Pranab: Multi-agency effort needed for lower cancers treatment costs

Our Bureau Bangalore December 23 | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 23, 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee laying the foundation stone of the State Cancer Institute in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Karnataka Governor Vaju Bala, Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and Union Minister Ananth Kumar are also seen. PTI

‘Affordable healthcare still a challenge’

There has been an exponential growth in the incidence of various kinds of cancers and the situation warrants sustained and consistent strategies for cancer control, said President Pranab Mukherjee.

Laying the foundation for the State Cancer Institute of Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology here on Wednesday, Mukherjee said, “The incidence of cancer has been increasing worldwide and India too is showing a steep increase in cases over the years.”

Alarming data

From the data available with the National Cancer Registry Programme of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), it has been estimated that on an average, one in about 15 men and one in about 12 women in the urban centres would be at risk of developing cancer in their lifetime.

“These figures, coupled with our rapidly growing population, underlie the challenge that the medical fraternity and policy planners will face in cancer mitigation and prevention,” he added.

Efforts have been made by the ICMR to make cancer a notifiable disease on a national basis with the objective of generating authentic data on cancer and associated issues which will help in mapping the resources for diagnosis, treatment and cancer control.

Mukherjee pointed out that reliable data would help in understanding the magnitude of the disease and formulating a more comprehensive and nuanced cancer care policy for the nation.

Early detection

“Early detection is normally a game changer in the overall treatment and management of cancer which will get a boost with reliable data,” he said.

In India, it is a matter of great concern that a vast majority of cancer patients are reporting with an advanced disease at the time of presentation, he said. “With the majority of our population residing in rural areas, the facilities for early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care are sub-optimal. We need to develop a system for early detection and proper disease management. We need to explore how technology can be best utilised for both prevention of cancer and its treatment. An appropriate and well defined communication strategy will be one of the key factors in the fight against cancer,” he said

Affordable healthcare

“Affordable healthcare is still a challenge for us. The cost of cancer treatment has been increasing owing to huge investments on trained manpower and equipment that are necessary for treatment. The Governments, both at the Centre and States, are making their best efforts for increasing the affordability of cancer treatment. Sustained and collaborative multi-agency effort is needed to minimize the suffering of patients and their families,” the President said.

The National Cancer Control Programme for India made several recommendations, such as establishing oncology wings in medical colleges to extend cancer care facilities to as many people as possible. Besides this, several regional cancer centres have been upgraded to State Cancer Institutes by the Central Government through provision of adequate funding to build infrastructure and procure state-of-the-art equipment necessary for diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

“One of the beneficiaries of this drive in the State of Karnataka is the Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology. This institute has been in existence since four decades and is one of the premier regional cancer centres for treatment and research on cancer. This Institute is providing cancer care facilities to the people of the State as well as to patients seeking care from other parts of India,” he added.

Published on December 23, 2015
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