The Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu expressed concern over increasing cancer cases in the county and called for establishing more affordable cancer treatment centres to provide preventive, curative and palliative care programmes. He said this while interacting with scientists, staff & faculty members of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre & Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
The Vice President noted that the 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 double by 2030. This is really a worrisome trend and concrete steps need to be taken to 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 explained.
The Vice President called on those involved in cancer care to take measures to reverse the trend by creating awareness among people on the need for regular medical check-ups and screening.
The Vice President also highlighted the need to step up facilities both in urban and rural India. 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 said.
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 added that climate change was the foremost global environmental concern and stressed on the need to avoid conflict with nature by exploiting it too much.
Batting for 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.