A survey conducted by Philips Healthcare India with AC Nielsen has highlighted cancer as the single most worrying disease in comparison to conditions such as cardiovascular ailments, communicable conditions and other metabolic disorders. However, while 84 per cent respondents are aware that cancer needs immediate attention, only 36 per cent people are aware about the different cancer treatments.
According to the findings of the survey, cancer accounts for close to eight per cent of deaths in India, with lung and mouth cancer being the leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the country while cervical and breast cancer are the prime causes of death among females. The survey exhibited that high concern towards cancer does not match the knowledge levels with around 58 per cent people being unaware about various cancer symptoms. When it comes to identifying warning signs, it was found that lumps emerged as the most prominent symptom followed by sores that do not heal. The survey found that almost 85 per cent people believed that medical interventions are expensive, and due to that many people do not go ahead with treatment in time, thus worsening their conditions.
Dr TBS Buxi, Department of CT & MRI, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi said, “Cancer for most people has a lot of fear and unanswered questions attached to it. Since chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices one makes, it is important to embrace healthy habits like avoiding tobacco & alcohol, eating a healthy diet and being fit. It is equally important as a routine practise to conduct regular self-exams and go for preventive check-ups. It is essential for people to understand that this disease requires early diagnosis and is treatable with medical technology playing a critical role. Philips on its mission to increase healthcare access, continues to raise awareness on different types of cancer and the treatments available. We believe that the findings of this survey will create awareness which could lead to early detection and eventually help save lives.”
The survey further showed that when it comes to different types of cancer, people were more aware about breast, mouth and lung cancer in comparison to other cancers. The survey also brought out how 75 per cent people still believe cancer to be taboo. However, 78 per cent feel that celebrities talking about their personal experience with the disease encourages people to keep an open mind and take treatments to lead a normal life.
The survey was conducted in 15 of the leading metros and non-metro cities (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Patna, Indore, Cochin and Vizag) in India amongst around 3000 people.