5 Cancer-Fighting Super foods


1All cruciferous veggies (think cauliflower, cabbage, kale) contain cancer-fighting properties, but broccoli is the only one with a sizable amount of sulforaphane, a particularly potent compound that boosts the body’s protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals,  says  Jed Fahey, ScD. A recent University of Michigan study on mice found that sulforaphane also  targets  cancer stem cells-those that aid in tumor growth.

Helps fight: breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers

Your Rx: The more broccoli, the better, research suggests-so add it wherever you can, from salads to omelets to the top of your pizza.



All berries are packed with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. But black raspberries, in particular, contain very high concentrations of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which slow down the growth of

premalignant cells and keep new blood vessels from forming (and potentially feeding a cancerous tumor), according to Gary D. Stoner, PhD, a professor of internal medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Helps fight: colon, esophageal, oral, and skin cancers

Your Rx: Stoner uses a concentrated berry powder in his studies but says a half-cup serving of berries a day may help your health, too.


3This juicy fruit is the best dietary source of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red hue, Béliveau says. And that’s good news, because lycopene was found to stop endometrial cancer cell growth in a study in Nutrition and Cancer. Endometrial cancer causes nearly 8,000 deaths a year.

Helps fight: endometrial, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers

Your Rx: The biggest benefits come from cooked tomatoes (think pasta sauce!), since the heating process increases the amount of lycopene your body is able to absorb.


4Their phytosterols (cholesterol-like molecules found in plants) have been shown to block estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells, possibly slowing the cells’ growth, says Elaine Hardman, PhD, associate professor at Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia.

Helps fight: breast and prostate cancers

Your Rx: Munching on an ounce of walnuts a day may yield the best benefits, Hardman’s research found.


5Phytochemicals in garlic have been found to halt the formation of nitrosamines,  carcinogens formed in the stomach(and in the intestines, in certain conditions) when you  consume  nitrates, a common food preservative, Béliveau  says.  In fact,  the  Iowa Women’s Health Study found that women with the highest amounts of garlic in their diets had a 50 percent lower risk of certain colon cancers than women who ate the least.

Helps fight: breast, colon, esophageal, and stomach cancers

Your Rx: Chop a clove of fresh, crushed garlic (crushing helps release beneficial enzymes), and sprinkle it into that lycopene-rich tomato sauce while it simmers.


6A study out of Michigan State University found that black and navy beans significantly reduced colon cancer incidence in rats, in part because a diet rich in the legumes increased levels of the fatty acid butyrate , which in high concentrations has protective effects against cancer growth. Another study, in the journal Crop Science, found dried beans particularly effective in preventing breast cancer in rats.

Helps fight: breast and colon cancers

Your Rx: Add a serving-a half-cup-of legumes a few times a week (either from a can or dry beans that’ve been soaked and cooked) to your usual rotation of greens or other veggies.


What you must know about Leukemia – a type of Blood Cancer

In India, cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths and nearly 13 per cent of all deaths caused every year are due to Cancer.

While there are more than 100 types of Cancer that have been discovered till now, a common type of Cancer which is prevalent these days is Blood Cancer.

In Blood Cancer, the rapidly multiplying cancerous cells attack different aspects of the circulatory system. The most commonly known Blood Cancer is Leukemia, which affects blood and blood-forming tissue of the bone marrow. In Leukemia, our body produces a large number of abnormal cells.

The average rate of Leukemia incidence in India is still lower than that of other developing countries. Yet in the past five years, there has been a 30 per cent rise in the number of victims affected by Leukemia in Delhi.

Blood Cancer - Leukemia

For a better understanding, it is important to distinguish between Normal Blood Cells and Leukemia Cells.

Difference between Normal Blood Cells and Leukemia Cells

Our blood is made up of a fluid called plasma and three types of cells with specific functions. These cells are:

  1. White Blood Cells – Fight infections
  2. Red Blood Cells – Carry oxygen to different parts of the body
  3. Platelets – Form blood clots that prevent bleeding

Bone marrow is a soft spongy tissue found in some of the bones in the body, such as the hip and thigh bones, where blood cells are formed.

In Leukemia, a person’s body produces too many abnormal white cells that are also called Leukemia Cells. It is, therefore, also called cancer of white blood cells. These abnormal white cells keep dividing continuously. Moreover, these cells don’t die when they become old or damaged which begins to impact important functions performed by our blood cells.

Chronic and Acute Leukemia

Leukemia can be classified into two types – Chronic and Acute Leukemia – depending on how quickly it develops and progresses.

In Acute Leukemia, new Leukemia cells are born rapidly and these cells are unable to do the job of normal white blood cells. A person with Acute Leukemia feels tired most of the time, gets bruised and infected easily than normal.

Chronic Leukemia develops slowly and these cells work like normal white blood cells. In this type of Leukemia, symptoms may go unnoticed since the person doesn’t feel sick at all in the beginning. One may get to know about it only after a blood test.

Causes and Symptoms

The exact cause for most of the Leukemia cases is still unknown. However, some factors that increase the chances of its occurrences include exposure to high level of radiation, high exposure to certain chemicals like benzene, smoking etc.

Many-a-time, people are unable to identify its symptoms. these include –  fever, night sweats, frequent infections, weakness and fatigue, frequent headaches, decreased appetite and weight loss, easy bruising of the skin etc.


Leukemia can be diagnosed with a simple blood test by examining samples of your blood and bone marrow. Other than the blood test, following tests are recommended too:

  • Bone marrow biopsy
  • Lymph node biopsy
  • Lumbar puncture

There are many tests related to Leukemia available at Oncquest Laboratories at affordable prices. Oncquest Laboratory is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and specialist doctors to diagnose Leukemia at the right time, for better prevention!



Tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis – International and national recommendations

CaptureDr Monika Agarwal, M.B.B.S., M.D., (Microbiology), Consultant Medical Microbiology, Oncquest Laboratories Ltd, New Delhi.

India, the world’s most populous country accounts for a quarter of the world’s annual incidence of TB. Every year approximately two million people develop TB in India and 300,000 die of TB i.e. 2 deaths every 3 minutes. Over 15 million patients have been treated and 3 million additional lives have been saved by the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) over the last decade.


However, despite a comprehensive national TB control program that provides Guidelines for implementation of TB diagnosis and treatment, there is still a long way to go and the emergence of drug-resistant TB has become a major public health concern.

There are many challenges for TB control in India. Prompt, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of TB are not only essential for good patient care but also the cornerstone of any initiative for tuberculosis control.

The need for quality and standards for TB care including diagnosis and treatment is made necessary where a largely unregulated and unmonitored private sector accounts for almost half of the TB care delivered in India. Thus, it was felt essential to develop and disseminate the standards of TB care that is particularly relevant in Indian context, acceptable to the medical fraternity in both the public and private sector in India.

There are total 21 standards in International standards for tuberculosis care (ISTC) and 26 In Standards for TB care in India (SCTI)

  • Standards 1-6 describes the standards for TB diagnosis
  • Standard 7-13      describes  the  standards  for  TB Treatment
  • Rest other, for addressing HIV infection and other co- morbid conditions and public health and prev

To ensure early diagnosis, providers must be aware of risk factors for TB and perform prompt clinical evaluation and appropriate diagnostic testing.

Clinical diagnosis and screening :
  • Any person with symptoms and signs suggestive of TB including cough >2 weeks, fever >2 weeks, significant weight loss, haemoptysis etc. and any abnormality in chest radiograph and Children with persistent fever and/or cough >2 weeks, loss of weight / no weight gain, and/or contact with pulmonary TB cases must be evaluated for TB.
  • People living with HIV (PLHIV), malnourished, diabetics, cancer patients, patients on immunosuppressant or maintenance steroid therapy, should be regularly screened for signs and symptoms suggestive of TB.
  • All TB positive patients should be screened for HIV also.
Laboratory Diagnosis:
  • Chest X-ray should be used as a screening tool where available to increase the sensitivity of the diagnosis in conjunction with laboratory diagnosis. Although sensitivity is high but specificity is low.
  • Microbiological confirmation on sputum is required in all patients (adults, adolescents, and children who are capable of producing sputum) with presumptive pulmonary They should undergo quality-assured sputum test for rapid diagnosis of TB (with at least two samples, including one early morning sample for sputum smear for AFB) for microbiological confirmation.
  • Patient at risk for drug resistance, who have HIV risk or who are seriously ill should have Xpert MTB/RIF performed as the initial diagnostic test rather than microscopy. An Xpert MTB/RIF may be used as the initial diagnostic test in adults and children presumed to have tuber
  • Serological tests are banned in India and not recommended for diagnosing tuberculosis.
  • Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) & Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA): TST and IGRA are not recommended for the diagnosis of active tuberculosis.
  • Direct use of Line probe assay on smear negative clinical samples is not recommended at present.
  • For extra pulmonary TB, appropriate specimen from the suggested sites of involvement must be obtained for microscopy/ Culture/ Xpert MTB/ Molecular test/ histopathology examination and DST. An Xpert MTB/RIF test is recommended as the preferred initial microbiological test for suspected tuberculous meningitis because of need of rapid Xpert MTB/RIF may be used for testing of gastric lavage and specific non respiratory specimens but should not be used as a sole test if it may come out negative in patients with high suspicion of extra pulmonary tuberculosis.
  • In children diagnosis of TB is challenging because difficulty in collecting samples and pauci-bacillary nature of Standardized TST (>10mm induration in non-immunosuppressed) may be used in combination with microbiological investigations (CB-NAAT, smear microscopy or culture), history of contact, radiology and clinical symptoms.
  • Patients with symptoms suggestive of TB without microbiological confirmation but strong clinical suspicion and other evidence (eg. X-ray, FNAC, histopathology) may be diagnosed as probable TB and should be notified.
  • Among smear and Xpert MTB/RIF negative person with strong clinical suspicion of pulmonary or extra pulmonary tuberculosis, Anti tubercular treatment should be initiated after collection of appropriate specimen for culture and if culture comes out negative and patient is not improving, stop the treatment but if improvement is there, continue with the treatment.
  • Response to Anti tubercular treatment in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis,  new  as  well  as  re-treatment cases, should be monitored by follow-up sputum microscopy/culture (one specimen) at the time of completion of the intensive phase and at the end of treatment. Xpert MTB/RIF is not suitable for monitoring because it detects nonviable bacilli, but is useful for detecting rifampicin resistance in patients who remain smear positive after 2 months of intensive phase. Simultaneously Culture-DST (at least for R and if possible for Isoniazid (H); Ofloxacin (O) and Kanamycin (K), if R-resistant/MDR) should be performed.

WHO- approved micro-biologic tests for tuberculosis:





Craving vs Hunger: It’s healthy to eat, not to over-eat. Know the difference!

Ever wondered what the difference between a craving and a genuine hunger really is? This distinction is important to recognize as one is need while the other is simply greed!  Often, cravings pass as hunger but are actually quite different in nature and results.

Hunger is an in-built feeling. It’s your body’s way of letting you know it needs strength and energy to survive. There are various ways of how we experience it. Out of the many signs that can be listed, let’s harp upon a grumbling stomach, which we regard as “hunger pangs.” Also, headache and weakness which is caused due to hunger. What you’ll need then is something nutritious and filling to eat and not sweet desires such as cookies, candy, cake, etc…Once this feeling is established we term it as an inevitable urge to eat. It’s completely normal and natural. So hunger is the body’s way of letting you know you need food.

Cravings differ from person to person. These are sudden food temptations regardless of when you last ate; rather they occur as a result of mood swings, emotional weakness, sadness, boredom, loneliness or anxiety. Having said that, it’s important to state those strange moments when you’re merrily going about your day and suddenly you get clobbered with the thought of food! While your stomach is completely full and you’re perhaps in no mood to stuff yourself any further, yet the desire to eat more just refuses to subside! You might regard that as a “hunger pang” or “being foodie”, however scientifically that urge to eat when you’re completely full is called CRAVING.

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Often, our cravings are confused with hunger and we end up overeating. To know the difference you need to listen to your body and know whether your body is truly hungry or you’re craving a food due to temptation or emotional reasons. Now-a-days when the food is just a call away, you generally lose your focus and fall for your cravings. Giving into too much craving can lead to overeating, unhealthy eating, and cause unwanted weight gain.

One way of differentiating between the two is by rating your hunger on the scale of 10, where ‘1’ would mean you are starving and ‘10’ would imply to your stomach being full. For a healthy lifestyle, other than working out, it is important to keep a check on what you are eating. For those who aim for a healthy body need to fight these cravings that occur out of nowhere. Hope this article helps you in maintaining your food habits in a healthy way.

Tip: Cravings tend to last for about 20 minutes, a fact you can always keep in mind while focusing on not-to-over-eat. Remember, they will pass if you resist them.