Advancements in Colon Cancer Treatment: India’s Innovative Approaches | Dr. Saphalta Baghmar

Cancer is among the most deadly diseases in the world, causing over 10 million annual deaths across the globe. Among the many types, colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer and the second highest contributor to the total deaths caused by cancer.

Over the years, India has experienced significant advancements in the medical field. Although cancer is still a challenge, it is much easier to overcome today than it was a decade ago. When it comes to colon cancer, the innovative approaches taken by Indian medical institutions seem promising and moving in the right direction.

Continue reading to learn about the advancements made by India in the realm of the treatment of colon cancer.

Colon Cancer: An Overview

Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, affected over 1.9 million people in 2020 and caused close to a million deaths. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this cancer accounts for almost 10% of the overall cancer cases in the world.

This cancer can be caused by poor diet and lifestyle or due to genetic factors. As with every other type, it is easier to treat when detected early. However, the asymptomatic development of the tumor in many cases makes it difficult to diagnose early on. In symptomatic patients, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and other such symptoms are common.

Advancements in the Treatment of Colon Cancer in India

The traditional methods of cancer treatment including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy are still practiced as primary treatments. However, these methods have advanced significantly and several new methods have emerged in the recent decades.

Here are some remarkable advances made by the medical industry in India.

1. Advanced Screening

People are more aware of the severity of cancer and the necessity of regular screening today. This has led to an increased number of early diagnoses for colon cancer. The screening programs and regular consultations offer people more in-depth insights into the symptoms and warning flags for cancer.

Imaging tests like CT Scans, MRI, and ultrasound can detect cancerous growth which is then confirmed by biopsy. Factors like the reduced cost of the procedure and the shorter time taken to procure the results have made the screenings and diagnosis easier.

2. Advanced Surgical Techniques

Surgery remains, to date, the most effective method to get rid of cancer. While it is most effective when the tumor has not metastasized to other parts of the body, it can successfully remove the entire cancerous mass.

Traditional surgery is demanding on the patients as it requires a longer recovery time and more extensive medication. However, advancements like minimally invasive surgeries and robot-assisted surgeries have made up for this drawback.

India has observed a 25% increase in the number of minimally invasive surgeries performed for colon cancer treatment over the last five years. Similarly, robot-assisted surgeries employed in cancer treatment have reduced the risk of complications during and after the surgery by 15%.

3. Emerging Field of Targeted Therapy

Targeted therapy is an emerging cancer treatment method that is showing considerable success in the treatment of colon cancer. This method targets a metabolic pathway or a characteristic unique to the cancer cells and works against it. Drugs like bevacizumab and cetuximab have been showing promising results.

In cases of an early diagnosis, targeted therapy showed a 30% higher survival rate than the traditional treatment plans.

4. Innovative Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is another progressive cancer treatment method employed in the treatment of colon cancer. Cancer cells have the ability to evade detection by your immune system and this treatment method nullifies these features. By different means, immunotherapy alerts your immune system and enables it to identify and attack the cancer cells. Immune checkpoint inhibitors like pembrolizumab are drugs used in this method that enable the detection of cancer cells at certain ‘checkpoints’ of the immune system.

Immunotherapy has shown around 40% response rate during the treatment of colon cancer in its advanced stages.

5. Customized Treatment

The innovation and resourcefulness of the Indian medical field now allow a personalized treatment plan. From the choice of treatment methods to the specific drugs used in the treatment, cancer treatment today is more patient-focused than ever.

The Future Prospect of Colon Cancer Treatment

The medical industry is expected to undergo many more advancements in the near future. With the increasing acceptance of robot-assisted procedures and the advancing field of artificial technology, treatments of different diseases and conditions, including cancer, will involve more advanced technology with promising results. This prospect also offers increased precision and efficiency of treatment procedures and a reduced risk of complications.

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