IndiaNoida: By an estimate, India lags 20 percent behind in cancer cure rate compared to West, thanks to utter lack of awareness, though at par with the best in the world in terms of treatment facilities and expertise. JAYPEE hospital cancer specialists underlined this ‘care gap’ on the eve of World Cancer Day ( February 4). They said delay in diagnosis results into less cure rate.

In a press conference , Cancer specialists of the hospital made a strong case for the need of forceful cancer awareness campaign so that the disease could be caught early and cure rate goes up in India just as it is in the west. They asserted in no uncertain terms that ,given the great advancement in treatment modalities, cancer is now curable provided we act in earnest just as warning signs appear. Delay in diagnosis is a recipe for disaster so far as cancer is concerned.

Another point that  emerged in  the press conference was that, besides lack of awarness, financial condition of  cancer patients  also creates a gap in the care. To offset this gap, people in general need to go for health insurance. This is the only was to handle the high cost of cancer treatment.

World Cancer Day 2023 marks the second year of the 3-year ‘Close the Care Gap campaign’.  Dr. Sudarsan De, Director, Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Malay Nandy, Director, Department of Medical Oncology, Dr. Ashish Goel, Director, Department of Surgical Oncology, Dr. Abhishek Gulia, Associate Director, Department of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Nitin Leekha, Associate Director, Department of Surgical Oncology, Dr. Atul Sharma, Senior Consultant, Department of Medical Oncology  urged people in unison that the need of the hour is to spraed awraeness about cancer the patient of which is incresing by the day. They bemoaned the fact that despite being world class in treament, India is losing lives due to cancer. If there are ‘gaps’ in the various stages of cancer care, such as in diagnosis, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and palliative care, then the enhanced despair become unimaginable.

Dr. Sudarsan De, Director, Department of Radiation Oncology, Jaypee Hospital said: “The mere mention of the word ‘cancer’ sends a shiver down the spine. On this World Cancer Day, we want people to be aware that most cancers can be cured and many can be controlled, particularly if they are identified and dealt with as soon as possible. By detecting cancer at its earliest stage, we get the greatest opportunity to prevent millions of untimely deaths worldwide.”

Further adding, Dr. Malay Nandy, Director, Department of Medical Oncology, Jaypee Hospital said: “Cancer thrives on late presentation of the disease. The delay makes it possible for the cancer to spread and cause harm. To win the fight against cancer, we must ensure that services for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as palliative care, are integrated into benefit packages as part of efforts to attain universal health coverage.”

“Lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet, physical exercise, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco use will go a long way in attaining this objective. Such efforts will not only save them from getting cancer, but will also help preserve quality life. On this World Cancer Day, I want to encourage everyone to become familiar with the warning signs and symptoms of cancer and to never hesitate to get help right away. And timely services for needy cancer patients in turn help in truly realizing this year’s theme of Close the Care Gap,” concluded Dr. Ashish Goel, Director, Department of Surgical Oncology, Jaypee Hospital.