High fiber rich diet can prevent cancer: Dr. Sanjay

Dr. Sanjay Sharma, one of the leading oncologists of the country with an experience of more than 35 years, specializes in radiation and medical oncology in Mumbai.

He is specialised in Oncology/Onco surgery from Tata Memorial hospital Mumbai, had Fellowship from The Salon Kettering Cancer Centre, New York and National cancer centre, Japan. He has done indepth studies and had multiple publications on the cancer of the oesophagus, lung, breast, stomach and GI malignancies along with ovarian cancer.

He was with Tata memorial hospital for 30 years and now is with Lilavati hospital, Bombay Hospital, Raheja Hospital & Asian Institue of Oncology.

Dr. Sanjay Sharma answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

My sister in law diagonised as SCC. As per doctor she cannot withstand Camo nor operation.She is 58yr/5’1”/45kg Pl.advise.

I need to know her details including her CT Scan, bloodtest, biopsy reports and the treatment she is taking. You can mail them to me.

Dr. Good afternoon, Is it safe to keep breast getting lump removed if size is 3.2×2.5×2.0 cm. Lymph nods taken are negtive in biopsy report. Thanks Rajeev

Depends on what type of lymph it is. If you have the biology mail them to me.

How can parents with a family history of cancer prevent their child from it? Regards Dikshit.

If there is no genetic that is no multiple siblings involved then the cahnces are low by way of balanced diet, avoid tobacco and alcohol and exercises.

Are females more prone to cancer than males? If yes, why?

No! not at all.

I want to know your take on Mastectomy Doctor.

Theoretically you have a high incidence of breast cancer after you have 3 siblings in a family having breast cancer and you have a positive BRCA1 and 2 but I do not suggest it to the patients if they are very young and if the patient is willing to come for regular check ups. Because if you detect cancer early you have an equal chance of living a normal life. Secondly by doing such Mastectomy there is still a 15 percent chance of getting cancer again.

Does doing yoga everyday prevent from cancer?

Any form of exercise is good!

I am married. My wife is quite healthy and active. But I want to know how often should she examine herself against any cancer?

It is a good idea after the age of 30 yrs for a lady to do herself breast examination atleast once a month and if a lady is over 50yrs, a mammogram once a year , even an ultrasound of the pelvis is an option after the age of 45yrs.

How does being obese or overweight increase the risk of Cancer? Thanks.

Because of the free floating excessive estrogens especially in the ladies is known to increase the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. Also been proved in males to have high chronic cancer.

Doctor is a low fat and high fiber rich diet help to prevent cancer of any type?


Does too much coffee or tea trigger cancer symptoms?

Not proved. Tea is infact ? preventive. Coffee is No! not proved.

How is alcohol related to Cancer?

High incidents.

Do antioxidant supplements also help to prevent cancer?

Partly, if the food is balanced.

Good afternoon Doctor. Does the consumption of more fruits & vegetables rich in antioxidants lower the risk of Cancer?


Doctor Kindly advise how can we take an appointment with you. I would like to show all the reports pre surgery and post surgery of my wife who has recently gone through breast surgery. thanks Rajeev Garg

Mail me at drsanjaysharma5@gmail.com to take an appointment.

My wife got treated with a breast cancer early stage lump sz3.3×2.5x.2 lymph nodes biopsy rpt negative harmn sensitivity negative, does she need radio? how can I take appointment with you? rgds rajeev

Send me her details of her type of operations and biolgy ER PR CRB2 .Mail me at drsanjaysharma5@gmail.com to take an appointment.

Can one completely combat Cancer by Chemotherapy as in the case of cricketer Yuvraj Singh?

His case very very unique, chemosensitive and there is almost a hundred percent chance that he would do well.

What is Chemotherapy Doctor in simple words?

Injection or oral tablets (chemical) given to the person which goes and destroys dividing cells plus it kills cancer but also causes side effects due to its effects on normal cells as well.

I have also heard of people not with a family history & not using tobacco having cancer. When does this happen?

Its not so common but it is due to other lifestyle modifications. Viz-a-vis dietary and other environmental factors.

I have a male child of 10yrs. What steps can be taken by me to prevent him from Cancer?

Give him right food, let him play and grow peacefully and ignore if no family history.

With so much to read about the ‘C’ disease today Sir, what is your opinion on its treatment today?

Treatment is advancing everyday, we are saving lots of lives with good quality than before and tremendous headway in our molecular science development which helps us to treat patients with target therapies.

How does family history increase the chances to trigger cancer?

Very occasionally genetic. More commonly lifestyle.

When does a woman run a risk of having Ovarian Cancer?

If she has family history, treatment of infertility with hormones or obesity.

Can you please inform about the latest tests that are available for ovarian cancer?

The best one is get a good sonography of the abdomen and pelvis along with blood tests namely CA125 only if there is an ovarian enlargement.

Sir, i am aged 35 diagonised with stage 1b ovarian cancer and had oophorectomy followed by 6 rounds of chemotherapy completed in July 2012. The problem is severe pain in feet which sometimes is intolerable. Is there any remedy for this?

This is not the symptoms of ovarian cancer but could be because of chemotherapy. You may take tablet PREGABALIN 75mg daily for 2 months. Take high dose of vitamin and calcium for your early menopause.

What are the earliest symptoms of Ovarian cancer?

Enlargement of the ovaries causing pain, lump in the abdomen.

Doctor, How do I know that I am at a risk of Ovarian Cancer?

I would like to know your age, any family history, any treatment for infertilty or any form of hormone replacement in any form, you can mail me and I can reply to you. drsanjaysharma5@gmail.com.

Do non-smokers also have a risk of getting lung cancer?

Yes!!, if they are passive smokers.

My dad has been smoking for nearly 20yrs now. Does he need to go for an annual lung screening?

Precisely, provided he stops smoking!

I have heard that long doses of Vitamins can help treat lung cancer. How true is it Dr.?


Why is chemotherapy and radiation necessary before the surgery (if) involved in lung cancer?

It is not necessary.

Good afternoon Dr.Sanjay. How long does the chemotherapy treatment last for lung cancer?

Average you need 4-6 cycles once every three weekly. But if the response is good there is a maintenance therapy which is once a month till such time that good effect continues.

Is stomach cancer completely curable? Thank you.

Very early stage, yes!

What are the early symptoms of stomach cancer?

Good question. Persistent Dyspepsia for a longer period of time should not be treated but a Gastroenterologist must step in and do Endoscopy to rule out sinister disease. Late stages the patient might have vomitting, pain,etc.

Sir, What are the basic causes of stomach cancer?

Smoking, high spicy diet, chronic ulcers not treated properly and presence of bacterial infestation called H pylorie infestations which is common in India. And not but the least alcohol is also the cause.

sir,does taking birth control pills cause ovarian cancer and infertility? and does taking treatment as ovulation induction and IVF cause cancer in long term?

Birth control pills are really not the cause of infertility. If it has happened it could be a co-incidence. Yes it has side effects like high incidence of ovarian cancer.

My mother has dignose stomach cancer adenocarcinoma is it curable . her tumor is situated in lessor curvature.pl tell me the seriousness & treatment for that

Yes it is a problem .We need to stage the disease by good CT Scan, PET Scan. And then inform me, if receptible, it could be operated and if not she could still be treated with upfront chemotherapy. Inform me of the CT if done. My email i.d is drsanjaysharma5@gmail.com.

Dear Sir, I am 34 yrs old. I have 11/2 yrs old son. There was no breastfeeding from the day he was born. there was no milk secreation in me. I want to know future consquences for not feeding my baby. what are the pores and corns i ll have in my health

Unfortunate that you could not breast feed. Though you had delivery at right time but because of no breast feeding you have to be more cautious, that is you have to do self breast examination monthly and sonography of both the breast once a year. If any changes then report to breast cancer specialist at the earliest. Your chances of breast cancer are not very high if you maintain regular exercises.

My mother aged 68 – cancer of right breast – metasis of lung. 6 sessions of chemotheraphy and is on drugs since Mar’12. She was on Femera for one year and now on Tamoxifen 10 gm. Could there be any specific reason for changing the drug.

Depends who is treating the patient and why it has been changed. The only thing I suspect is may be the increase in the disease in the lungs or may be financial reasons which you know better. But in her case I would like to know her biology, her ER Pr Crb2 and what is her disease status in her lungs after one year, because if her ER PR positive Tamoxifen is not the best drug. I would appreciate if you send her details of the factors asked by me then only we could suggest something on the same.

Is breast cancer completely curable today? Thanks.

Early stages if detected, then yes! good chance for the life.

How can a woman take precautions from her early stages of life to avoid breast cancer?

Good question. Marriage at right age that is 24-25 yrs. Child bearing before 28yrs. Proper breast feeding for good period of time. Balanced diet with less oily food. And more exercises.

Is breast cancer mostly hereditary?

Less than one percent.

Hello Dr.What are the basic reasons that lead to breast cancer in woman?

It depends on the issueless women who have not breast fed their child . Late or no marriages, obesity, modern lifestyle that is food ingestion with high saturated fatty acid content in the food. Lack of exercise, smoking and very rarely genetic.

Sir, What are the chances of re-currence of Breast cancer if a person undergoes complete masectomy (right breast) at an early stage (T2N0M0). Recently cyrst observed during mamography in the left breat, is there is any chances for recurrence again.

The survival depends on the biology of the cancer. Viz-vis the knowledge about the ERprCrb2 is needed and even the age of the patient. But the local recurrence ranges between 6-10 percent depending upon the biology and the actual treatment given thereafter. Also to certain extent it depends upon the surgeon and the quality of surgery done.