Cancer is one of the top causes of death in India, after heart attack. The most common reason for this is that almost 70% patients approach the Doctor only when the recovery is rare. At advanced stage of Cancer, only 30% can be cured successfully with no chance of recurrence of the tumor. Not only due to the lack of awareness but also as most cancers are being developed in the body cavities, the symptoms are unspecific and easily neglected. This results in patients consulting only at advanced stages due to delayed diagnosis.
Dr Ramakant Deshpande, Oncosurgeon and Vice Chairman of Asian Cancer Institute, “Those who approach in the first stage of cancer most often have 85% chances of cure, in stage 2, there are 60% chances of cure, stage 3 falls to 30% and those who start treatment at stage 4 will not survive for more than 5 years. The increased number of patients who approach the doctor only after they reach advanced stages is based on the malignancy. The symptoms in certain types of cancer if based in publically knowledgeable areas are easier to detect. These patients approach the doctor at a pre palpable stage wherein cancer of the pancreas, lungs, ovary the symptoms are seen in the body cavities. It is not specific, and is often misunderstood to be stomach ailment or cough and is hence neglected. Such patients consult a doctor only in the advanced stages.”
“Cancers of oral cavity and lungs in males and cervix and breast in females account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India The top five cancers in men and women account for 47.2% of all cancers; these cancers can be prevented, screened for and/or detected early and treated at an early stage. This could significantly reduce the death rate from these cancers. The relative five year survival averages to 48.7%.Length of survival depends on the cancer stage at the time of diagnosis. The survival chance of a person becomes better if the cervical cancer is diagnosed and treated at earlier stages. Also the morbidity due to cancer treatment is very less if the patient is detected at an early stage .Therefore it is important to avail of cervical cancer screening like Pap smear Test which is a very cheap test and can be done at any hospital or nursing home. Regarding Breast Cancer, All females who are above 40 years of age should undergo Mammography test annually. As 60-70% of cancers detected are sporadic it is always better to have periodic health checkups done” said Dr Ajay Kolse, Consultant Radiation Oncologist, Holy Spirit Hospital.
Dr Priyanka Das, Oncologist, SRV Hospital, said, “Lack of awareness is the main concern for rise in number of Cancer patients within our nation. Increased awareness and mass screening have led to increase in the number of breast cancer patients approaching us at initial stages. Only early detection can help to cure the disease, those who approach at a later stage is given palliative care in most situations. There are approximately only 13% patients who approach us for treatment at the early stage of the disease; good prognosis is possible only with early detection. It helps is successfully providing treatment and cure. The successful mass screening of Breast and Cervical cancer is helping in creating awareness and providing timely treatment.”
Dr. Adwait Gore, Oncologist, Zen Hospital, says, “Cancer is one of the top causes of death due to lifestyle, food habits, stress life and much more. Would like to suggest do not ignore things like lump if they are not malignant. If cancer is detected in the early stages there is a very high chance of survival. One should be aware of any unusual changes they notice about their bodies. People should not ignore this symptom because of the cost for the treatment”
”People having colorectal cancer should always take care for their family members. As CRC is the 3rd most common cancer in India. 25% patient gets genetic colon cancer due to inherited transmission from one generation to another. In year 2016 have approximately seen 135430 cases out of which 5-6% is colorectal cancer.” adds Dr Gore
“There are certain types of blood cancer that can be healed with specialized targeted therapy; this is an advanced form of treatment. With the help of this target therapy, those in stage 4 can survive for more than 7 years as well. For Adenocarcinoma, genetic mutation or similar abnormalities there are a few other special techniques like using laser or robotics, this along with surgery helps the patient to survive with least change in their quality of life and this helps increase survival rate for prostate cancer or vocal cord cancer,” adds Deshpande.