Oral cancer is increasing rapidly in India. Oral cancer patients account for half of all cancers in the country. But it is possible to prevent it only if you try. Therefore, the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Health proposed to completely ban Gutkha, Khaini, and Pan masala. At the same time, the committee also proposed to stop smoking cigarettes in airports, restaurants, or public streets and to ban the purchase of retail cigarettes from shops. The committee has also recommended making cancer screening mandatory for citizens every year so that cancer can be caught at an early stage.
Ramgopal Yadav, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Health, presented a report titled ‘Cancer Care Plan and Management’ in the Rajya Sabha on September 12. The members of the parliamentary committee think that the picture of cancer that has emerged in the country is quite alarming. According to the report, 8 lakh people were diagnosed with cancer in India in 2018. In 2035, this number will stand at 35 lakhs. Half of them are oral cancer patients.
Role of the doctors
The report also states that the patient died due to cancer – in most cases this is not mentioned. Rather, most of the time the responsible doctors are avoiding the responsibility by pointing out heart failure as the cause of death. As a result, the collection of information about how many people are dying from what type of cancer in an area is being hindered. Creating a particular collection of data, whether a pattern or design is created from it –cannot be done either. This is defeating the purpose of the National Cancer Protection Scheme.
Although cancer is widespread in India, the lack of information about it is a cause for concern. That is why cancer has been demanded to be recognized as a ‘notifiable disease’. So that when the patients die of that disease, the doctors are obliged to write in detail about the disease. Through which it is possible to create a database at a later time.
Banning of advertisements
Oral cancer has the highest number of cancer patients in the country. To prevent this, the committee has proposed to ban all types of tobacco products. Direct or indirect advertisement of various pan masalas in media or TV is recommended to be completely stopped. The tobacco industry’s countermeasures have proposed imposing heavy taxes on tobacco and tobacco products if total banning of tobacco use is not possible.
The additional revenue is recommended to be used to raise cancer awareness. According to the study, tobacco addiction develops mainly in the teenage years. Therefore, detailed programs have been recommended to sensitize the students of that age group.
According to the report, the number of cancer deaths in India is much higher than in developed countries. A major cause of this is late diagnosis. Lack of awareness and lack of infrastructure is blamed for this. For this reason, the report recommends mandatory cancer screening for men and women every year after the age of 30.