The high number of female cancer patients in India has raised startling concerns about a lack of proper health care, late detection, and overall awareness in the country.
According to a report, there are about 2,000 new women diagnosed with cancer every day – a number projected to rise to 3,500 by 2025.
BBC reported that India has a low rate of cancer diagnoses, coming out at a rate of 100 per 100,000 people compared to the United States’ 300. This lower rate might be affected by the number of unreported cases in India as a whole.
The E&Y and Ficci Flo report revealed that Delhi, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu had the highest incidences for breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer.
Another prominent issue is late detection. Once someone is diagnosed with the later stages of cancer, treatment fees increase.In India, this often makes treatment unaffordable.
Breast cancer is the among the most common in India, making up 27 percent of all cancer among women, and has recently been on the rise. It’s often diagnosed in the late stages as opposed to the U.S. where it’s usually diagnosed in the early stages. E&Y reported that the 5-year survival rate decreases by 2.7 times and 17.2 times for breast and cervical cancer when detected in the late stages.
Cervical cancer makes up about another 23 percent of women diagnosed. It’s accountable for about a quarter of deaths among the diagnosed patients.
“It is one of the most preventable of all cancers,” said Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, director of the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research. “No women should be dying of cervical cancer.”
Yet women are dying from cervical cancer every day because of the lack of timely and affordable healthcare.
The call for action is clear: India’s government needs to increase the GDP expenditures of healthcare from 1.15 percent. It needs to focus on the supply shortages in its healthcare facilities, and HPV vaccines should be included in the free mass vaccinations supplied by the government.
India’s government owes its female population adequate awareness, screening, and immunizations to serve as possible prevention.
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