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4 ways how cancer care has improved in India

3 months ago 83

4 ways how cancer care has improved in India

Cancer cases are expected to exceed 35 million by 2050, up from an estimated 20 million in 2022, said the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Image used for representational purposes/Pixabay

Cancer care in India is undergoing a profound transformation, marked by a shift towards more effective and personalized treatment strategies. The nation is actively addressing the challenges posed by cancer through heightened awareness, advanced technologies, and innovative approaches. This article delves into four pivotal areas, elucidating the significant strides that have emerged as pillars in the ongoing battle against cancer in India.

Bridging the awareness gap

In a country where approximately one in nine individuals may encounter cancer in their lifetime, a proactive approach is underway to bridge the awareness gap in cancer care. Anticipating a 12.8% rise in cancer cases by 2025[1], knowledge stands as our primary defence. As the burden grows, robust awareness campaigns are actively instilling early detection practices.

Under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre scheme & Other similar social welfare schemes, preventive measures integrate seamlessly into primary healthcare. Initiatives, including wellness promotions and targeted community-level communications, empower individuals. The comprehensive effort extends to advocating healthy eating by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, while the Fit India movement promote holistic well-being. Together, these collective efforts heighten awareness, enabling individuals to promptly identify warning signs and dispel prevalent myths.

Adoption of innovative technologies

Innovations in cancer care represent a significant leap forward. For instance, in colorectal cancer, Fluorescence Angiography, utilizing a safe and affordable indocyanine green (ICG) dye to visualize blood vessels, has gained acceptance among surgeons. Also known as fluorescence imaging technology, it enables real-time visualization of blood flow in micro-vessels, tissue perfusion, and anatomical structures during laparoscopy procedures. This technological advancement not only facilitates better postoperative outcomes but also aligns to provide effective and efficient patient care.

Moreover, technologies facilitating minimally invasive surgeries in colorectal cancer are being utilized to reduce patient stress, with smaller incisions leading to quicker recovery.

Moving Towards personalised care

Personalized cancer care takes centre stage in India, tailoring therapies to the unique characteristics of each patient’s cancer. In breast cancer, Fluorescence Imaging (FI) plays a crucial role in real-time identification of affected tissues, providing surgeons with precise information. Traditionally, a lack of critical details led to the removal of all lymph nodes, causing collateral damage. However, FI revolutionizes this by offering real-time insights, minimizing the impact on healthy tissues. FI’s non-invasive nature enables continuous monitoring during disease progression and therapy, facilitating adaptive treatment plans. This dynamic approach to cancer care ensures improved outcomes and individualized treatments for cancer patients in India.

Better patient outcomes owing to tech advancements

Technological advancements are propelling significant improvements in cancer care outcomes in India. Tools like FI, MRI, and CT scans offer precise treatment details, while telemedicine and electronic health records enhance communication among healthcare professionals. These advances represent progress in the fight against cancer, providing hope for better outcomes and an improved quality of life for patients nationwide.

As India pioneers in transformative changes in cancer care, the future holds promise for a more optimistic outlook shaped by innovative technologies. The evolving landscape of cancer care in India is not just a response to current challenges; it’s a visionary step towards a future where personalized, technologically advanced, and patient-centric care becomes the new norm.

The author is Clinical & Research Lead, Breast Service, Dept. of Surgery, IPGMER, Kolkata. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect Firstpost’s views.

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