Is can­cer still a death sen­tence?

India Today - - CANCER PROJECT -


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

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