Bangalore: Cancer is a corrosive threat to the society which has caused millions of deaths and continues to nab people in its vicious cycle each year. Cancer is a major public health concern which has become one of the ten leading causes of death in India. Each year one million cancer cases get added to the existing list. It is estimated that there are about 3 million cases of cancer at any given point of time, as reported by Financial Express.
It was reported that forty percent of the cancer cases are because of tobacco usage. The leading cancer sites are oral cavity, oesophagus, lungs and stomach in men and breast, cervix and oral cavity in women. When calculated cancer accounts for maximum deaths in the world than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
Cancer is considered as one of the three greatest risks to the global economy due to escalating cost of care, the threat to productivity from death and disability and the effects of costs on household impoverishment by the World Economic Forum (WEF).As declared by UN the four key strategies resolution, which are tobacco control, obesity control, controlling unsafe use of alcohol and better nutrition needs to be implemented in order to control the increasing burden of cancer.
The senior consultant radiologist, Dr. Arjan K Bhatia said that a timely check up with medical aid and precautions can help reduce effects of cancer in the country. The modern technology equipments are capable of detecting even the smallest lesions much before the major symptoms kick in. This has made it easier to uproot cancer at its earliest stage before it turns malignant.
Diagnostic facilities like CT, Sonography, PET Scan, MRI and Nuclear Scan or PAP smear test can deduct any abnormality at an early age, which allows to cure many cancers like breast and cervical cancer at its early stage. Bhatia suggested that women above 40 must take PAP smear test to detect any precancerous cells on regular basis.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) which is the newly launched vaccine can also provide protection against HPV related diseases, which includes cervical cancer. If cervical cancer is localized, it can be almost 100 percent cured but when the disease spreads to the urinary bladder or rectum it gets complicated, said Bhatia.In case of the youth in the country, tattooing, which is very popular these days can increase the risk of skin cancer. As per the doctors, inks used in etching tattoos might contain toxics which could cause skin cancer, particularly blue ink, which contains cobalt and aluminum.
Dr. D.J.S Tula, consultant plastic surgeon at Delhi's B.L.K. Hosptial, said, “Everyone who gets a tattoo doesn't get skin cancer. But they have increased risk as most tattooists use ink which is arsenic. Many youngsters don't realize the damage tattoos cause to their skin. They want them for a lifetime. Certain designs are deep penetrated into the skin and damage muscles,” as informed by IANS.
When it comes to children suffering with cancer, the common reason paediatricians state is the lack of adequate funding for treatment which has resulted in the low survival rate. The rate of cancer cases in children is 14 in one lakh boys and 9 in one lakh girls. Dr Priya Ramachandran of Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital said, “Some children lose the battle only because they don't have funds. Our studies show that children who undergo the entire treatment have a survival rate similar to children in the west,” as reported by Pushpa Narayan for TNN.
Cancer can be fought by prevention and awareness and the battle is on, however with the increasing number of cases it needs to be revamped in order to get the number under control. The country is constantly making efforts however the responsibility to curb cancer starts at an individual level first.