As an Indian, I felt proud today when I read
about how scientists at Bengaluru based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have
developed a revolutionary non-invasive bandage made with magnetic nanoparticles
to treat skin cancer. This is a pioneering achievement in the whole world and
tells a lot about our advancements in medical research.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer
according to World Health Organization, with one in every three cancers
detected worldwide being a skin cancer, and with the total number of detected
skin cancer cases annually standing at around 30 lakh. They are basically of
two types – the rarer but more lethal melanomas, and the more prevalent but
less risky non-melanomas.
Conventional therapies for skin cancer
include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Since their efficacy is not very
high, newer treatments are being developed around the world and one of the most
promising one is magnetic hyperthermia, which is basically about using magnetic
nanoparticles invasively to produce heat to kill off the cancerous skin cells,
under the influence of an external Alternating Current Magnetic Field (AMF).
But the versions of magnetic hyperthermia developed until now suffered
from drawbacks like non-uniform heating in the tissues due to
uncontrolled aggregation of the magnetic nanoparticles as well as their
toxicity in the body. The achievement of IISc researchers is that they
have solved both these issues by developing a non-invasive bandage which
has the magnetic nanoparticles built in and it offers uniform heating
to the affected tissue.
Moreover, in their experiments, these
scientists were able to demonstrate selective killing of only cancer cells,
with healthy cells left intact. This is no small achievement and it had called
for the interdisciplinary efforts of multiple departments at IISc. While I
admire their achievement and feel proud that an Indian team could achieve it, I
am more concerned about the lack of focus on modern preventive methods against
In other words, while the kind of works done
at IISc and elsewhere in the world are necessary, more important is educating
the people about the next-generation preventive methods possible against
various cancers. There is a world of difference between treatments after a
disease has occurred and preventive methods to ward off that disease.
Anyone who has been directly involved in the
treatment of cancer for a loved one would attest to this. Cancers as well as
cancer treatments like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are life-shattering
issues for most families due to the ambiguous outcomes and the enormous drain
on time and resources.
How much better would be to focus on effective preventive methods if they are available. In fact, they are available right now, right here in India too. My new book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’, is all about this preventive approach against common diseases.
When I say preventive methods, I don’t mean
the usual advice on diet, exercise or lifestyle, which most health conscious
people already know. What I really mean is the scientifically validated
Personalized Epigenetic Lifestyle Modifications against various diseases.
For example, it is common knowledge that excessive
exposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays in sunlight is the leading cause for
developing skin cancer. But most people don’t know that such UV rays can cause
skin cancer in someone only if he or she has a genetic susceptibility to
develop skin cancer.
And what if someone does have such a susceptibility
to develop skin cancer in their genes? There are Epigenetic Lifestyle Modifications
that can be prescribed for such a person, of which cutting exposure to sunlight
is only one step.
Similar is the case with hundreds of common diseases. Vieroots Wellness Solutions, a health startup that I founded recently, offers such a solution. Called as EPLIMO for Personalized Epigenetic Lifestyle Modifications, it is an Artificial Intelligence driven smartphone app that can generate such lifestyle modifications for over 200 common diseases.
Each person will have genetic
susceptibilities for only a few diseases, if at all, and EPLIMO takes this
input from a Genetic Susceptibility Test for hundreds of diseases, in one go.
Following this next-generation technology, which Vieroots has now pioneered in
India, diseases can be prevented so that collateral damage to health and
finances can be avoided later on. Prevention is indeed better than cure in
A disease free life is also at the center of healthy longevity and productivity, or in other words, a superhuman life. If you would like to take charge of your health in every way, Vieroots also has an exclusive club for you, called Superhuman Tribe . You are welcome!