urrently, around 25 million people of all ages are afflicted by cancer in the country. However, the number is increasing day by day with 8 to 10 million new patients being added to the dreaded list, say experts. The number of cancer patients in Vidarbha is highest but the region lacks Linear Accelerator Unit facility. Moreover, there are only 2000 Radiation Oncologists in entire India as against the requirement of 6000.
Nagpur News: Maharashtra Chapter and Association of Radiation Oncologists of India organized a two-day conference on recent advances in the Radiation Oncology field. The conference was held in the memory of late Dr. J S Pinto of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and Padmashree Dr. Ketayuna Dinshaw.
Currently, around 25 million people of all ages are afflicted by cancer in the country. However, the number is increasing day by day with 8 to 10 million new patients being added to the dreaded list, say experts. The situation becomes worse when the number of insufficient doctors to treat these cancer patients is taken into consideration. If the experts are to be believed, then there is drastic need to have around 6000 Radiation Oncologists in the country. On the contrary, there are only 2000 Radiation Oncologist doctors available. Cancer is spreading rapidly in Asia continent and the number of the cancer patients is expected to increase 300 times within 10 years.
Talking to Nagpur Today, Dr. Ramesh Billimanga of Karnataka said, “Informal Radiation Technique (IRT), image Guidance Modulation Therapy (IGMT) and Stereotactic Radio Therapy (SRS) are the latest techniques which are being used to treat the cancer patients in the country. The benefit of these therapies is that the normal tissues do not get affected during the treatment which was till the case in older treatment therapies,” said Dr. Ramesh Billimanga.
Expressing his views, Secretary of MH AROI, Mumbai, Umesh Mahantasetti said that infrastructure in rural areas should be the focus of the Central and State Government and they should work for this delicate issue together. Currently there are 385 radio therapy centers in India which should be increased to 12000-13000, asserted the Radiation Oncologist and added that insufficient manpower is also a serious issue as every Radiation Oncologist has the burden of many patients.
Dr. K. V. Kannan of Tata Memorial Hospital said, “The number of cancer patients is rapidly growing in the country and the future will witness more and more cancer patients in BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). He added that the cancer patient should not travel more than 20 km. However, unfortunately, there are hundreds of poor people who are forced to travel long distance as there are no facilities near their place for treatment. In Vidarbha, the situation is far more disturbing, said Dr K. V. Kannan. The number of cancer patients in Vidarbha is highest in the country but still there is not a single Linear Accelerator Unit which is shameful, lamented Dr. K. V. Kannan.