Early detection of Cancer has better outcome: Dr. Mahesh Kallolli

Photo of author

By uday

World Cancer Day held every 4 February is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). World Cancer Day came into existence on 4 February 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer in Paris. It is celebrated to raise awareness about cancer and encourage its prevention.

World Cancer Day 2024: Theme
Cancer is the second cause of death around the globe. Research proved that cancer affects the lives of 10 million people annually. Developing countries witness seven out of every 10 cancer-related deaths. But the sad part is that 40 percent of these deaths worldwide can be prevented with a little awareness about lifestyle changes, regular check-ups, and early detection and treatment.

India-Huge Cancer Burden
According to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), one in ten Indians is diagnosed with cancer, and 1 in 15 dies from it. Research submitted by the Indian Council of Medical Research reveals that India is likely to witness a seven-fold increase in cancer cases by 2025.

Estimated total number of cases in India in 2020 is 13,92,179 with almost equal distribution among male and females. The most common cancers in males are the Lung, oral cavity, esophagus, and stomach and among females are the breast, cervix, ovary, and oral cavity. 1 in 68 males develop lung cancer and 1 in 29 females develop breast cancer.

World cancer Day

Risk Factors for Cancer
• Overweight
• Tobacco and alcohol consumption
• Sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise
• Recurrent Infection
• Exposures to excess sun
• Poor diet
Many of cancers are preventable if people modify their lifestyle and avoid harmful habits that increase their risk of getting this dreaded disease.

Can cancer be cured?
Yes, if detected early. Early detection and appropriate treatment can cure approximately one-third of all cancers. Not only are lives saved but also the cured survivors can go back to their normal lives and contribute to society. Hence, we must stress the importance of early detection at every possible forum.

How can cancer be detected early?
Cancer can be detected early by screening. Cancers of the mouth or uterine cervix are known to develop over many years through a continuous process of changes in the tissue. These changes are pre-malignant in the beginning and following constant exposure to the risk factor(s) may convert into full-blown cancer. By observing the tissue, it may be possible to detect the changes quite early and appropriate action may be taken to prevent further progression of the disease process. When detected in the pre-malignant or early stage, cancer treatment is very effective with fewer side effects and disfigurement. There are several methods of screening cancers. However, the ones that are commonly practiced are the ones that are cost-effective and help to save lives. In our country, screening for breast, cervical, and oral cancers has proven to be cost-effective.

Warning Signals of Cancer – CAUTION
• Change in Bowel/bladder habits
• A sore that does not heal
• Unusual bleeding or discharge
• Thickening or lump in breast / elsewhere
• Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
• Obvious change in wart / mole
• Nagging cough or Hoarseness of voice

What are the socio-economic effects?
Cancer affects the individual, caregivers, family and friends and in many societies, it’s considered taboo to mention it. It may lead to social isolation, depression, anxiety and many more distressing psychological symptoms. Despite the awe-inspiring developments in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, half of the world’s population do not get the full range of essential health services. Availability, accessibility, and affordability are important factors that cause this gap in care. This is why the Union for International Cancer Control has chosen the theme, “Close the Care Gap” for World Cancer Day 2022 – 2024. By raising public and political literacy, we can reduce fear, increase understanding, dispel myths and change attitudes.

What message do people need to take away?

First, cancer is a spectrum of diseases, not a single disease entity. So, all cancer patients will not have the same treatment or outcome. Prevention is better than cure, so be aware of the risk factors and avoid them. Early signs of cancer may be non-specific, so look out for these signs and symptoms. An ostrich attitude will not evade cancer, so appropriate investigations and treatment are a must. Raise your awareness about appropriate treatment, the most expensive one is not necessarily the most appropriate choice. Treatment of cancer is possible and should be available for all. The common myths and misconceptions regarding cancer should be dispelled. We must ask for proper treatment closer home, affordable cancer care and access to palliative care. Most importantly, we need to overcome our fear, and unite our efforts to demand quality cancer care including dignity, respect, support and care. Let us all pledge to do our bit to close the care gap.

mahesh kalloli

DR MAHESH KALLOLI, M S, Mch, Fellowships at UNMC ( Nebraska ) , USA and SPH ( Shanghai), China
Consultant Surgical Oncologist, KLES’s Dr Prabhakar Kore Hospital & MRC KLE Cancer Hospital, Belagavi.

Leave a Comment