New Delhi: Global health experts, including the WHO Deputy Representative in India, praised the country’s efforts to prevent cancer and highlighted the need to break the silos of cancer care and join in at the 2nd Cancer E Summit today a continuum of treat care ‘approach. The summit, organized by the Integrated Council for Health and Wellbeing (IHW), is chaired by Manipal Hospitals in Dwarka, New Delhi.
“Cancer has a catastrophic impact on people, and around half of cancer cases can be prevented. Tobacco has been shown to cause 27% of all cancer-related deaths. Viral infections such as hepatitis and human papillomavirus (HPV) cause about 20% in low and middle income countries (LMIC). India’s National Viral Hepatitis Control Program covers 91% of its population with hepatitis B immunization. This is commendable alongside Ayushman Bharat’s cancer treatment. Solid surveillance and evaluation of programs and investment in cancer surveillance are important – India’s national cancer registry program needs to be strengthened as it currently only covers 12% of the population, “said Ms. Payden, WHO Representative in India.
“We are delighted to have India as a participating country in the WHO Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer. WHO advocates a continuum of cancer treatment and has adopted a global strategy to accelerate cervical cancer eradication that sets 90-70-90 targets by 2030: 90% of girls who will be fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine by the age of 15 are; 70% of women were examined at age 35 and again at age 45. and 90% of women identified with cervical cancer are treated, ”she adds.
Padma Bhushan Prize Winner Dr. Suresh H. Advani, Consultant Oncologist at Jaslok Hospital, notes the changing trends in cancer prevalence and says, “The Bombay Cancer Registry shows that the number of breast cancer cases is increasing by 2% every year. On the other hand, cases of cervical cancer are falling in large cities. However, vaccination for preventing infection in India is pretty universal for hepatitis B, but very universal for HPV vaccines. We’re seeing a bad trend in follow-up exams and despite the widespread availability of information, there is no disappointment with tobacco use. “
“” There are more than 230 cancer centers, research institutes, patient groups and nonprofits that are currently members of the National Cancer Network. However, we need to ensure that quality cancer care is available in the hinterland of our country, as social determinants of health are important. This year’s budget is promising as it shows the government’s focus on healthcare and I hope it will bear fruit in a few years, ”said Dr. CS Pramesh, director of the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai and organizer of the National Cancer Grid.
With millions across the country losing the battle for life to the terrible disease of cancer, it is high time we took an integrated and comprehensive approach to tackle it. Changing environmental conditions, new lifestyles, smoking and consumption of tobacco products among adolescents in India have increased their susceptibility to cancer. Smoking and consumption of tobacco products are the main causes of cancer and we urgently need to address this problem by raising awareness and educating people about the threat. The cancer awareness campaign and youth education must start at the grassroots level.
Raising awareness of the disease is key to reaping the benefits of breakthroughs as well. We need to highlight preventive measures and early detection. Large-scale screening in both rural and urban areas can save thousands of lives as cancer is curable before or at its early stages. By intervening in time, advanced cancer can also be treated better clinically. Mr. Raman Bhaskar, Hospital Director, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, New Delhi
“Until the beginning of the millennium, cancer was considered a western disease in India. We are on the threshold of the third decade and we know how wrong the guess was. 1900 people die of cancer every day, and the ICMR’s National Cancer Registry Program shows the number of cancer cases in India is increasing. By 2026, the total number of new cancer cases in men will increase annually to 9 lakh 34,000, while those in women will increase slightly from 6 lakh to 9 lakh 35 thousand. The pandemic has hit cancer patients with one double blow – hospitals have closed as their weak immunity feared cancer patients could easily get COVID-19 infection and preventive screening stalled. It is estimated that the lockdown and travel restrictions may have left 1 lakh cases per month undetected. The IHW Council will leave no stone unturned and make sustained efforts to help cancer patients, ”says Kamal Narayan, CEO of the IHW Council.
Dr. Anil D’Cruz, President of the Union for the Fight against Cancer International (UICC) said: “Out of 3 patients diagnosed with cancer, 2 succumb in India, while only 1 in the West succumbs to cancer. Cancer cannot be treated in silos. We need multifactorial improvement in public health care and we need to have a diagonal and vertical approach to cancer health care. In the first case we need to strengthen basic services that address all non-communicable diseases, including cancer, while in the second we need to strengthen our centers of excellence. “
“With private health professionals providing cancer treatment in Tier II cities, the cancer treatment scenario in India has changed dramatically. Ayushman Bharat has helped the poor gain access to care and digitization will continue to help. The “lack of center” is the problem and the government is making efforts in that direction. We are working with various agencies to bring innovation to more people, ”said Saumil Mody, General Manager, Oncology, Novartis Oncology India.
Director of the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai; Dr. Zareen Delawar Hussain, Managing Director and CEO, Integro Pharmaceutical & General Secretary, Palliative Care Society, Bangladesh; Raman Bhaskar, Hospital Director, Main Hospitals, Dwarka, New Delhi; Dr. Bhawna Sirohi, Senior Medical Oncologist, Apollo Proton Cancer Center, Chennai; Mr. Vibhav Garg, Director of Health Economics and Government Affairs, India HUB & ASEAN, Boston Scientific; also took part in the one-day virtual summit.