A vast number of Indians fall prey every year to the dreaded disease called cancer. The numbers are shocking as almost 1300 Indian surrender to cancer every day. Instead of declining, the numbers are on the rise every day and is expected to grow by 25% by 2020. These statistics are enough to make the nation worry about its arrangements for the treatment of this disease as it’s becoming one of the main causes of deaths in India. According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer, Cancer is bound to claim 9.6 million lives worldwide, amongst which the share of India will be a fearing 8.7%. To change the situation, the government should be focusing on providing the best cancer treatment all over the nation. The facilities for cancer care that exists and are upcoming are not sufficed to deal with the situation. As of now, there are few cancer hospitals in Noida, few in Delhi and some in Mumbai. When it comes to the best treatment, there are best cancer hospitals in Noida with cancer specialists in Noida.
The number of facilities is way too short compared to the number of patients suffering or diagnosed with cancer. One of the main reasons for the increasing number of cancer patients is ignorance and denial. A delayed diagnosis means a delayed treatment, which most of the times turns out to be fatal. Most people switch to a different doctor when the treatment takes a turn towards cancer diagnosis or treatment. The belief that a cancer patient always dies leads to the evasion of treatment because of its aggressive and expensive nature. Early diagnostic and treatment can ultimately lead to a reduction in a number of deaths because of cancer. There are some other problems that exist because of which the percentage of deaths for people diagnosed with cancer is increasing rapidly. Such as –
- The shortage of proper screening technology, especially in rural areas causes a problem in detecting the symptoms of the disease in more than half of India’s cancer patients.
- Not awareness about the disease in rural parts of India is one more serious concern.
- A study conducted in 2015 depicted that there were only 2700 mammograms in India, a screening device for breast cancer.
- The same study showed that there were only 120 PET-CT scanners, out of which most were in the cities that were Tier-1.
- Another study of 2014 concluded that 70% of the cases of cancer in India leads to death due to lack of medical resources. The fact that many people don’t seek treatment until the very last stage, where it gets impossible to treat the situation is also one of the leading cause.
Cancer amongst women is growing at a rapidly increasing rate in India. After the U.S. and China, India accounts for the third-highest number of cancer cases in women. Some of the major problems are –
- Not only the cancer cases but the deaths because of cancer are also increasing rapidly. The primary reason for this is the late diagnose and treatment.
- According to research, 1200 out of 2000 women diagnosed with cancer every day are in the later stages of cancer.
- Apart from increasing the cost of the treatment, late detection also reduces the five-year survival rate by 3 to 17 times for breast and cervical cancer.
- According to the estimation, the cost of treatment is likely to almost double if it’s detected in the later stage.
- Another issue of concern for women in India is menstrual hygiene. As shocking as it sounds, the truth is till 2018, only 12% of women were using the sanitary pads, eventually leading to infections.
Special cancer care institutions are necessary for the nation for many essential reasons. Misdiagnosis, being one of the main reasons. For example, symptoms of tuberculosis overlap with lung cancer symptoms. If a patient with lung cancer goes for diagnosis. Patient with not so great availability of good healthcare services might be treated with remedies for tuberculosis first as tuberculosis is a very common disease in India before being diagnosed and treated for lung cancer.
Another limitation is the cost of cancer treatment. The medicines and therapy have seen the rapid advancement in the technology such as highly focused radiation therapies, monoclonal antibodies, immunotherapies and many more. The therapies being advanced and everything is expensive for most of the people and will require help in financial terms from government and other organisations.
The government is constantly taking important steps to improve access to healthcare, especially for cancer care. In most of the developed countries, major health care expenses, include cancer treatment are handled by insurance purchased by the patients or are offered by the government itself. Whereas in India, patients are bound to pay for the large expenses themselves most of the times. Recently, the central government started a universal health care programme allowing all the eligible citizens to get free health care including the costly chemotherapy and supportive medications. This programme ought to change the scenario for people with low income as it’ll be easier to get cancer treatment for them.
The utmost need for the balance of the ratio of patients to the number of facilities available for them should be the main concern as obviously better treatment requires better facilities.