CANCER IN INDIA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cancer: Why it needs our immediate attention

Cancer, a disease dreaded by everyone, is the second largest killer disease. Cancer will become a major health problem in the next two decades and will pose a challenge in providing treatment to the affected Indian population. Annually, 10 lakh new cancer patients are detected in India. It is estimated that the number of new cases would increase to 30 lakhs by the end of the second decade of this century.

 

While head and neck cancers are more frequently seen in men, breast and cervical cancers are most common among women. In urban population, breast cancer incidence is higher than that of cervix. Cancer of the cervix affects approximately 28% of the female population and is a disease related to personal hygiene, water consumption, number of children born and sexual habits. It is caused by human papilloma virus. Incidence of breast cancer is increasing in India every year. It is more common among urban women and in those who either do not have children or those who avoid feeding the child with breast milk. In fact, only 7% of breast cancer cases are hereditary.

Nearly 50% of cancers in men are related to tobacco consumption.

50% of human Cancer are either totally preventable or can be detected at a very early stage when cure can be assured 

The Challenges

Unfortunately, treatment of cancer today involves very expensive equipment and the medicines required are exorbitantly expensive limiting the scope of treatment to those who can afford. Large segments of the society, including the middle class, get excluded from effective treatment options. The institutions which are accessible to the common man are overcrowded leading to deficient care and long waiting periods. Many of the patients who come from long distances abandon the treatment, return to their native places never to receive treatment again. In the case of rural patients, the supporting family members who accompany the patient are wage earners in rural areas, and cannot be with the patient beyond a few days. The patient loses family support soon and has to fight the battle alone.

 
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