World Cancer Day: Where does India stand?

World Cancer Day: Where does India stand?

I was assessing the online analysis of all cancers in India and comparing to the world today. You can yourself see that at the following site:

globocan.iarc.fr/Default.aspx

Globocan is an arm of the WHO (World Health Organization)

I have copied one chart from there and reproducing it here. It is an estimate of number of deaths due to various cancers for the year 2012. In the left column are listed the various cancers. In the second column, the numbers of deaths are listed. Please go through the numbers for yourself. In a gist, I can tell you following:

Total number of cancer related deaths in India in 2012: 326100

Number of deaths due to breast cancer : 70218 (Highest in the world for that year)

Number of deaths due to cervical cancer: 67477

All other cancers have less than 15000 deaths (except colorectal, which accounts for some 20789, ovarian cancer 19549 and stomach 18320)

I guess even a person who does not understand maths can easily tell you that we are losing far too many women to breast cancer, than any other cancer. 70000 breast cancer deaths out of 3.2 lakh total cancer related deaths means, one out of every five patient with cancer related death in India, is dying from breast cancer!

For too long, we have shoved these obvious number of deaths below the carpet and are refusing to face the problem. I saw a recent interview of a very prominent doctor, who said, even though the number of deaths is high, the percentage of deaths to total population in India is less than other areas in the world. Oh, come on! I personally feel that is nonsense. Every single patient suffering from breast cancer is equally precious. For a woman undergoing journey of breast cancer, statistics do not matter, whether 70 out 100000 are suffering or 700 out of 100000 are suffering. Every single life is precious. Each woman suffering of breast cancer is a mother of some, daughter of some, wife of some. Lets not treat a patient as a part of statistics, but treat them as an individual. Let us fight for each and every single lady who suffers from this illness. Each life is precious. Just because India's population is too huge, it makes the numbers of people from cancer look lesser as compared to other countries. We should not see that ratio. We should see actual numbers of people. And 70000 women dying of same is just UNACCEPTABLE. Period. It is about time we open eyes.

And what is it that is going to reduce the number of deaths?

Single most important thing is - Awareness;

Second most important thing is - Undergoing scientifically proven treatments as main treatment, instead of alternate medicines.

It is these two above points which India is lacking very very badly. It is these two points which are killing India. It is about time, we come together and act and educate people on early detection of breast cancer and encourage them to undergo the correct treatment.

There are simple ways where one can detect breast cancer early. There is no need for complex tests. a lady just needs to train her brain and her hands. Read it here:

thepinkinitiative.org/aware...

Read city wise statistics of breast cancer here:

breastcancerindia.net/bc/st...

I would sincerely request you all to share this post with as many people as you can, on FB, on other social media. Let people read it. You can just copy paste the address from the address bar and post it in FB. I have kept the post open so even those who are non members can read it.

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2 Replies

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  • sure, i will share the post with my contacts.

  • The statistics are scary. While lack of awareness and resorting to alternative medicines are major reasons, the lack of affordable cancer drugs and nonavailability of advanced medicines are also contributory factors.

    This is where oncologists need to be proactive. However, as you said in one of your earlier posts dedicated oncologists are few.

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