Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday expressed concern over rising number of cancer patients across country.
While interacting with scientists and faculty members of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre & Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in Vishakhapattanam, Andhra Pradesh, the Vice-President underlined the importance of establishing more affordable cancer treatment centres to provide preventive, curative and palliative care programmes.
“It is indeed a matter of serious concern for all of us that the incidence of cancer is increasing steadily and posing a serious challenge to healthcare providers in the country,” an official communiqué quoted the Vice-President as saying on the occasion.
“While the central and various state governments are taking various initiatives including setting up of cancer care facilities, the country needs more exclusive cancer treatment centres,” he added.
He also underscored the need of awareness and regular medical check-ups to contain the disease at the initial stage.
“It is very sad that a majority of the cancers are being detected in advanced stages for the simple reason that most of the patients are not presenting themselves early,” the Vice-President said.
“This situation needs to be reversed by creating awareness among the people on the need for regular medical check-ups and screening. Awareness in general population about the big ‘C’ will help in early diagnosis,” he added.
He said modern lifestyle and increased use of tobacco are among the major factors responsible for the disease.
Stating that there is a “need to step up facilities both in urban and rural India so that people get to know the status of their health and take timely treatment,” the vice-president said: “This can be done through mobile screening vans.”
“Various factors, including modern lifestyle and increase in life expectancy have also exposed the population to greater cancer risks,” he added.
Naidu also lauded the efforts of BARC and its alike for playing a crucial role in containing the disease.
“One of the major concerns for all stakeholders involved in healthcare sector is the huge of cost cancer treatment. The treatment costs have to be brought down drastically and this is where institutions like BARC can play a vital role by developing low-cost technologies and equipments,” he said.
According to “India against Cancer”, an initiative conceived by a group of medical doctors and researchers at the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), one woman dies of cervical cancer every eight minutes in India. For every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman dies of it in India.