A word or a touch by him
is a reassurance that the patient
is going to live a full life
“Keep your pride aside, when you go to Dr VP Gangadharan, he is so simple and down to earth,” I was cautioned by my peers. He is a demigod for thousands of people who got cured of cancer under his treatment or are undergoing treatment. They hold him close to their hearts with extreme reverence. They belong to all classes of the society. Among them are the richest and the poorest. A word or a touch by him is a reassurance to them that they are going to live a full life.
Dr VP Gangadharan is 24/7. He is Senior Consultant and HOD, Medical & Paediatric Oncology, Lakeshore Hospital, Cochin.
The doctor appears humility personified. He answers our questions coolly, explains about the dreaded disease and how it can be prevented.
By Sumithra Sathyan
Cancer is a spectrum of diseases where there is a rapid uncontrolled cell multiplication with lack of normal cell death.
Is cancer in children alarmingly high? How do children contract this dreaded disease at this young age, they don’t smoke, drink or chew tobacco, three main reasons for cancer in adults?
Cancer in children is not alarmingly high. How children get this disease is largely unknown as yet.
What are the cancers that affect children?
Major cancers affecting children are neurogenic tumours and leukemias. Neuroblastoma, bone tumours, lymphomas, Wilm's tumour, retinoblastoma, hepatoblastoma etc, also occur in children.
Treating a cancer-affected child is considered a big challenge, how are they treated?
Treating a cancer-affected child is a big challenge even as 75-80 % of cancers in children are curable. It is difficult to analyse the symptoms and diagnose complications. Psychological problems are also different.
How can we prevent childhood cancer?
There is no effective prevention programmes in childhood cancer since the causes are unknown.
Is cancer completely curable? Some say chances of recurrence even after it was completely cured are very high. Is it true?
Forty-five per cent of cancers in adults and 75-80 per cent of cancers in children are curable. Chances of recurrence depend on the stage and type of cancer. Recurrence chances are for five years in most of the cancers, after which the chance is same as a new person getting cancer.
Is it hereditary?
Chance of heredity in cancer is 5-10 per cent, that too for only a few cancers.
What is the role of our new lifestyle in spreading cancer?
Cancer is considered a lifestyle disease.
Is it true that non-vegetarians are prone to cancer?
Yes. It is true that non-vegetarians are more prone to cancer.
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