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Feb 4, 2015
KDAH

Cancer dominance in India

Cancer affects everyone, regardless of their age, sex, religion, ethnicity, financial status and geographic location. Several media personalities including Yuvraj Singh, Lisa Ray & Manisha Koirala have been diagnosed with cancer and later declared cancer-free with the help of proper treatment.

This year, World Cancer Day will be celebrated with a theme – ‘Not Beyond us’. This theme highlights the fact that proper intervention of cancer is not out of people’s reach. It means that choosing healthy lives; delivering early detection; achieving treatment for all and maximizing quality of life is NOT BEYOND US

Cancer remains one of the most dominant diseases in India with the highest mortality rate. Research indicates that 1 out of 10 Indians are at a risk of getting cancer before the age of 75, while 7 out of 100 Indians are at the risk of dying due to cancer before their 75th birthday. With a million new cases being reported each year, experts warn that the incidence of this killer disease could increase 5 times by the year 2025.

Tobacco is the single most important factor which causes cancer in India. Other factors can be both internal (hormonal, poor immune system, genetic, mutations etc.) and external or environmental factors (unhealthy food habits, industrialization, over population, poor lifestyle etc.). Cancer is an illness that challenges the basics of a person’s existence in terms of how he/she feels, appears, works and lives. Statistics also reveal that Indian women are diagnosed with cancer more than men. Some of the most commonly detected cancers in India are cancers of the lung & oral cavity in men, and of the breast & cervix in women.

When it comes to cancer, the proverb – ‘Prevention is better than cure’ seems to be very apt. Doctors all over the world believe that most cancers can be treated with the best results if detected at an early stage. It is estimated that in India approximately 70 % lives are taken away in the first year itself, due to late detection. A study conducted also indicated that the survival rate of cancer in India is among the lowest in the world.

These statistics are alarming and makes us wonder if India is actually losing its battle against Cancer

In spite of having world-class medical facilities and advanced treatment options, the increase in cancer mortality rates can be attributed to lack of awareness and absence of timely treatment. Also, what cannot be ignored is our country’s healthcare infrastructure within the rural areas which is not sufficiently equipped to deal with all facets of cancer care – prevention, early detection, treatment and palliative care.

World Cancer Day is the perfect opportunity to increase awareness and spread the word that there is a lot that can be done at an individual, community & governmental level to reduce the burden of cancer in our society. Knowing the facts could save your life or the life of someone you love.

Let’s take part in this global initiative and help India build a string defense in its fight against cancer.

To know more about World Cancer Day, visit the official website: http://www.worldcancerday.org

The Centre for Cancer at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital brings together the expertise within the hospital to provide comprehensive and coordinated care for patients with all types of cancers, including solid tumours and blood related diseases. For details, visit: http://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/centresofexcellence/centrefor_cancer.html