India's Reputation as the #CancerCountry
India has several negative nicknames, but perhaps the most depressing one is the “Cancer Country.” Studies have proven that even though the incidence of cancer in the India is only approximately a quarter of that in the US or Europe, “mortality rates among those diagnosed with the disease are much higher.” More than half of the world’s cancer victims are living in India, Russia, or China. The major problem is the failure of these countries to do more to combat the killer-disease. Social, economic and environmental factors need to be improved in these countries, not just health resources and financing.
Cancer in India has been allowed to spread so far mostly because India remains unwilling to lower mortality rates, despite the fact that the number of deaths is drastically increasing. According to a recent report by The Lancet Ontology, approximately 700,000 people face death from cancer in India, a figure predicted to increase to 1.2 million by 2035. Some suggest that perhaps the issue isn’t ignorance in India but the inability to even try to stop it. India’s financial situation is clearly not the most stable and it is believed that India doesn’t want to put money into cancer, due to the fact that stopping cancer isn’t possible, only delaying death is. However, according to The Health Site, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment strategies can prevent and treat one third of common cancers. Another popular myth is that the risk of getting cancer cannot be controlled. This is partially true but, “with awareness, lifestyle and dietary changes, the risk of cancer can be reduced greatly.”
India and all these countries must realize that there is indeed a lot that can be done to prevent and treat cancer, if not completely cure it. Just increasing awareness in the countries on how to prevent cancer can go a long way. There has been some response to the diseases killing off India’s population. According to The Lancet Ontology, there has been a health-system response to cancer in India. Efforts against chronic and non-communicable diseases have been called to be addressed by the WHO India Country Office, in agreement with the Government of India. Health issues need to gain much more attention in India before it’s too late.
[Image Attribute: Christian Trachsel]