~ Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre conducts programme on the theme of I Can, We Can for cancer awareness ~
Pune, February 4th 2016: Over decades, India has always been ahead of its peers in the war against cancer, especially when compared to the West. Sadly, this doesn’t hold true anymore. Over the last two decades, the number of cancer patients have doubled across the globe. With deep roots in India, this disease has affected approximately 3.3 million lives, as compared to 8,00,000 in 2001.While death rates are falling in the West, they are substantially on an escalation in the subcontinent. According to statistics, about 70 percent of cancer deaths are now reported in the developing world with one-fifth of them coming from India.
In this fight against cancer, the Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre conducted a seminar in order to raise awareness about both individual and society efforts to curb the spread of this epidemic. In a packed auditorium, Dr. Sumit Shah, Surgical Oncologist, Ruby Hall Clinic spoke passionately about epidemiology and the treatment of common cancers in India. He said, “At least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable and almost all cancers are treatable if detected early. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer. For this, awareness and early detection is key.”
The highlight of the seminar was the discussion on prevention of breast cancer by Dr. Minish Jain, Director of Medical Oncology, Ruby Hall Clinic. He said, “The biggest problem behind the rising numbers is that most Indians don’t suspect they may have cancer. The clue lies in the fact that most cancer cases are caused by lifestyle changes. There is an increasing trend toward cancer related to affluence. For instance, women are getting married later, having fewer children, and breastfeeding them less. Obesity, smoking and higher alcohol intake are a part of the urban lifestyle, increasing the risk of breast cancer.”
“In addition to this, environmental hazards are on the rise, people indulge in unwholesome eating habits and have essentially lost connect with an overall healthy lifestyle. This is one of the main reasons why the age profile of this disease is coming down. When I first started practice, cancer patients were usually in their fifties. This is not the case anymore. In my regular routine, I now come across teenagers and people in their twenties trying to fight this disease. What’s saddening is the fact that most of these cases go undetected because of sheer ignorance. There is a high denial rate amongst the younger generation who believe that they cannot be gripped by the claws of cancer” he said.
This occasion also saw a few stories narrated by cancer survivors and their family members who chose to share their stories of determination and bravery which were truly inspirational. This was followed by a small skit on cancer awareness by the nursing staff at the medical facility. While the crux focused on spreading awareness and acceptance, the key message was for the community at large to adopt healthy living practices.
On this occasion, Dr. Ashok Bhanage, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Chairman, Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre, Ruby Hall Clinic added, “A widely believed myth that cancer is purely associated with genes, fate or bad luck, we strongly advocate that it is actually a risk that depends on a combination of our genes, the environment we live in and various aspects of our lives, many of which are under our control. While ‘healthy living’ is not a cast-iron guarantee against cancer, it stacks the odds in your favour, by reducing the risk of developing this disease. In a bid to increase awareness and thereby aid prevention, we at Ruby Hall Clinic are offering screening at concessional rates to promote early detection. Commemorating World Cancer Day not just on this particular day, but throughout the month of February, a number of x-rays and mammographies will be conducted at Rs 2,200 for men and Rs 2,500 for women. We urge the community at large to encourage one another and spread the word. Together ‘I Can, We Can’. As a medical institute, we are proud to do everything in our stride to cripple the rise of cancer.”