As non-communicable diseases (NCDs) rise in India, cancer, one of the major NCDs, is also rising. Despite a high burden of preventable communicable diseases in India, resources may not be allocated effectively to fight NCDs like cancer.
According to the latest WHO report, cancer will be responsible for nearly one in six deaths in 2020 (GLOBOCAN 2020 data). The Indian healthcare ecosystem is facing multiple challenges in providing affordable and quality cancer care – patients lack access to early diagnostic mechanisms, treatments are expensive, and patients overburden the system to oncologists.
To highlight the inequity in access to advanced cancer treatment, this year’s World Cancer Day theme is “Close the Care Gap.”Neetha Joy, Director – ACT For Health,says. “ The continuum of care on cancer treatment in India has seen significant improvements over the past couple of years but underserved communities still battle a lack of access to early diagnostic mechanisms and face high costs associated with treatment. The entrepreneurial appetite for innovation and bias for action can go a long way in bridging the access to affordability gap on quality cancer care for Bharat. Investing in and scaling up cost-effective health tech solutions are the need of the hour to help India’s vulnerable demographic with early detection and management in a bid to reduce overall morbidity and mortality rates.”
In a report published in India Medical Journal in 2022, the estimated number of cancer cases in India was 14,61,427. One in nine Indians is likely to develop cancer during their lifetime, according to the study. According to the study, lung cancer and breast cancer were the most common cancers in men and women, respectively.