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Dr Namita Pandey Sheds Light on the High Number of Cancer Cases Among Women in India

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Maharashtra 400076 
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The number of women suffering from cancer in India is presently third highest and is growing rapidly. We asked Dr Namita Pandey, a surgical oncologist at Dr. L H Hiranandani hospital to share her inputs about the topic and here’s what she had to say.

Late detection and awareness come as a prime reason for it. Latest data shows the number is growing annually at the rate of 5%. These numbers may be accountable for the registered cases but there will be multiple cases where the person would be suffering from the disease undetected or unregistered. Hence the actual figures will be scarier than these.

Mortality rates for breast and ovarian cancer in India rank highest. The lack of awareness, sub-optimal medical infrastructure, less availability of screening and a low ratio of doctor-patient are the prime reasons. The other reasons are the low socio-economic status of the patient, the taboos involved with the sexual organs and the low priority given to women health in lower socio-economic class.

More than 50% of the cases in India arrive in stage 3 or 4 and that decreases their survival. Reports say India has the highest number of mortality to incidence ratio in the whole world.

There is a need for a holistic approach towards cancer treatment in India. There should be a well-planned treatment pathway from prevention to early detection and complete treatment apart from affordability and accessibility.

India will be able to show better figures in cancer care if we primarily focus on “the prevention”. Burning issues like obesity which is not only a primary cause of all kinds of major cancer but also of many other diseases like Diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases; should be handled more prudently. Proper screening and awareness amongst the women can help them to come up early. Last but not the least affordability of treatment calls for an urgent and imperative action since the cost of cancer treatment is higher than other diseases.

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