Contact : +91 11 111 1111

I Can Have Cancer



WHY ? What? WHO ? WHEN ? HOW ?

  • Incidence of cancer increasing.
  • Next to cardiovascular disease, cancer is the highest contributor to mortality worldwide.
  • But with appropriate measures cancer mortality can be decreased.
  • There is high probability of cure if cancer detected at an early stage.
  • Unfortunately, most people seek medical help at an advanced stage when cancer is incurable.
  • This is due to lack of awareness.
  • Some cancers are preventable with simple measures.
  • Many population based screening programmes to direct early cancer have been successful in decreasing cancer death.

Cancer is unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or blood stream.

The following people are at risk of developing cancer

Smoker :
Almost 30 to 40% of cancers are associated with smoking. A smoker has twice the chance of developing cancer when compared to a non smoker. The cancers associated with smoking include cancers of lung, food pipe, mouth, throat, stomach, pancreas, blood, urinary bladder, kidney etc.

Other forms of tobacco use like snuff / chewing also predispose to cancers like mouth and throat cancers.

Alcohol acts synergistically (Like a team member) along with smoking in causing cancer. It also can contribute independently to cancers like that of liver.

Those exposed to environmental carcinogens:
A carcinogen is a substance which predisposes to cancer. These might be in one’s environment. For example Dyes, Asbestos, mercury, radiation, smoke etc. are carcinogens.

Those exposed to food toxins:
Some food preservatives, additives or adultrants can cause cancer. Examples: Ajinomoto, Calcium carbide (Artificial fruit ripeners), Preservatives containing substances like nitrosoamines etc. Some types of food like salted preserved fish, smoked food, fatty food, low fibre diet also predispose to cancer.

Those who had a family member (Genetically related) suffering from cancer:
Some cancers like breast cancer, colon cancer, thyroid cancer can be transmitted in families.

Those suffering from years of heart burn:
Regurgitation of acid contents from stomach into food pipe can cause cancer.
Other factors like old age, sexual promiscuity (Cancer of cervix / penis), viruses (Hepatitis, HIV, HPV) can contribute to cancer formation.

Cancer means crab (Which tunnels under the ground without any evidence on the surface). Similarly cancer can grow to an advanced stage without manifesting except for subtle symptoms.The following might be warning symptoms / signs for which you have to go a doctor:

    • Persistent Lump

Any here in the body – Without pain more dangerous

  • Non healing wound / ulcer.
  • Bleeding from natural openings – Mouth / Nose / Anus / Vagina




  • Persistent cough.
  • Unintentional weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite / Dyspepsia.
  • Alteration in bowel habits
  • Jaundice
  • General fatigue / pallor (anemia) / weakness
  • Family member having cancer.



  • Simple examination by your doctor.
  • Biopsy of swelling / ulcer
  • Imaging – X ray / Mammogram / Scans
  • Endoscopies / Colonoscopies
  • Blood investigations – Tumor markers
  • PAP Smear (Cervix smear)

Plan of Action:
Educating Public

  • Release of Books and Reading materials
  • Articles in Journals and papers
  • Annual health exhibition

Educating children

  • School health education programme to inculcate healthy food and exercise habits for primary prevention of cancer


  • Camps at Rural areas (Mobile Clinic) with free scan and endoscopy facilities for early detection of cancer

For Treatment

  • Subsidized treatment for those detected with cancer during screening programme for the under privileged and needy

Contribution of GEM Hospital & Research Centre to GI Cancer Care

Laparoscopic Surgery Specialty development
Till mid 80’s open operations are the standard procedure where hospital stay is longer high morbidity such as severe pain, prolonged recovery and increased wound related problems. Key hole concept was introduced with advent of computerised chip camera in late 80’s. Realising the importance of laparoscopic surgery to Indian people without delay Dr.Palanivelu was the first to introduce laparoscopic surgery in south India. 70% of Indian population is comprised of farmers and labourers. Faster recovery with minimal morbidity is vital to our people.

Initially introduced for gall stone disease now most of the operations are being successfully performed by laparoscopy including cancers. Gastrointestinal cancers are found in higher incidence and the incidence is increasing in young people. Due to less pain and faster recovery people are willing to undergo laparoscopic surgical treatment. GEM Hospital is a pioneer in laparoscopic cancer operation. Now GEM Hospital is the centre which performs highest number of Minimally Invasive GI Cancer Surgery in India. Also GEM Cancer & Research centre has made sure minimally invasive cancer treatment affordable to the Indian community by simple innovative techniques.

Innovative Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures for GI Cancers

Laparoscopic esophagectomy for esophageal carcinoma
Esophageal cancer, a common cancer in India is one of the most dreaded diseases. Laparoscopy has done away with the pain and complications associated with open esophageal surgery. Dr Palnivelu is the pioneer in Laparoscopic esophageal cancer surgery in the world.

  • Best Paper Award, “viii International Congress on Endoscopic Surgery, Peru 2012
  • Best Technique Award, 12th World Congress of Esophageal Diseases, Japan 2010
  • First in the world to develop a newer technique for removal of cancer of esophagus, 2010
  • Best EAES Video Award & First Prize, Congress of European Association of Endoscopic Surgery, Sweden 2008
  • Invited to Hongkong to demonstrate live surgery in Asia Pacific Congress – ELSA 2006
  • American College of Surgeons Annual Congress 2005, Best Video Award
  • Published in Journal of American College of Surgeons in July 2006 issue

Minimally invasive esophagectomy: thoracoscopic mobilization of the esophagus and mediastinal lymphadenectomy in prone position—experience of 130 patients. J Am Coll Surg. 2006 Jul;203(1):7-16.

Laparoscopic Whipple’s operation for cancer pancreas
Laparoscopic Whipple operation is considered the most complex and major operation in the world. Dr. Palnivelu, drew attention of the world when he first demonstrated this complex surgery at Atlanta. He has performed the largest number Laparoscopic Whipple operations in the world

  • Invited Faculty to present in Panel Discussion “SAGES 2012 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2012
  • Olympic Silver Medal, in International Olympic Surgery, Phoniex, USA, 2009.
  • Presented in 11th World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery and ELSA2008, 2008, Yokohama, Japan
  • Course director for Lap pancreatic resection Japanese Society of Endoscopic Surgeons – JSES, Japan 2006
  • Participated in debate on laparoscopic Whipple’s in World congress, Berlin, 2006
  • Presented in 3rd International Congress of Minimally Invasive GI Surgery, Italy,2003
  • Presented in Live International Workshop on Foregut Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Miami, 2003
  • Published in Journal of Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Surgery in August 2009 issue

Evolution in techniques of laparoscopic pancreaticoduodenectomy: a decade long experience from a tertiary center.. J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 2009;16(6):731-40.

Laparoscopic gastrectomy for carcinoma stomach
Stomach cancer is common in south India. Dr. Palanivelu quickly adopted Laparoscopic surgery to perform curative surgery for stomach cancer in more than thousand patients and gave new lease of life to these patients.

  • Curative operation for the commonly occurring cancer in Indian population, American College of Surgery, Sanfrancisco, 2005, Best Video Award.
  • Presented in Society of American Gastrointestinal Endo Surgeons (SAGES), USA, 2005
  • Invited to deliver a key note lecture in Japanese association, Tokyo, 2006 Great Honor bestowed on him by Japanese Society.

Laparoscopic colonic resection for cancer of colon, rectum and anus
Colon and rectal cancer are rapidly increasing in India because of adaptation of western diet. Dr Palnivelu won many laurels for his techniques among the western surgeons who considered the treatment of this disease their domain.

  • Plenary Video Presentation on “SAGES 2012 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2012
  • Presented in 13th World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery, Mexico, 2012
  • Totally Laparoscopic Proctcolectomy with ileo anal pouch anastomosis – First in the world.
  • Laparoscopic Anterior Resection With Total Mesorectal Excision: Crossing The Final Frontier With Ultra-Low Anterior Resection And Coloanal Anastomosis: A Prospective Non-Randomised Study. – Int. Journal Of Colorectal Diseases
  • Laparoscopic anterior resection and total mesorectal excision for rectal cancer: a prospective nonrandomized study. Int J Colorectal Dis 2006.

Training and conferences