Cancer can be cured if detected early: Experts

Published: Sunday, November 12, 2006, 20:44 [IST]
 

Allahabad, Nov 11 (UNI) Cancer specialists at a 'cancer awareness lecture'' here today said the disease is no longer an incurable one and can be cured if detected at an early stage.

The specialists said in rural areas, patients visit quacks and unnecessarily waste their time and money. In a majority of cases, cancer can be effectively treated and cured if it is detected in a reasonably early stage but still cure eludes many due to ignorance of basic facts about the killer disease.

Additional Director of the Regional Cancer Centre-- Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital Dr B Paul Thaliath said there is an immediate need for various awareness programmes specially among the teachers, who can disperse the deeply ingrained fallacies by making their students aware about the fatal disease.

Cancer continues its relentless march as a global killer and has emerged as one of the leading causes of death in the developed countries, he maintained.

He added ''approximately, three million people are suffering from cancer in India, while a three fold increase in the number was expected in the next two decades.'' He underlined that the common cancers seen in women are of the uterine cervix, breast and tobacco related cancers of the oral cavity and throat and all these cancers are amenable to prevention and early detection and effective treatment.

With the enhancement of knowledge on the tumour behaviour, genetic character of these cancers, with the advancement in technology and the development of newer drugs, the cure rate of these cancers have significantly increased.

''The modern cancer therapy aims not only at a cure but also reducing complications and improving the quality of life.

Vaccines are now available against the hpv virus, which is identified to stimulate the cervical cancers, thereby preventing these cancers,'' he informed.

He stated ''the concept of the current treatment is organ preservation to retain the function and cosmetic appearance, while breast conservative treatments are commonly done with minimal surgery (removal of only the breast lump and further treating the remaining breast with specialized radiation therapy), mutilating surgeries are avoided in head and neck and cervical cancer and high dose rate cost effective radiotherapy equipments are now available for such treatment.'' He informed effective screening methods are available to detect cancer at an early stage and yearly checkup is advocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for women after the age of 40 but inspite of that they feel shy and reluctant to come forward for the checkups because of the fear and social stigma attached to it.

The participants and the resource persons drawn from various parts of the country and abroad participated in the cancer awareness lecture.

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