Home » Beware Cancer
India has one of the highest cancer rates in the world dominating most International Cancer registries – a sad fact but true. The most frequently reported cancer sites in males are lung, oesophagus, stomach, and larynx. In females, cancers of the cervix, breast, ovary, and oesophagus are the most commonly encountered. Breast cancer is increasing, with an estimated 80,000 new cases diagnosed annually. It has replaced cervical cancer as the leading site of cancer among women while among men lung cancers predominate. Unfortunately 65% of these patients reach the hospital in the 3rd to 4th stage of the disease where only palliative care can be offered. Indeed the picture is dismal. If we pause for a moment and reflect deeply, it would certainly come as a shock to note that that this disease has certainly made ingress into every family circle affecting near and dear ones.
Pattern of distribution
The pattern is different between rural and urban areas. The incidence is higher in urban than rural areas. In urban areas, among men, lung cancer is most common and among women it is breast cancer, especially in the metros. In rural areas there is a higher incidence of head and neck cancer among men and cervical cancer among women". Thus preventive oncology and early detection is the need of the hour in a developing country like India. Delay in treatment even in a single stage can cost a life.
Compounding our problems further is the fact that India has a poor public health care system, unaffordable and insufficient medical insurance schemes that are out of reach of th even the middle class and a shocking lack of awareness of the magnitude of the problem. Yes - only a small miniscule of our population can afford good medical care and have general awareness.
What needs to be done?
The addition of about a million new cancer patients in the country each year leaves very little resources to meet the great demand imposed on the already impoverished health system of our nation. The country is certainly in need of many Voluntary organisations to lend a helping hand to battle this scourge and make India a leading health trend setter and ensure a disease free future for the younger generations to come.