This is where the end of cancer begins

Deccan Chronicle.  | N Prabhu Dev

Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing

Our goal may be to "Beat Cancer Sooner" but the current system is pretty much certain to "Beat Cancer Later".

People take part in Cancer Day walkathon organised at Indiranagar in Bengaluru on Sunday (Photo: KPN)

February 4 is World Cancer Day- global observance that helps raise people's awareness of cancer and how to prevent, detect, and treat it. The theme: 2019 - 2021- "I am and I will' is an empowering call to action, asking individuals to make a personal commitment to help reduce the impact of cancer to impact the future.

People with cancer often ask "Why me"? "What did I do wrong?"-  Some people think they're being punished for something they did or didn't do in the past. Cancer- for sure, is not a punishment for your past actions!

Biology of cancer recounts years of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary- the cancer. It is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, perseverance.

Our goal may be to "Beat Cancer Sooner" but the current system is pretty much certain to "Beat Cancer Later". We urgently need a complete review of the whole cancer R&D process, for the sake of everyone dying for a cure. A devastating failure of medical research."

95% of promising discoveries from cancer research labs fail when drug companies test them in real patients.Given that only half of new cancer drugs are affordable enough for routine useonly 2.5% of cancer research discoveries are likely to end up benefiting patients.

Those drugs that do make it are usually only expected to add a few extra months to patients' lives- 2.7 months on an average.Each year the British public contributes an estimated £2.5bn towards the cost of researching and developing new treatments for cancer.   Around £1.5bn of this is the cost to the NHS of mark-ups on cancer drug prices to cover research and development (R&D) costs.

Why Cancer? 9.5 million People die of Cancer each year- about 26,000 cancer deaths a day - and that number is predicted to grow. By 2030 it is expected to go up to 13million deaths- if we don't act now! Declare "One Voice Against Cancer", a broad coalition of public interest groups representing millions of cancer patients, researchers, providers, survivors and their families, we urge you to make cancer research and prevention programs a top priority in FY 2019.

Because of the previous investments in cancer research, millions of cancer patients are alive today, and we are enjoying a quarter century of sustained declines in cancer mortality. That overall decline in cancer mortality of 26 percent since 1991 amounts to millions of cancer deaths averted.

Is Cancer a death sentence? Cancer can be a devastating diagnosis, it is not without hope? New research in therapies has enabled us to give more hope to patients about managing their disease and possible beating it altogether. The risk of cancer is increasingbecauseMost of us are living longer! Screening tests are available for breast, colon, prostate, cervical, lung and many other types of cancers. Get educated about their specific risk factors as well as when to start and how often to receive cancer screenings. Victory in the fight against cancer requires bold new public policies that promote cancer prevention, early detection of cancer, and expand access to quality, affordable health care. Lawmakers make many decisions that impact the lives of Montana touched by cancer and their leadership is vital to defeating this disease.

Cancer notification be

made mandatory! Make the voice of people touched by cancer by working with lawmakers to pass and implement laws and policies that improve the lives of patients, survivors and their families. Cancer societies should work with the legislators both at the central and state in support of the following priorities:

In many developed countries, notification of cancer cases is compulsory. India accounts for more than half of new cancer cases in the world.  However notification of cancer is not yet mandatory. The primary purpose of notification is to effect prevention and control and better utilization of resources. Prompt and appropriate reporting allows for better management of cancer. The notification data can be used to compile the national cancer registry.

Tobacco Tax: GST rate for all types of tobacco products is 28%.The overall tax rate on all tobacco products in India is still very low. We are in the midst of a technological revolution that is providing new insights into human biology and cancer.

Facilitate a major shift in early diagnosis research.Catching cancer earlier! We define 'early detection' as the detection of cancer, or pre-cancerous states, at the earliest possible point at which an intervention might be made in order to lead to a better patient outcome.We need novel technology, including sensors, biochips and nanotechnology, to improve how we image and detect cancer, and we need multidisciplinary teams to develop the technology and ultimately to implement it in the appropriate clinical context.

(The writer is former VC of   Bangalore University)

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