New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) Cancer is a word not a sentence, do not make it a sentence.
Ten lakh new cancer cases are detected every year in India. The figure is expected to touch 15 lakh patients annually by 2010.
Particular attention is needed to handle many myths associated with cancer that it is non-curable. However it is completely unfounded, and cancer can be cured provided detected early, asserted experts at the launch of Cancer Awareness Programme.
Ironically, 70 per cent cases of cancer are detected at the last stage when cure is not possible.
Cancer is a lifestyle disease and with the increase in life expectancy, the number of cancer patients has also multiplied, which can only be checked by creating awareness regarding the dreaded disease, speakers emphasised during the launch of the Cancer Awareness Programe by Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCI&RC) in collaboration with Indian Cancer Society and Indian Medical Association here yesterday.
The speakers held a common view that lack of awareness is the biggest problem in checking the disease.
In her inaugural address, Girija Vyas, Chairperson of National Commission for Women said, "Time has come to wakeup and take a targeted approach towards sanitising the masses regarding cancer." "Role of doctors, media and the government are equally important in creating awareness for cancer," she added.
She further said, "Women who are cancer patient suffer more, I had witnessed many cases where women face dual agony of being a cancer patient and a victim of harassment too." Speaking on the occasion Dr KV Swaminathan, Chairman RGCI&RC said, "Cancer incidence are increasing very rapidly in India due to changing lifestyle. Current smoking levels and adoption of unhealthy lifestyle together with increasing proportion of elderly people in the world, will result in doubling of new cancer cases, from 10 million worldwide in 2000 to 20 million in 2020, with an annual death toll then reaching 12 million." "It is very appropriate for us to be aware of this mounting problem and take preventive measures so as to lessen the cancer burden in India," he added.
Particular emphasis was laid on creating awareness regarding lymphoma--a type of cancer that attacks lymph nodes.
It was revealed that in the last 15 years there has been 80 per cent increase in the lymphoma cases and about 1 million people are living in the world with the disease. It is the third most common type of cancer after leukemia and brain tumor in the children.
Speaking about the action plan of Cancer Awareness Programme, Dr (Col) R Ranga Rao from RGCI&RC said, "We will conduct various programmes to create awareness among general physicians, surgeons, nursing fraternity, public and patients. In these programmes the experts from RGCI&RC will deliberate upon growing cancer problem, preventive measures, early warning symptoms of cancer so as to enable prevention and early diagnosis." Former Miss India Ms Nikita Anand released 'Cancer News--lymphoma', on the occasion. She urged the people to spread the message that,"Cancer is a word not a sentence, do not make it a sentence." A cultural programme by cancer patient children followed the lecture. Bharatnatyam performance by youngest Padamshree Awardee Yamini Krishnamurthi enthralled the audience.