Cancer itself is a great scourge and the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has added fuel to its intense flame, causing more deaths. And it is essential to know more about the current dynamics of the incidence, treatment and death of cancer. Thus, how COVID-19 has impacted cancer care and what are the nutritional management of cancer and the current science behind it was discussed in the Episode-6 of HEAL-Thy Samvaad organised by the 'Healthcare Advocacy Group' — HEAL Foundation in association with ICCIDD on 3rd Sept' 2020.
Elaborating on the rising death rate of cancer because of the obstruction created due to COVID-19, Dr Harit Chaturvedi, Chairman, Max Institute of Cancer Care, said in the HEAL-Thy Samvaad, Episode-6, "Of course, the obstructions created by COVID-19 for patients with cancer have increased the current death rate of cancer. However, no need to worry but go for treatment positively. The cancer facilities are as safe as these were in pre-COVID times, so don't hesitate or make any delay in visiting for treatment."
Talking on the prevention of cancer and the role of nutritional management in its care, Dr Harit Chaturvedi added, "Almost 50% of cancer cases can be preventable if we take care of proper nutrition and a balanced diet. Healthy lifestyle, proper exercise and intermittent fasting also help prevent cancer. Addiction to tobacco and high-fat content intake in the diet and faulty lifestyle contribute to 35% and 15% respectively in the incidence of cancer cases. Fruits, vegetables, yoga & regular exercise help prevent cancer. The role of nutrition is pivotal in cancer prevention."
Moderating the session, Manjari Chandra, Clinical Nutritional & Founder, Manjari Wellness, said, "Research shows certain plant foods contain powerful compounds — called phytochemicals — that can help fight cancer and reduce the risk of its development. These specific foods may hold a key to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body. During COVID times, the role of good nutrition has substantially increased as it helps boost immunity, which helps fight all types of disease including cancer."