Early diagnosis key to fighting cancer

“Accurate and early diagnosis of cancer paves the way for efficient and successful treatment. It is also important to provide conclusive and personalised diagnosis to each patient,” said A. K. Dewan, the Medical Director of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCI&RC).

Doctors state that the earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of it being cured. Recommending a thorough physical examination and a complete medical check-up, a study by the Boston Consulting Group notes that around 60 per cent to 80 per cent cancer cases in India are diagnosed late and 60 per cent of patients do not have access to quality diagnostic and treatment.Six per cent of all deaths in India are due to cancers. Symptoms and treatment depend on cancer type and how advanced it is.

Metropolis Healthcare, a pathology laboratories services provider that released its analysis on Wednesday, conducted a comprehensive study on 47,995 histology samples for one year to understand the pattern of incidence of various organ cancers.Geeta Chopra, the chief of lab at Metropolis Healthcare, said: “In Delhi, we found oral, breast and cervix cancer on the rise.”Nitesh Rohatgi, senior consultant and medical oncologist, noted that not just the number of cancers have increased in the recent years, in an alarming trend, the average age of incidence has also reduced drastically.

“There is absence of comprehensive data, but trends are clearly visible and they indicate rapidly rising numbers. The incidence is rising faster in urban areas and cities, but the rise is also apparent in rural areas. Another worrying concern is increasing incidence in younger patients, even in those in their 20s and 30s,” noted Dr. Rohatgi.Anupam Sachdeva, the director of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Institute For Child Health, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said: “Childhood cancer survivors need close and constant follow-up because they run a high risk of developing several illnesses like obesity, heart disease, secondary tumours and endocrinological problems in the future.’’