Media Coverage – OnCare Cancer Center News

  • 2016/03/09 | SCMP
    【NEW】Dr. Ada Ma - Staying alert to combat Lymphome

    Staying alert to combat lymphoma

    The lack of specific symptoms for lymphoma system makes staying alert crucial in fighting this common form of cancer. Lymphoma is one of the ten most common cancers in Hong Kong and yet public awareness of this disease is relatively low. It occurs in the lymphatic system which drains lympha throughout the body and plays a crucial role in helping to fight infection and disease.

    However, symptoms are not specific, occur in different parts of the body and often very similar to those of more common illnesses such as the cold. As result diagnosis is often delayed and it is not usual for people only to seek help when the symptoms persist over a long period of time or when swellings occur in the lymph nodes in areas like the neck, armpit and groin area.

    Types of lymphoma

    Lymphoma is not one single cancer and can be divided into two main types: Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).

    NHL is the most common type, accounting for around 800 cases of newly diagnosed cancer cases in 2012 according to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry.

    It can be aggressive or indolent. In its aggressive form, tumors can grow rapidly within just a few weeks. However, it can be cured completely if diagnosed and treated early.

    Treatment of the indolent type is mainly through drugs to control the symptoms and delay spreading.

    Hodgkin Lymphoma is the less common and accounts for only 20 per cent, or one in five, of all lymphomas diagnosed.

    However, treatment is usually successful in curing or controlling the condition for many years.

    Spotting symptoms

    Like all cancers, early diagnosis is crucial in treating lymphoma successfully and it is important patients do not suffer in silence and consult their doctor as soon as possible if they experience symptoms.

    The most common symptom is swollen lymph glands, especially in the neck, armpit or groin (i.e. inner thigh). However as there is no pain, many people do not suspect lymphoma, even when they find small lumps.

    Also as the lymphatic system runs throughout the body, the symptoms can be related to the organ closest to the position of the primary lymphoma. For example, when the tumor is in the lymph nodes within the chest, patients may experience chest pain or breathing difficulty. However, these can also be symptoms of many other benign diseases which may initially deter patients from seeking medical advice.

    Pay attention to your body

    Checking your body for lumps regularly, for example while bathing, can help detect lymphoma early. If sustained or growing lumps are found in the neck, armpits and groin, you should seek medical advice immediately.

    Even if you do not detect any lumps, you should also seek medical advice if you experience the following symptoms persistently:

    • fever;
    • excessive sweating, especially at night;
    • weight loss.

    Stay positive

    In addition to early detection, an accurate pathologic diagnosis is crucial if treatment is to be effective. This will include using advanced equipment such as CT (computed tomography) or PET (positron emission tomography) to determine the size, location, and the stage of the lymphoma.

    A biopsy (tissue test) will also be carried out to determine the type of lymphoma, to allow the oncologist to decide on the most appropriate treatment.

    Unlike other cancers, surgery is seldom used as a treatment option for lymphoma. Instead, treatment is more likely to include chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy.

    These may be used together or singularly depending on the situation. If necessary, radiation therapy may also be used to achieve the optimal results.

    As with all forms of cancer, regular follow-up appointments and checking are required after treatment and a balanced diet, regular exercise and maintaining a positive attitude are important in preventing a recurrence.

    Download Attactment  

  • 2013/01/01 | South China Morning Post
    Dr. Ada Ma - Testing times for us all

    It's no suprise that cancer has now emerged as one of the major health burdens worldwide. In Hong Kong, the total number of new cancer patients per year has almost tripled from 8,900 in the mid-1970s to about 25,977 in 2009.

    View Attactment  

  • 2013/05/02 | Hong Kong Economic Journal
    High-Risk Factors of Testicular Cancer

    Testicular cancer is regarded to be rather uncommon in Hong Kong. The testicles are one of the male reproductive organs. They are glands that begin to produce sperm and androgens since puberty. Testicular cancer is different from other common male cancers. It arises mostly in young men under 45 years old. However, its recovery rate is very high.

    If it could be diagnosed and treated before metastasis, patients’ survival rate could be as high as 95%.

    Testicular cancer is mainly divided into 2 categories, namely Seminoma and Non-seminoma. Around 60%-70% patients are diagnosed with the former. It could appear in patients of all age. Usually patients in 30 -40 years old suffer from Seminoma testicular cancer. For Non-seminoma testicular cancer, its pathogenesis usually happens on young patients. 30%-40% patients are suffered from it. It could grow and spread rapidly, causing great harm to human bodies. Besides, there is also a rare kind of testicular cancer called Lymphocytic testicular cancer.


    Download Attactment  

  • 2013/04/24 | East Week
    Pancreatic Cancer Is Non-preventable New Oral Chemotherapy Drugs Could Tackle It to Maintain a Good Life

    Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease which could arise without any obvious cause. 5 out of 100 patients could survive for more than 5 years. The efficacy of traditional chemotherapy drugs is very limited. Also, it triggers a lot of complications. Recently, some researchers had discovered that the oral chemotherapy drugs S-1, which is originally used for treatment of gastric cancer, works on tackling the pancreatic cancer.  It would bring fewer complications. In other words, the drug could reduce the negative impact of treatment on patient’s life quality.

    According to Dr. Kevin Loh, there is still not any efficient mean to detect pancreatic cancer at present. Also, no specific symptoms could be discovered on patients. In terms of symptoms, it includes a wide range of different illnesses such as having jaundice for unknown reason and dark urine. Upper abdominal pain, back pain, sudden weight loss or even deep vein thrombosis could also arise. Thus should people suspect that they are probably having the cancer, they should seek for medical advice. With proper medical treatment, the threat of cancer could be minimized.

    Download Attactment  

  • 2013/04/18 | Hong Kong Economic Journal
    Diagnosis and Treatment for Gastric Cancer

    The main method of diagnosis for gastric cancer is to conduct a gastroscopy for patients, and take specimen from the stomach for chemical check. This is to confirm the cancer’s type, location and its affected areas. Usually the cancers of patients in Eastern countries are located in the gastro ptosis; whereas for westerners, the cancer is most often discovered in the gastritis channel interface. In the Eastern world, patients are predominantly the aged, who were infected with helicobacter pylori causing gastritis. For westerners, they are usually diabetic, and often have gastro esophageal reflux. Gastritis is thus gradually developed and became gastric cancer eventually.

    The first step of treatment for gastric cancer is to conduct a surgery. Patients will also need to go through a computer scan and CT scan to check the relationship of cancer with the surrounding organs, and whether the cancer cells have metastasis or not. If the cancer has already spread, the first step of treatment will no longer be surgery. One has to note that, in anytime, surgery is the only radical mean for treating gastric cancer. Thus it will always be the first choice of treatment.

    Download Attactment