Is cancer still a death sentence?
Most cancers are preventable and also treatable. Cancer diagnosis and treatment have grown by leaps and bounds. We know the cause of at least 70 per cent of cancers now, around 60 per cent of cancers are now preventable and 80 per cent of all stage 1 and 2 cancers are completely treatable. I have over two lakh cancer patients who are now doing well. It is unfortunate that the largely preventable disease comes in for clinical treatment at the third or the fourth stage, when the survival rate is only 20 per cent. Half of all cancer patients now survive at least 10 years. The survival rates for all cancers have gone up; topping the list are prostate, breast, bladder and kidney cancers. Childhood leukaemia, a disease that was a big killer of the children when it struck in the 1970s, is now one where 70 per cent patients survive. The glass, however, remains half-empty as many other cancers still defy treatment: lung to pancreas, liver to oesophagus. There is no need to fear cancer. I am confident that scientific research is going to provide the lead in resolving most of the issues of human sufferings from cancer in the coming years.”
DR G.K. RATH, Chief, National Cancer Institute, AIIMS