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia as they get older. However, others remain sharp well into old age, even if their brains show underlying signs of neurodegeneration. Among these cognitively resilient people, researchers have identified education level and amount of time spent on intellectually stimulating activities as factors that help prevent dementia.
The study, led by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, showed that this kind of enrichment appears to activate a gene family called MEF2, which controls a genetic programme in the brain that promotes resistance to cognitive decline.
The researchers observed this link between MEF2 and cognitive resilience in both humans and mice. The findings suggest that enhancing the activity of MEF2 or its targets might protect against age-related dementia.
"It's increasingly understood that there are resilience factors that can protect the function of the brain," said Li-Huei Tsai, Director of MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.
"Understanding this resilience mechanism could be helpful when we think about therapeutic interventions or prevention of cognitive decline and neurodegeneration-associated dementia," Tsai added. The study appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The MIT team set out to try to figure how the environmental factors, such as education level, type of job, number of languages spoken, affect the brain at the neuronal level. They looked at human datasets and mouse models in parallel, and both tracks converged on MEF2 as a critical player.
In two human datasets comprising slightly more than 1,000 people all together, the MIT team found that cognitive resilience was highly correlated with expression of MEF2 and many of the genes that it regulates.
To study cognitive resilience in mice, the researchers compared mice who were raised in cages with no toys, and mice placed in a more stimulating environment with a running wheel and toys that were swapped out every few days.
As they found in the human study, MEF2 was more active in the brains of the mice exposed to the enriched environment. These mice also performed better in learning and memory tasks.
The findings suggest that enhancing MEF2 activity could help to protect against dementia, but, because MEF2 also affects other types of cells and cellular processes, more study is needed to make sure that activating it wouldn't have adverse side effects, the researchers said. (Agency)
Read More► Psychiatric Disorders in Teens Linked to Social Exclusion in Later Life
Although India has, for a long time, battled the incidence of cancer, latest estimates pegs them to be rising at significantly higher rate. Once thought of as an old age disease, cancer is now a cause of concern also among the youth and children.
National Cancer Awareness Day is observed every year on November 7 in India, to increase awareness about cancer prevention and the need for its early detection.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), there will be an estimated 12 per cent rise in cancer cases in India in the next five years.
Longer life expectancy is a major contributor to the overall cancer incidence. As people grow old, their bodies have longer time to allow faults to build up and the body accumulates more of these faults in the genes, considerably increasing the risk of cancer.
"Larger proportion of older individuals is the first cause of increased cancer numbers. The higher the proportion of older age in the population, the higher is the chance of cancer," Wesley M Jose, Clinical Associate Professor, Medical Oncology, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, told IANS.
Further, males (52.4 per cent) are more prone to the risk of all cancer cases compared to females (47.4 per cent). Tobacco use is the major reason comprising 48.7 per cent of cancers among males and 16.5 per cent among females.
A recent report states that the number of cancers associated with tobacco use in 2025 would be 4,27,273 contributing to 27.2 per cent of India's total projected cancer cases. Initiation of tobacco, known to contain at least 69 cancer-causing agents, in the youth is a contributory factor to the increased burden of cancers associated with tobacco use in India.
"Tobacco cessation will reduce the cancer burden by about 25 per cent. The major contributing factor being tobacco and ghutka consumption that directly accounts for 27 per cent of cancers in India," Murad E. Lala, Oncologist at P.D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim, Mumbai, told IANS.
"We all know that oral and lung cancer that affects our male population to the maximum can be prevented by curbing smoking and tobacco consumption. We need to start thinking of some unhealthy foods similar to what we think about tobacco unnecessary, addictive, and harmful," said Anil Heroor, Director-Advanced OncoSurgery Unit, Fortis Hospitals Mumbai.
Apart from tobacco, alcohol, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and environmental factors also contribute to the increase in cancers.
"The overall living circumstances of the Indian population have improved and that have also led to a larger sedentary workforce, which has access to a high-calorie diet. These factors indirectly have affected the rise in numbers," Jose said.
"Nearly six types of cancers are linked to obesity and are slowly on the rise among people under 50. These are cancers of the colon or rectal, pancreas, kidney, gallbladder, uterine (also called endometrial cancer), and multiple myeloma. These Cancers are often not discovered in younger people until the disease is advanced and harder to treat," Heroor said.
Childhood cancer is also seeing an increasing trend, mainly of leukemia and lymphomas. Childhood (0-14 years) cancers constitute 7.9 per cent of all cancers, according to ICMR.
"The common types of cancers in children are leukemias, lymphomas, CNS tumours, retinoblastomas and Wilm's tumours. While most of the childhood cancers are curable if detected early and treated appropriately, children in India have limited access to tertiary centres that treat childhood cancers. This delay in treatment causes the survival rate to drop," Jose said.
The cancer burden in the country can be reduced by strengthening the government health systems, making universal health coverage, health education, treatment compliance, and early detection centres at the community level.
Besides, vaccination for virus-related cancer like liver and cervix, and improved physical activity, stricter tobacco and alcohol laws can also help, the experts suggested. (IANS)
Read More► Women Can Have A Heart Problem & Not Even Realise It
Many people believe that heart disease typically affects men. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality not only among men, but also among women. But women are actually at greater risk if not detected early, and this exacerbates the issue.
Signs of poor heart health do not appear as visibly in women as it does in men. What this means is that if a man has a heart issue, there are specific symptoms like angina which can be spotted easily and the right course of action be recommended. The same issue in a woman may not result in a sign or symptom that can be easily spotted. So often, their symptoms go ignored or unrecognised and they do not receive timely intervention to correct the problem. The issue is so acute that today 1 in 3 deaths among women is due to coronary heart disease.
There is also a significant lack of self-awareness among women about risk factors and the prevention of CVDs. Women don't only attend to matters of the home, but they hold positions at leading companies, and continue to rise to the occasion and meet impossible demands on their time. Through all of this, they take care of the emotional needs of their family members and loved ones; and still culturally are predisposed to putting the needs of others before their own. The stress they experience, among other common risk factors, often goes unnoticed by those around them. And stress has a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Along with stress, other factors like diet quantity and quality also have a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Additionally, women are also impacted by female-specific risk factors for CVD like polycystic Ovarian syndrome PCOS, preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes.
In such a situation where symptoms of a heart problem do not manifest visibly, it is extremely important for women to be aware of their own risk factors and adopt proactive measures to take care of their heart health. For example, one risk factor, stress has been linked to a greater intake of energy and nutrient-dense foods, mainly sources of sugar and fat, and to poor diet quality. Women can take simple steps like reducing unhealthy fats and products with high content of sugar and salt to improve the quality of their diet. Choose ingredients that are good for the heart, like oatmeal, wholegrains, fiber rich vegetables, blended oils with the right balance of fatty acids, legumes, soy products, and the like. Regular and consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and other such lifestyle modifications can help maintain heart health in the long term.
Furthermore with signs of poor heart health not manifesting visibly in women, it is crucial that they get regular health check-ups done to assess their risk proactively. Self-awareness and early identification of cardiovascular risk factors can lead to better prevention of CVD in women.
This World Heart Day, let's choose self-care. Get a simple heart check-up done and encourage other women in yourselves too, to get the same done. Take proactive steps for heart health today.
(By Brajesh Kunwar)
Read More► Myth or Fact: Exercise Must Be Avoided After A Heart Attack
इंडियन काउंसिल ऑफ मेडिकल रिसर्च (आईसीएमआर) द्वारा तैयार की गई एक रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि 2012-19 के बीच कैंसर के कुल मामलों में से 7.9 फीसदी 14 साल से कम उम्र के बच्चों में पाए गए। 'क्लिनिकोपैथोलॉजिकल प्रोफाइल ऑफ कैंसर्स इन इंडिया : ए रिपोर्ट ऑफ हॉस्पिटल-बेस्ड कैंसर रजिस्ट्रीज, 2021', नेशनल कैंसर रजिस्ट्री प्रोग्राम (एनसीआरपी) के तहत 96 अस्पताल-आधारित कैंसर रजिस्ट्रियों की अवधि के दौरान एकत्र किए गए डेटा को समेकित करता है। डेटा देशभर में इन केंद्रों को रिपोर्ट किए गए पुष्टिकृत विकृतियों के सभी निदान और इलाज के मामलों से संबंधित हैं।
देश में 2012-19 के दौरान कैंसर के 13,32,207 मामले दर्ज किए गए। इनमें से 6,10,084 को डेटा की पूर्णता और गुणवत्ता के आधार पर विश्लेषण के लिए शामिल किया गया था।
बचपन के कैंसर वैश्विक स्तर पर बचपन की बीमारियों के प्रमुख कारण के रूप में नौवें स्थान पर हैं, विकलांगता समायोजित जीवन वर्ष (डीएएलवाई) के 11.5 मिलियन के लिए जिम्मेदार है।
भारत में, एनसीआरपी की एक हालिया रिपोर्ट के अनुसार, सभी आयु समूहों में कैंसर के सापेक्ष बचपन के कैंसर (0-19 वर्ष) का अनुपात 1 से 4.9 प्रतिशत के बीच पाया गया।
दिल्ली में लड़कों में 203.1 प्रति मिलियन और लड़कियों में 125.4 प्रति मिलियन की उच्चतम आयु-समायोजित घटना दर (एएआर) दर्ज की। ल्यूकेमिया 0-14 वर्ष आयु वर्ग में दोनों लिंगों में सभी बचपन के कैंसर के लगभग आधे के लिए जिम्मेदार है (लड़कों में 46.4 प्रतिशत और लड़कियों में 44.3 प्रतिशत)। लड़कों में अन्य सामान्य बचपन का कैंसर लिम्फोमा (16.4 प्रतिशत) था, जबकि लड़कियों में यह घातक अस्थि ट्यूमर (8.9 प्रतिशत) था।
बचपन के कैंसर दो आयु समूहों के लिए प्रस्तुत किए जाते हैं : 0-14 वर्ष और 0-19 वर्ष राष्ट्रीय और अंतर्राष्ट्रीय तुलना को सक्षम करने के लिए और बचपन के कैंसर के अंतर्राष्ट्रीय वर्गीकरण के अनुसार वर्गीकृत किया जाता है।
रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि बचपन के कैंसर के अलावा, तंबाकू के उपयोग से जुड़े कैंसर में पुरुषों में 48.7 प्रतिशत और महिलाओं में 16.5 प्रतिशत कैंसर शामिल हैं।
थायरॉइड कैंसर (महिलाओं में 2.5 प्रतिशत बनाम पुरुषों में 1 प्रतिशत) और पित्ताशय के कैंसर (महिलाओं में 3.7 प्रतिशत बनाम पुरुषों में 2.2 प्रतिशत) को छोड़कर, साइट-विशिष्ट कैंसर का सापेक्ष अनुपात महिलाओं की तुलना में पुरुषों में अधिक था।
सभी कैंसरों में दूर के मेटास्टेसिस का उच्चतम अनुपात फेफड़ों के कैंसर (49.2 प्रतिशत पुरुष और 55.5 प्रतिशत महिलाओं) के रोगियों में देखा गया, इसके बाद पित्ताशय का कैंसर (40.9 प्रतिशत पुरुष और 45.7 प्रतिशत महिलाएं) और प्रोस्टेट कैंसर (42.9 प्रतिशत) का स्थान है।
रिपोर्ट ने सुझाव दिया कि कई कैंसर के लिए कीमोथेरेपी अभी भी सबसे विशिष्ट उपचार पद्धति थी, भले ही प्रस्तुति में रोग की नैदानिक सीमा कुछ भी हो, जिसमें यकृत, पित्ताशय, पेट, फेफड़े और बचपन के कैंसर शामिल हैं।
यह भी पढ़े► कैंसर और हार्ट अटैक से ज्यादा खतरनाक हो जाएगा सेप्सिस: शोध