To ensure that cancer care is easily affordable across the world, including India, renowned oncologists have come up with a roadmap of pragmatic solutions, which may not be moonshots but are ‘ground shots’ that are realistic and can apply to every country.
At 2023 Global Cancer Surgery Commission organised by Lancet Oncology Commission, its lead commissioner Dr Chandra Are said that they included about 50 cancer surgery experts and leaders from across the world offering diverse perspectives for the roadmap. He said as less than 25% patients (including India) have access to safe, timely and affordable cancer surgery and a majority of them end up financially bankrupt after seeking treatment.
He said experts need to look forward to the next major technological breakthrough to improve cancer surgical care while improving access to surgery, regardless of geographical location or socioeconomic status.
Experts Explain Benefits Of Surgery
As per experts, surgery is not only one of the most costeffective methods of treatment, but also tends to be more durable for many malignancies. Unfortunately, for most patients, particularly for those in low and middleincome countries, non-affordability is a “harsh reality”. Its authors state, “We hope this commission offers the practical guidance necessary to overcome these challenges.”
Dr Sanjay Sharma, oncologist at Cumbala Hill Hospital, said that the government needs to take proactive measures by reducing the GST on medical treatment or cancer surgery due to which patients become bankrupt. “The burden of cancer is only 10% but as the population is increasing, it seems the number of cancer patients is increasing but it’s the other way round,” he said.