One in every eight Indians suffer from cancer during their lifetime, revealed a survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Over 17 lakh new cancer cases are expected per year by 2020, with over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease. Lack of awareness and late detection lead to over 70 per cent cancer mortality in developing countries, showed the statistics. Cancer is definitely on the rise and hence there is an increased need for awareness for the same, said the doctors. Every year, World Cancer Day is observed on February 4 to raise awareness about its prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. This year’s theme is “We Can. I Can.” As part of this fight against cancer, Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre at Ruby Hall Clinic will be hosting an awareness programme on Saturday.
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Zuvius Lifesciences, an integrated research-based pharmaceutical company, announced the inauguration of ‘Pink Street’ initiative, in association with Canvas Tree, an artists’ collective, at the Symbiosis School of Economics. The initiative aims to undo the myths about cancer amongst the youth.
The two-day event will consist of interactive sessions between the students on campus and leading oncosurgeon Dr Anupama Mane. Dr Mane is a Consultant Breast Surgeon and Head of Breast Services at Jehangir Hospital. Medical oncologist and hemato-oncologist Dr Mangesh Ashok Mekha will also be part of the session and will talk on cancer prevention. Artists from Canvas Tree, along with these students, will be make city walls their canvas to convey messages on cancer care and awareness.
The Pink Street campaign will travel to 30 campuses across the country within six months, with an aim to directly address the youth and spread the awareness on cancer. Zuvius is taking its cancer awareness campaign up a notch by including street beautification in this initiative.
Cancer of the oral cavity is most common among men, and in women it is breast cancer. Oral cavity and lung cancer in men, and breast and cervical cancer in women account for over 50 per cent of all cancer-related deaths in India. Early screening, detection and treatment can significantly reduce fatalities, Dr B Srinivasan, member of Union of International Cancer Control.
Dr Rajendra A Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Centre said, “In 2011, the UN resolution declared four key strategies to curb the rising burden of cancer — tobacco control, alcohol moderation, obesity prevention and better nutrition. It is a mammoth task to improve the nutritional status of a nation of one billion people. However, control on tobacco, areca nut, alcohol, junk food is well within the reach of our policymakers,” urged Badwe.
Early diagnosis of cancer does not only help in successfully tackling it but also assists patients in terms of low treatment cost and out-of-pocket expenditure, Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck cancer surgeon at Tata Memorial Centre said.
Dr Kenneth Thorpe, Chairman, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, has carried out several one-on-one discussions and updated sessions with policymakers within the Government of India, as well as industry experts, to deliberate on the challenges in combating the growing incidence of NCDs in the country and formulate a way forward.
According to Dr Thorpe,”Although incidents of cancer is low in India as compared with high-income countries, the mortality rate due to cancer is relatively high and this is a distressing factor. Approximately 1 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year, with an estimated 6,00,000-7,00,000 deaths annually. Moreover, the incidence is projected to rise to 1.7 million individuals by 2035. This draws attention to serious inefficiencies in the provision of cancer care in the country.