Focus of cancer care must be on reducing mortality: Dr Badwe

Namrata Devikar
Saturday, 20 January 2018

PUNE: India’s cancer care system should focus on reducing mortality rate among cancer patients, said Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director of Tata Memorial Center. He was talking on ‘Cancer control in India’ during the 6th Banoo Coyaji Oration on Saturday at Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC).

PUNE: India’s cancer care system should focus on reducing mortality rate among cancer patients, said Dr Rajendra Badwe, Director of Tata Memorial Center. He was talking on ‘Cancer control in India’ during the 6th Banoo Coyaji Oration on Saturday at Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC).

As a part of giving better care, he also said that a National Cancer Grid has been established with around 131 cancer hospital across India as part of it. “We need to focus on incidence rate, compliance of treatment and prevention of deaths among cancer patients. For example, the compliance in paediatrics groups is only 60 per cent. Reason being many families are out of work during the treatment of a child. So, an initiative we took was to give parents housing and help them get a temporary job through an NGO. Once we started helping the children economical, educationally and emotionally, the compliance rate increased to 93 per cent,” said Dr Badwe.

He also noted that the incidence of cancer was around 100 per 1,00,000 population. For semi-urban populations, it was 60 to 75 and in rural areas it was 40 to 50. Also, every decade, there is a 5 to 10 per cent transition in numbers as the population moves from rural to semi-urban and then to urban areas. Mortality is 64.5 per 1,00,000 population. 

“Out of these cancer cases, 40 per cent of cancers are tobacco related. Around 70 per cent cancers are preventable. Gutka ban since the last six years has been so effective that in the last two years, majority registry in Maharashtra has shown a fall in oral cancer. Around 15 per cent urban and semi-urban cancers are due to obesity and 15 per cent due to infections in cervix, stomach and penis. Palliative care is also badly needed. To add to all of this, we need entire spectrum of population to get necessary care roof,” he said.

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