The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has expressed concern over the increasing cancer cases in the county and called for establishing more affordable cancer treatment centres to provide preventive, curative and palliative care programmes. He was interacting with the Scientists, Staff & Faculty members of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre & Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in Vishakhapattanam, Andhra Pradesh on 24 August 2018.
The Vice President said that increased use of tobacco is one of the main causes for increase of cancer in India. He further said that India contributes to nearly 60 per cent of head and neck cancer patients worldwide and the number is expected to be double by 2030. This is really a worrisome trend and concrete steps need to be taken arrest this trend, he added.
The Vice President said that increase in incidence of cancer is a major concern and said that it is posing a serious challenge to healthcare providers in the country. He further said that a majority of the cancers are being detected in advanced stages for the simple reason that most of the patients are not presenting themselves early. It should be noted that many developed countries, including Europe and the U.S.A have shown reduction in cancer spread due to effective screening programmes, he added.
The Vice President called on those involved in cancer care to take measures to reverse the trend by creating awareness among the people on the need for regular medical check-ups and screening. Awareness in general population about the big C will help in early diagnosis, he added.
The Vice President also highlighted on the need to step up facilities both in urban and rural India so that people get to know the status of their health and take timely treatment such as providing mobile screening vans. He further said that one of the major concerns for all stakeholders involved in healthcare sector is the huge of cost cancer treatment. The treatment costs have to be brought down drastically and this is where institutions like BARC can play a vital role by developing low-cost technologies and equipments, he added.
The Vice President appreciated the vision of the Department of Atomic Energy for promoting safe, secure and sustainable nuclear energy through global partnership. He further said that climate change is the foremost global environmental concern and stressed on the need to avoid conflict with nature by exploiting it too much.
Saying that India must adopt, safe, environment-friendly approach for energy generation, the Vice President said that the country can learn from those who have made advancements in the field but make efforts to bring down the cost, especially in Nuclear Energy. Nuclear electricity is generated through very low carbon emitting technologies and can significantly reduce emission of Green House Gases, he added.