Hyderabad: Cancer prevalence follows different patterns for men and women and for those living in urban and rural areas in India.
Cancer registries indicate that cervical cancer is more prevalent among women in rural areas while breast cancer occurs more frequently among women in urban areas.
Cancer of the oral cavity is more prevalent among men in rural areas and lung cancer is more prevalent among males in urban areas.
Dr K.K. Aggarwal of the Indian Medical Association says that early diagnosis can save lives but the biggest problem in India is that diagnosis is costly. Also, people are reluctant to come forward for an early diagnosis.
“There is a need to make both diagnosis and treatment affordable. New studies are paving the way to opt for different methods which are more effective and there is a need to ensure that maximum people can avail of it,” he added.
While the exact cause of cancer is not known, the research so far has indicated various risk factors which increase an individual’s chance of developing cancer.
Apart from genetics and family history, lifestyle choices are emerging as the biggest challenge in the early advent of cancer.
Experts state that there are four major types of clinical preventive care — immunisation, screening, behavioural or lifestyle changes, and chemoprevention. These hold true in the prevention of cancer and doctors say it is high time the government intervenes to make these strategies affordable.
Another senior doctor says awareness programmes must be based on the disease profile in the region.
Also, methods of prevention must be discussed with men and women separately.
“This is important as often we find that when a locality has not seen a problem they are not interested in knowing about it. Hence campaigns also need to be more targeted,” he said....