In a report released on the occasion of World Cancer Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the number of cancer patients in India is increasing rapidly. Over the past few years, more than one million new cases have emerged. More than 700,000 people have died in the meantime. According to the report, five million seventy thousand cancer cases have been detected in males and 500,000 new cases in women.
According to Dr SVS Dev, head of the surgical oncology department at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), 60 per cent of cancer cases will be in Asian countries in the next few years, with India being the most affected. Despite the emergence of new cancer treatment techniques and drugs in India, the cancer survival rate is still lower than in developed countries. Seventy percent of cancer survivors survive in the United States and Europe, but only 40 percent survive in India.
While the government is taking a number of steps on its own to control cancer, the lack of specialized doctors is the biggest obstacle. At present, there is a doctor for one hundred cancer patients in the US and four hundred in England, while in India there is one doctor for sixteen patients, says Dr Dev.
A report by the Indian Cancer Society shows that between 1990 and 2016, cancer patients in India increased by twenty-eight percent while the death toll from the disease increased by 20 percent. About one million people may have cancer in the next ten years. Currently, only the major cities in India have cancer hospitals.
Most of them are private, where getting treatment is not enough for ordinary people. Cancer treatment is expensive, so it is a big problem for middle class and poor patients in India. About thirty percent of the patients have medical insurance and the remaining seventy percent of the patients have to spend money out of their own pocket, which is not the case.