Dr Kasturi Lal
We have to develop a strategy to detect cancer in early stage where 100 percent cure is possible. Delay in detection is primarily due to the lack of awareness, lack of attitude and the interest of the family, neglect by the relatives, unavailability of the facilities, non-affordability to seek help of early detection centers, unavailability of cancer treatment centers and undertreatment of cases by untrained personnel. All these factors exist in our country. The main reason is poor literacy and under development in rural and semi urban areas.
Cancer prevention and awareness programmes need to be maintained as significant identity to help community know the benefits of self-examination and self-administered cancer screening. We have to promote community participation in creating awareness about the Disease and its prevention. By education of the community and training of the nurses to interact with the community for accepting screening procedures, we can prevent and early detect cancer. We have to promote comprehensive cancer detection tests and create awareness about the centers applying these tests. We have to do away with the waiting lists of treatment in overcrowded hospital by providing the diagnostic and treatment facilities in rural areas. Above all there is a need to prescribe quick inexpensive treatment (Jhatpatllaj) in rural areas to improve acceptance of screening and treatment in early stages. This strategy will take away the hesitation by the public to seek medical help in time to avoid late presentation.
Palliative care still does not get attention when 80 percent cases come in late stages of the disease. This is a clearly a neglected segment of health care in public sector which needs attention of the policy makers. We must be well equipped in future to provide quality of life to critically ill patients. Public sector and NGOs have greater role to promote a campaign of national awareness day of gynecological cancer.
The electronic and print media can be sensitized to report the significance of event for awareness by observing particular date about cancer awareness. We can create awareness in public about preventable and curable cancer. Media must focus on reporting long waiting list in overcrowded hospitals rendering a woman with curable cancer to become incurable. This crusade against cancer must keep on moving as these types of campaigns are the only alternative to cancer care in resourcecrunch developing countries. The professional bodies, NGOs women associations, adolescent school female and health care institutions should organize symposiums, seminars to educate public about awareness and screening . By adopting this strategy we can detect cancer in early stage where 100 percent cure rate is possible.
It is expected that by 2030 we can achieve 100 percent cure rate of early malignancies and eradicate preventable malignancies. WE may be in future well equipped to provide quality of life to critically ill patients.
Dr Kasturi Lal