Cancer deadly yet curable with prevention and awareness
Around 30 per cent of cancer will disappear totally if tobacco is completely banned in India and awareness is created at grassroots level, say experts.
Cancer mortality rate in India — compared to the world — is less than one per cent today where, with treatment being affordable (A chemotherapy while costing Rs 180 earlier being now available for barely Rs 8), the survival rate is 90 per cent now and people’s lifespan has increased to over twice as much from 30 years age, said Dr Ramakant Deshpande, former president of Indian Society of Oncology, while speaking at the first anniversary programme of Somaiya Ayurvihar — Asian Institute of Oncology in Mumbai on Sunday. Highlighting the deadly “Erin Brockovich” chemical which is among the 1,600 chemicals found in polluted ground water, Dr Sangita Pikale, president, AMC, said today’s water systems too contributes to cancer.
Dr Deepak M Parikh, chief, head and neck surgery, said an Asian Cancer Foundation has been set up by the AIO in which 90 per cent of the funds go directly towards palliative care of cancer patients who can’t afford treatment.
Mumbai’s rich including top companies are contributing towards this project and Rs 50 lakh had been collected so far, he said.
“The AIO is also supporting training here of oncology doctors from Madhya Pradesh and other states to improve their cancer patient treatment capability. Besides, we will be bringing in the latest Rs 18 crore worth of robotic equipment within next six months to handle cancer surgery, while also charging almost zero treatment charges in desperate cancer cases,” he said.