Talking about cancer can be daunting for most people. However, not the case with GoLive Indonesia discussion series. This month, GoLive Indonesia is grateful to have Dr Chandra Kirana, Research Officer at Basil Hetzel Research Institute, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Adelaide, as our presenter. Dr Chandra got her degree as a Biologist from Gadjah Mada University and completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide and worked at CSIRO Human Nutrition in Adelaide and Wakefield Biomedical Research Institute in Wellington in New Zealand.
The discussion on colorectal cancer (CRC) highlights on how this particular type of cancer is usually found in older generation and developed countries, while increasing trend is also found in developing countries. In the case of Indonesia, Dr Chandra elaborates that there is still very little research being done on CRC. Furthermore, she enunciates previous research which found that the risk of getting cancer due to genetic history is only at the 10% level. The way we treat our body, what we eat and what kind of lifestyle we choose pose a greater 30% cancer risk. Similarly, what we do to the environment (pollution, drinking water) and virus or bacterial infestation expose 30% each of cancer risk to humans.
While talking about CRC prevention and detection, Dr Chandra explains how Australian Government set up a program that automatically ask permanent resident and citizen at the age of 50 to send their stool sample for a faecal occult blood test as CRC screening. When dealing with cancer, samples, data and early detection mechanism is imperative.
Our discussion then establish that high fibre diet is extremely important in staying healthy. When asked about Indonesian cuisine, Dr Chandra describes that Indonesian’s diet is rich of fibre, especially our green vegetables. In addition to that, she also emphasizes on the benefit of having turmeric as part of our diet. Research shows that turmeric contains good anti-cancer properties. Also soursop leaves is recommended for prostate cancer patients.
The ninety minutes discussion went by swiftly. It is intellectually stimulating to learn that when talking about cancer, the amount of research, resources and factors involved to find a cure is ample. Biologist like Dr Chandra represents a small side of the struggle to overcome CRC. Information about cancer alone is often found lacking, this is where Dr Chandra emphasize on the importance of a collaborative effort in research and hope that Indonesia will be able to keep up with the challenge.
GoLive Indonesia is deeply thankful to Dr Chandra Kirana for sharing her knowledge with us.
Photos courtesy of Reyza Ramadhan.