Cancer has become one of the ten leading causes of death in India. It is estimated that there are nearly 1.5-2 million cancer cases at any given point of time. Over 7 lakh new cases of cancer and 3 lakh deaths occur annually due to cancer. Nearly 15 lakh patients require facilities for diagnosis, treatment and follow up at a given time. Data from population-based registries under National Cancer Registry Programme indicate that the leading sites of cancer are oral cavity, lungs, oesophagus and stomach amongst men and cervix, breast and oral cavity amongst women. Cancers namely those of oral and lungs in males, and cervix and breast in females account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India.
WHO has estimated that 91 per cent of oral cancers in South-East Asia are directly attributable to the use of tobacco and this is the leading cause of oral cavity and lung cancer in India.
Cancer usually occurs in the later years of life and with increase in life expectancy to more than 60 years, an estimate shows that the total cancer burden in India for all sites will increase from 7 lakh new cases per year to 14 lakh by 2026.
National Cancer Control Programme was started in 1975-76. Its Goals & Objectives are: -
1. Primary prevention of cancers by health education regarding hazards of tobacco consumption and necessity of genital hygiene for prevention of cervical cancer.
2. Secondary prevention i.e. early detection and diagnosis of cancers, for example, cancer of cervix, breast cancer and of the oro-pharyngeal cancer by screening methods and patients’ education on self examination methods.
3. Strengthening of existing cancer treatment facilities, which were inadequate.
4. Palliative care in terminal stage cancer.Michigan Drug Treatment Centers