Every year, 10 lakh Indians are diagnosed with cancer and another six to seven lakh die of it.
And it's feared that, by 2035, these numbers may almost double to 17 lakh new patients and 12 lakh deaths per year.
More cancer specialists, more hospitals and more money for research for India-specific affordable treatment are needed to change the cancer graph of India, said the paper, written mainly by researchers at King's College in London and Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel, Mumbai.
One of the authors, Dr C S Pramesh from Tata Memorial Hospital, said the worst aspect of India's cancer picture is poor life expectancy. Over 60% of cancer patients in the US enjoy an over five-year survival rate, but the corresponding figure for India is 30%. "It's worrying that between 60% and 70% of our patients die earlier mainly because they seek treatment only after their disease has reached an advanced stage,'' said Dr Pramesh.
The latest Lancet Oncology issue, in fact, focuses on India, China and Russia, as they account for 46% of all new cancer cases worldwide and 52% of all cancer deaths globally. It found that over two-thirds (71%) of cancer deaths in India occur in patients aged 30 to 69, with a significant number of premature deaths of people in the prime of their lives.
We must, as Indians come together and spread the awareness and make our government have a more serious approach towards this.
Reference : Times of India (12 April 2014)
Data from : Research paper on Indian cancer published in Lancet Oncology journal.