Hyderabad: A massive 83 per cent of cancer patients in India are mistreated, according to findings by an online cancer care platform, the report of which was published in the American Society for Clinical Oncology.
The online platform is a site that patients approach for second opinion. It was found that in the case of 15 per cent of the patients, the treatment was completely wrong.
The forum which carried out the study with data of 365 patients, found that 27 per cent were not being given the right chemotherapy drugs and 41 per cent did not undergo complete tests. Only 17 per cent of the patients were on the right treatment path according to scientific international guidelines.
Dr Amit Jotwani, co-founder of the online cancer care platform, said, “When we say that 83 per cent patients are mistreated, it means that they are not getting optimal treatment. It means that there is better treatment or the best possible treatment which can be given to them.”
Dr Jotwani explained that cancer is a complex disease and required multi-disciplinary and evidence-based approach.
“It has been found that Indian patients do not get access to multi-disciplinary care which is the major reason for higher deaths. A multi-disciplinary review means doctors of three specialities— surgical, medical and radiation oncology —must attend, then outcomes can be improved,” Dr Jotwani said.
The study noted that practicing doctors in India may sometimes not get the time to update themselves with latest guidelines and protocols which leads to mistreatment.
Ms Rashie Jain, CEO of the online portal, said the purpose of the study was to understand the adherence to international treatment protocols for cancer patients and the treatment they are undergoing in India.
Gaps in the treatment are also one of the reasons why cancer treatments are not effective in India, opined experts.
According to members of the platform, there have been cases when oncologists have refuted their opinion and told them that it is not right.
The portal gives a detailed written reply to the patient and the right treatment which must be followed.
There have been more than 10,000 queries on the portal....