Alarming figures of the dreaded disease

Cancer, the word in itself, is causing scare though medical science has travelled very far and made advanced studies and research due to which this disease at initial stages is now manageable. Having said that, what is causing concern is that over the last two and a half decades,the incidences of cancer has more than doubled in India, breast cancer being the most common among the women in India, both in terms of incidence as well as mortality with proportional prevalence in younger age groups being higher than the global averages.
To be precise, in the year 2016, there were 14 lacs cancer patients and this number is going to increase once the latest figures were out. However, the Government has laid down four priority cancers, viz; breast cancer, cervical cancer, oral cancer and lung cancer which together constitute 41 percent of cancer burden. The figures are about those who get registered in Government and other hospitals and not about those who are out of the registered groups hence the figures stated could be an underestimate. Referring to breast cancers, most of patients, say 60 percent are diagnosed in advanced stages. Interestingly, breast cancer burden is not limited only to disease burden and mortality but also leads to economic loss. India lost nearly half a percent of total GDP in terms of incidence and aftermaths of cancer.
Preventive measures are difficult to be precisely mentioned. However, challenges related to diagnosis and early treatment, standard screening guidelines for breast cancer, lack of trained health care workers, inadequate number of specialist medical personnel,lack of awareness, social stigma, misconception and late detection are needed to be addressed.