According to International Agency for prevention of cancer, 50% of cancers can be prevented with current knowledge gathered, after decades of Research
Availability of lot of information about cancer, on internet, has played a great role in making public aware about cancer. But the percentage of net users in India is only about 5%. Therefore we need to make public aware about their risk factors, through print and electronic media.
It is an established fact that Tobacco, Diet, Alcohol and Body weight are together responsible for 34% of cancers. We also know that 45% of cancers in men and 40% of cancers in women can be prevented, if 14% known lifestyles and environment risk factors are taken care of.
Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in its 2014 report, on the economics of cancer prevention and control pointed out the following:-
Although Govt. of India has a good cancer control programme, for more than two decades, it has not been implemented properly.
Regular advocacy with Govt. of India and Delhi Govt. by the stake holders has not been able to get desired funds allocated for Cancer Control Plan.
Even globally, there is underfunding of research on cancer prevention. An integrated approach for cancer control requires, balancing the emphasis on new personalised treatments, with efforts to prevent the disease on the first place.
Treatment of cancer is extremely expensive due to high tech equipment and its maintenance, extremely expensive drugs and disposables and high payment to scarcely available trained manpower for treating cancer. By preventing 50% of preventable cancers, the Govt. will have a lot more money to treat balance 50% of cancers, which are not preventable as of today.
Epidemiologists, Richard Doll and Richard Peto, received Noble Prize for providing the following evidence in 2004:-
Epidemiologists, Scientists and Research scholars have proved beyond doubt that “Action needs to be taken on two levels to make effective cancer prevention a reality”
First: – Let the entire population know in their vernacular language, about what action they can take to prevent cancer.
Second: Converting knowledge about risk factors into behaviour change. Information alone does not help. Information initiatives have to be linked to primary health care activities in the field e.g. measuring and advising people on their individual risks.
We also have to make healthy choices available, e.g. healthy food to be made available and accessible in schools, restaurants, hotels. Making tobacco products inaccessible, making the entire country tobacco free, stopping use of excessive pesticides, providing safety measures for people working in radiation areas and people exposed to benzene, pesticides fungicides, paints, thinners etc.Decreasing environmental pollution by adopting EURO III standards for vehicles and junking out old polluting vehicles, saving ground water, grains, vegetables and fruits from lethal effect of pesticides by promoting cultivation of organic food are some of the initiatives, which Govt. needs to take urgently. Public also has to be made aware of the causes of cancer, which are as under:-
Causes of Cancer
Our genetic predisposition is responsible for 50% of cancers.
Recommendation for cancer prevention