World Cancer Day 2019: With “I am and I will”

World Cancer Day
World Cancer Day

February 4 is celebrated as World Cancer Day, on this day people spread awareness of deadly cancer, causes, symptoms, Cure and prevention.

Almost 50% of cancer patients pay out of their pockets for treatment, an Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance study shows. Also, 92% oncologists believe a majority of patients discontinue treatment due to unaffordability. These findings are part of a study by Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance in partnership with Ipsos Research. It was conducted with 100 oncologists across 15 cities to assess the state of cancer care in India and its impact on the patients.

A majority of oncologists believe that cancer incidences are likely to increase by almost 25% over the next five years. Breast cancer is likely to account for a greater proportion of these incidences followed by lung, oral, and cervical cancers. While there are advanced treatments available for cancer, the staggering cost involved makes it unaffordable for several patients, said Sumit Rai, MD & CEO, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance.

Currently, a standard cancer treatment for early and locally advanced stages costs about Rs 4.5 lakh, and for metastatic stage cancer about Rs 6.0 lakh. The financial burden increases sharply if a patient opts for advanced therapy. Across all cancer types, advanced therapy costs about Rs 10 lakh for locally advanced stage (stages two and three) and about Rs 14 lakh for metastatic stage.

The awareness about insurance for critical illnesses is quite low in India. Despite escalating medical costs, a large population avails loans or sells assets to provide for the massive medical expenditures,” Rai added.

While treatment cost increases, survival rates of patients drop as cancer progresses across stages.


On World Cancer Day 2019 Delhi Hospital Felicitates Sarpanches for Raising Cancer Awareness. In the run-up to World Cancer Day on February 4, the BLK

Super Specialty Hospital organized a ceremony on Saturday to felicitate sarpanchs each of whom contributed to this campaign by sensitising 100 families in his village.

To raise awareness about cancer, especially among the rural population, a Delhi-based hospital has conducted a special drive to reach out to hundreds of village school teachers and sarpanchs.

In the run up to World Cancer Day on February 4, the BLK Super Specialty Hospital organised a ceremony on Saturday to felicitate sarpanchs each of whom contributed to this campaign by sensitising 100 families in his village and convinced them to attend the Cancer Talks and the cancer screening camps organised by the hospital.

The campaign which started in December, and so far has covered nearly 65 villages. Around 700 teachers in outer Delhi and Haryana actively contributed in spreading awareness about the disease in their villages and schools, a hospital official said.

According to the official, the felicitation ceremony was attended by nearly 50 sarpanches from Jhajjar, Bahadurgarh, Badli, Khorkhoda, Rohtak, Sonipat, Gannaur and outer Delhi villages.

Dr Surender K Dabas, Director of Surgical Oncology and the Chief of Robotic Surgery at BLK Cancer Centre, said, “Much needs to be done to break barriers, including the stigma on cancer, particularly in rural areas where it is a taboo.”

Experience from our outreach programmes in rural areas shows that people are still not aware about the prevalence of the disease, its symptoms, screening and facilities available for treatment and care. Lack of awareness among the rural populace, especially among women, is a matter of big concern,” he said.

Senior consultant, Gynecologic Oncology, Dr Neha Kumar said in urban areas, “women are aware about gynecologic cancer. But in rural areas, due to social barriers and lack of comprehensive healthcare facilities, people do not talk about it.”

Hence, it is difficult for women to seek services to detect the disease early. Several cases go undetected and our cancer data base fails to come out with real data. It is encouraging to see that our special drive has motivated villagers to seek help and come forward and participate in our screening campaigns,” Dr Kumar said.

Teachers of rural schools played a role of powerful catalyst in making people especially the most vulnerable children aware about the disease.

India will observe World Cancer Day on Monday with global experts calling for action with the theme – ‘I am and I will‘ on early detection of the disease to significantly improve patient survival.

How are you spreading awareness on World Cancer Day?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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