Patna, Feb 16 (UNI) President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil today stressed upon developing a strong health infrastructure along with dedicated doctors for ''prevention'' and ''early detection'' of cancer and other fatal diseases.
Inaugurating the two-day international conference on ''Hyperthermic Oncology and Medicine-IAHOMOCON-2008'' here, Ms Patil said, ''One third of all cancer cases, particularly those related to the use of tobacco, can be prevented and awareness programmes should be undertaken to achieve it.'' ''Early detection through effective screening programmes by developing community-based oncological services in the country should be promoted,''she said adding,''Two third of the cancer patients are dignosed at an advanced stage when it becomes more difficult to treat.'' ''Under the National Cancer Control Programme, we have 25 regional cancer centres in the country providing comprehensive cancer treatment facilities besides carrying out cancer prevention and research activities,'' Ms Patil said adding nearly 210 institutions with cancer treatment facilities had so far been installed in different parts of the country.
Referring to the initiatives taken by the Centre to combat the dreaded disease, the President said under the 11th plan, the tentative budget allocation for cancer was Rs 2,400 crore, about ten times the amount allocated under the 10th Plan, adding the geographical gap in the availability of cancer treatment facilities would be reduced to some extent.
Quoting the data of the World Health Organisation(WHO), Ms Patil said there were 22.4 million people living with cancer, ten million new cases and 6.2 million cancer deaths across the globe in 2000.
By 2020, the number of new cases was expected to reach at least 15 million a year and cancer deaths were increasing to ten million a year, she added.
''In our country, cancer is the sixth leading cause of death.
According to estimates from National Cancer Registry Programme, there are approximately 2.5 million cases of cancer in India at any given point of time and about 0.8 million new cases occur every year. Nearly 0.4 million patients die due to the disease each year,'' Ms Patil noted.
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