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Cancer care in India has come a long way from what it used to be. With the development of cancer research, more and more advanced treatments are becoming available to Indians with cancer. From the advancements in surgical and radiotherapy techniques, improved supportive care to reduce side effects associated with chemotherapy to targeted therapy and immunotherapy, India is now equipped with modern technologies and medicines that can help fight this deadly disease. In addition to improvements in medical technologies, there have been strides made in patient support services as well. There is also greater awareness amongst people regarding early detection measures which can reduce the mortality rates due to late diagnosis of cancers.
India is leading the way in cancer care by making treatments more accessible and affordable. With the introduction of new government policies, the cost of cancer treatment has been reduced and several new cancer care centers are being set up throughout the country. This is leading to increased access to care, reducing needless suffering and death due to late diagnosis and inadequate care. Several initiatives to make cancer treatments more accessible, including introducing new drugs on a regular basis as well as providing free or subsidized treatments for underprivileged people. Laboratories have been set up across India with modern equipment for early diagnosis, which helps reduce treatment costs significantly. Moreover, the diagnosis of cancer is improved in recent years.
It is a known fact that cancer is diagnosed and treated early can reduce mortality and morbidity rates in patients. It can also help with a good prognosis of the disease. Are you aware? Skin, breast, mouth, testicles, prostate, and rectum can be picked with the help of routine self-exam or other screening measures even before the symptoms become worrisome. Furthermore, the diagnosis is carried out through physical examination and based on one's medical history. The doctor will also take blood, urine, and stool samples in order to see if there is any problem. Apart from that, one will also go for an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or even an ultrasound to check the size and location of cancer. A biopsy is done by taking a tissue sample to detect a tumor and see if it is cancerous. One will be known to have cancer if the tumor is cancerous and the doctor will see it is malignant. Try to seek timely intervention after the cancer diagnosis.
The expert will come up with a treatment plan as per the location, size, and stage of the tumor. One will be asked to opt for surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Immunotherapy can help the immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy is significantly used to treat lung cancer, head and neck cancer, kidney cancers, bladder cancer, breast cancer to mention a few. Targeted therapy is also beneficial for cancer patients. Currently, due to cutting-edge technology, the cancer care scenario in the country has improved by leaps and bounds.
The article is contributed by Dr. Suhas Aagre, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Hemato-Oncologist, Mumbai.
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