Enjoy Eating Salty Fish? Watch Out for This!

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UNAIR NEWS – Eating a plate of warm rice with chili paste and salted fish is addictive. But we should not consume it excessively. Why? Because salted fish is as one type of food which trigger Nasopharyngeal cancer (KNF).

Beside salted fish, other types of processed fish such as smoked fish and other types of preserved fish can be bad for health if consumed excessively.

As stated by Achmad Chusnu Romdhoni, dr, SpTHT-KL (K), the chemical substances and preservatives in the processed fish can lead to cell mutations in the body. Moreover, the process of preserving the fish, marinated, smoked or cooked using firewood will change the protein content in the fish into a dangerous element

“If the body is unable to repair the damage caused by this cell mutation, then the cell becomes uncontrolled, the condition triggers tumor,” he said.

The number of KNF patients is increasing every year. Surabaya became the highest endemic area in East Java. It is believed that KNF treatment given was incomplete, thus causing an increase in number of cases. Not because of the costly treatment, but because of the stem of cancer cells as a factor inhibiting the healing process. This fact he managed to prove through his research.

The man born in September 1976 was intrigued to examine the phenomenon of KNF patients’ therapy which have never been optimal.

Theoretically stem cells (stem cells) of cancer exist in all types of cancer. This cancer stem cell is part of a tumor that is similar to normal stem cells. Cancer stem cells can divide, multiply, and transform into adult cells.

Through his research, the lecturer of Department / SMF of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Faculty of Medicine UNAIR-RSUD Dr. Soetomo Surabaya proved that cancer stem cell is immune or resistant to treatment with cisplatin chemotherapy . It means, the treatment process for malignant tumors or cancer will not be maximized because it is inhibited by cancer stem cell that is difficult to be eliminated.

According to him, the handling of this cancer is not enough just with the drug and radiation therapy and chemotherapy. To maximize treatment, combination therapy is needed to eliminate the cancer cells.

“Although patients have undergone radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and even taking the best drug, residual tumors are still found,” he said.

What are the symptoms?

KNF is a type of cancer that grows in the cavity behind the nose and behind the ceiling of the oral cavity. The clinical symptoms vary, depending on the severity. Generally, new patients check themselves when already experiencing a lump on the side of the neck, hearing loss, visual impairment, difficulty in swallowing, to nosebleeds.

Patients with KNF often complained of pain in the ear and experienced flu with some blood. This happens because the location of cancer is hidden, precisely located close to the brain. As a result, there is also a lump in the neck, central nervous disorders, to prolonged headaches.

Stem of cancer cells with normal stem cells are both produced from bone marrow (bone marrow). What distinguishes is that normal stem cells do not mutate. In contrast to cancer cell stem, these stem cells genetically cause cancer. When stem cell cancer mutates, it will potentially become a malignant tumor.

“Some references says that the remaining tumor is suspected to be a cancer stem cell. So any forms of treatment do not work in eradicating the malignant cancer cells. The worst of it, the stem cells could relapsed to form a new cancer, and it has been proven, “he explained.

In Indonesia, the KNF case is quite high. In any country, 80 percent of patients come with acute conditions making it difficult for the healing process.

Romdhoni feels the need to promote screening programs for early detection as well as dissemination to health workers at public health centers and communities, such as fishermen, workers in earthenware kilns, to communities living in industrial environments.

Other triggering factors

In addition to dietary factors, environmental factors such as cigarettes, the risk of working in industrial environments and full of smoke is also a trigger factor. But there is another trigger factor that is more feared and difficult to avoid, namely the threat of Ebstein Barr virus (EBV) and genetic factors (mongoloid race).

“In any countries including Indonesia it is difficult to avoid the risk of EBV virus infection. That’s because 90 percent of the population has positive serology, “he said.

In order to achieve advanced KNF stage, there is no more time. All depends on the malignancy of the tumor itself. If the growth is fast, then the time range to reach malignancy is also faster.

“If the growth of the virus is fast then the estimated time is about three months to become an early stage KNF. The condition can be worse if the patient exposed to other trigger factors. Growth of tumor cells will become cancer quicker, “he said.

The potential for KNF requires a combination of the above three factors. Viral and genetic factors cannot be avoided, then what can be suppressed is a risk factor of environmental carcinogens, such as from food preservatives and cigarettes.

“It is important for us to avoid consumption of preserved foods, reduce consumption of salted fish, avoid cigarettes, and improve healthy lifestyles,” he said. (*)

Author: Sefya Hayu Istighfaricha

Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh


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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).

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