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Cancer Prevention

Cancer prevention implies the strategy to eliminate or reduce known risk factors for cancer development and/or to treat persons at higher risk so that the target person or population does not develop cancer.

Valentis is committed to intensify the efforts in cancer prevention also.

Dr. Rahul Bansal is a professor is Preventive & Social Medicine with specific interest in the prevention of cancers.

a) Smoking Cessation

It is so unfortunate that 40 % of cancers in India are preventable and the main culprit is tobacco (whether chewed or smoked). Tobacco causes chronic inflammation and detrimental mutations in healthy cells which over the time convert to cancer cells and there is around 20 times increased risk of development of cancer in persons with tobacco abuse as compared to persons who have not had any history.

Research has consistently shown that stopping the tobacco consumption reduces the lifetime risk of cancer over time though there remains somewhat increased risk as compared to persons who have not had any history of tobacco abuse. So, given the very high increased risk of cancer due to tobacco and very high prevalence of beedi smoking and other forms, there is urgent need to focus on the efforts to help people stop this habit. The Government of India has initiated a commendable step by banning the chewable tobacco but tobacco in the form of beedi and cigarettes is still sold freely and people buy routinely. Many people find it difficult to quit smoking as nicotine causes addiction and people have craving for it. But, support therapies make it easier for people to quit.

Valentis has initiated specific result oriented programmes for smoking cessation

Dedicated smoking and tobacco cessation clinic every Thursday (with prior appointment); includes free consultation and counseling. Tobacco abusers are counseled and motivated to quit tobacco (or smoking) and if needed, one or combination of the following are employed

  • Nicotine Replacement (in the form of chewing gums)
  • Herbal tobacco-free and nicotine-free cigarettes which are specially designed to help quit smoking (and tobacco)
  • Accupuncture
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Intensive Followups with free consultations to monitor and check relapse

b) Lifestyle Modification

People with lifestyle which is more prone for the development of cancer are counseled to modify the lifestyle and appropriate treatment is given.

c) Genetic Counseling

Valentis is one of the few centres in North India to offer dedicated Genetic Counseling clinic. Genetic tests are available to identify the known detrimental mutations (which pose increased risk of cancer) in genes.

Valentis Cancer Hospital has collaborated with Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and MedGenome to perform tests for identifying genetic mutations with next generation DNA sequencing at much lower rates, which can be affordable by the majority of population.

To identify persons with high risk and then prophylactic treatment in the form of medications, surgery, etc.

  • BRCA 1&2 for breast and ovarian cancer
  • Panel of 94 genes for hereditary cancers
  • RB1 for retinoblastoma
  • RET mutations for medullary thyroid cancer
  • von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) mutations for renal cancer, hemangioblastomas
  • NF1 and NF2 for neurofibromatosis
  • Specific genes according to the family history

For patients with higher risk of breast cancer, medicines are used which have shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer as

Aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of cancers in general.

Prophylactic Surgery for breast cancers (Prophylactic Mastectomy) is an option for few patients.
Prophylactic Total Thyroidectomy with Total Parathyroidectomy and Autotransplantation of Parathyroid Glands in persons with

Prophylactic Cholecystectomy (removal of gall bladder in cases of gall stones) esp in endemic areas where incidence of gall bladder cancer is high as in Northern India along the Gangetic belt

d) Other screening tests as HPV DNA

Other screening tests as HPV DNA as if present, then, surgery to prevent the development of carcinoma cervix.

e) Vaccines for HPV

e) Vaccines for HPV for the prevention of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer in women and penile cancers in men