More than 1 million cancer cases are reported in India every year. At Least 1300 of the patients succumb to cancer every day. Access to affordable and accessible cancer care is still a challenge in most parts of India. Healthcare needs urgent modification to stem rising cases and deaths per year.
Challenges associated with the problem
In India, the healthcare facilities for cancer patients are poor. The ratio of trained medical professionals to cancer patients is abysmally low. India only have 200 oncologists per 1 million patients. This impacts the quality of cancer care. Well equipped hospitals are only available in bigger cities. It has put the rural population under great physical and financial stress.
Due to the dearth of medical professionals, ill-equipped hospitals, and expensive medical care, eliminating cancer is becoming a big challenge for us. 95% of the cancer care facilities are in urban India whereas 70% of the total population lives in rural India. People from small cities have to face physical hardships as they access cancer care facilities in big cities.
Lack of cancer awareness among people is also a major reason for rising cases. In most cases, people fail in detecting cancer at an early stage. It worsens the situation.
Cancer care during the lockdown
Lockdown has affected every aspect of human life. new challenges have emerged for cancer patients due to the pandemic. Many have just perished because they couldn't access the facilities. Mumbai is an example. The city has reported 1.78 million Covid cases to date and travelling through Mumbai or finding a bed in the hospital become next to impossible.
The rapid increase in cancer cases in India demands an equal distribution of trained medical professionals, equipped hospitals, Infrastructure, and affordable cancer care across the nation.
There is a need for cancer literacy among people. With proper awareness drives the management and prevention of cancer can become a lot easier. People will be more aware of the causes and symptoms related to the diseases and make appropriate changes in their lifestyles accordingly.
There are a number of ways one could prevent cancer on a personal level. Following a healthy lifestyle, eliminating the use of tobacco and frequent mass screening for cancer are a few tips to keep in mind. Fighting cancer is a global challenge. And so far the world is losing. Making it into a win will be the responsibility of every government.