Dharamshila Cancer Foundation And Research Centre

Advocacy

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Cancer is spreading like wild file. As per the latest figures available, 37% women and 42% men are likely to get cancer in their life time. Every year 7 lakhs new cancer cases are diagnosed and out of which 5.56 lacs people die from cancers every year. It is predicted that by 2020, 8.8 lakhs new patients will be diagnosed with cancer per annum and most of the deaths will be in developing countries.

Since 1996, we have been giving various proposals to Govt. on primary prevention i.e people should not get cancer and secondary prevention, i.e if the cancer has started developing in the body, it should be detected earlier by regular self-body examination by people at home and Annual Cancer Screening/ Health Check-ups.

Our last proposal to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was as under:-

S. No. Advocacy Outcome of Advocacy
1 To involve planning commission, Ministries of Agriculture, Science and technology, Labour, Information and Broadcasting, Finance, Law, Environment, Home affairs and any other relevant Ministry to jointly brainstorm the problem of rising incidence of cancer and mortality, we have to ensure the following:-
1.1 Ban plantation of tobacco and rehabilitate tobacco growers by giving them requisite training and know how to grow alternative crops instead of tobacco. Nil
1.2 Ban production, distribution, marketing, advertisement of tobacco and tobacco products. Nil
1.3 Pass the requisite legislation to give punishment to the people who donot follow the ban on tobacco on production, distribution marketing and advertisement of tobacco and tobacco products. Legislation has been passed but not being implemented
1.4 Design suitable curriculum for the text books (8th to 12th class) on Health and Cancer Education, stressing on the need to adopt healthy life styles to minimize chances of getting preventable cancers caused by Tobacco, Alcohol, unhealthy diet, obesity, infections and environmental pollution. Nil
1.5 Include chapters on primary and secondary prevention of cancers in the text books for MBBS students. Nil
1.6 Design educational programmes on primary and secondary prevention for masses, including General Practitioners, doctors of PHC and dispensaries etc. Partial compliance
1.7 Evolve a uniform health insurance policy / health Insurance scheme for the entire population, deducting suitable amount of wages at source and depositing them with the National Health Insurance Schemes / Health Insurance schemes run by NGO. Partial compliance but not implemented
1.8 Levy a suitable amount of Health Tax on all self-employed people who donot fall under the Income Tax net and deposit the same with the National Health Insurance / NGO Insurance Schemes. Nil
1.9 Ensure that all self-employed people falling within the Income Tax net either pay the Health Tax and or enclose a copy of the Health Insurance Policy for the entire family along with their Income Tax returns. Nil
1.10 Deposit suitable amount of Health Insurance premium for all voters below the poverty line with the National Health Insurance companies. Scheme announced but some of the states still have not accepted the financial packages announced by the Govt.
1.11 An upper limit of Rs. 5-10 lakhs should be fixed for Annual Health Check-up and comprehensive cancer treatment of the employee and their dependents as per the subscription paid. Amount fixed is too low
1.12 The corpus collected by the insurance companies / cancer insurance schemes promoted by NGOs should be utilized for funding annual health check-ups and cancer treatment at regional cancer centre / NGO run cancer hospitals. Nil
1.13 An updated Annual Health Certificate and immunization record should be considered an important document for admission to schools, colleges, universities, foreign travel, employment, increments, promotions, issue of ration cards, LPG connections, passports, registration with employment exchanges, award of any work contract, membership of any club, registration of a firm / company / school / college and any other organization. This is just to ensure early detection of disease at a National level and take adequate steps to treat it. Nil
1.14 All regional Cancer Centres / NGO run hospitals should raise bills against the National Medical Insurance companies for the services rendered and these bills should be cleared within 2 weeks. If the insurance company does not pay the bills within the stipulated period, it should be blacklisted and interest on the pending bills should be charged. Nil
1.15 Ensure that the National Health Insurance is managed by a Private company for effective health delivery. Nil
1.16 Issue Health Insurance Card to every citizen. Only announced but not implemented
2

Allocate enough funds for cancer control programme to ensure the following:-

  1. Mass Education for primary prevention
  2. Early Cancer Detection
  3. Establishment of Cancer Wings in all Govt. hospitals
  4. Funding of Radiation Equipment of NGOs run Cancer Centres
Partially implemented
2.1

Mass Education for Primary Prevention

Atleast 50% of the budget on cancer control should be utilized for Mass education because this will give the maximum results. The education programmes must include the entire population of the county above twelve years of age and this should be achieved by involving reputed NGOs doing cancer work all over India in coordination with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Media, Corporates, Resident Welfare Associations, Panchayats, Network of Government dispensaries, District Hospitals and Regional Cancer Centres.

Nil
2.2. Fifty percent of the budget allocated for Cancer Control Programme of India should be utilized as under:- Nil
2.2.1 Education of the masses regarding their chances of getting cancer, its prevention, early detection. The best way to reach the masses is television, radio and local regional dailies / magazines. Partial
2.2.2 Interesting TV programmes on primary and secondary prevention of cancer. Partial
2.2.3 Radio chats on primary and secondary cancer prevention. Partial
2.2.4 Interviews of cancer survivors for adopting healthy life styles. Partial
2.2.5 Interviews of people actively involved in primary and secondary cancer prevention. Partial
2.2.6 Interviews with epidemiologists and environmentalists regarding cancer burden of the country, how it can be reduced and its impact. Partial
2.2.7 Interviews with Research workers on discovery of new technologies/ skills/drugs newer inventions on cancer treatment. Partial
2.2.8 Endorsement by film personalities / other personalities on cancer prevention and early detection. Partial
2.2.9 TV serials with message for primary and secondary prevention, treatment modalities, their results, palliative care rehabilitation. Nil
2.2.10 Publishing articles in the print media of local, Regional, National dailies/Magazine on the above related subjects. Nil
2.3 Starting special channel on health education, making cancer check-up Mandatory on joining employment and annually. Nil
2.4 Starting special channel on health education, making cancer check-up Mandatory on joining employment and annually. Partial
2.5 Enrolling as many volunteers as possible to donate their time for cancer Prevention and early detection. Nil
2.6 GPs should have access to the district hospitals. Nil
2.7 The district hospital must run a cancer detection clinic for 2 hrs. every day and should have basic facilities for pap smears, FNAC, Biopsies, ultrasound, endoscopes etc. Nil
2.8 The cancer Detection Clinic of the District Hospital must be visited once a week by a cancer specialist form a Regional Cancer Centre / NOG run cancer hospital specialist Nil
2.9 All sophisticated investigations to confirm the cancer diagnosis and its stage must be carried out at only regional cancer centres / NGO run cancer hospitals and these hospitals should be compensated financially as per agreed rate list by the National Health Insurance. Nil
3 There should be centralised computerisation system for giving appointments for sophisticated investigations and treatment to avoid delays at Regional Cancer Centres / NGO run cancer hospitals. Nil
4 In case the regional cancer centres / NGO run cancer centres have full capacity utilization, additional facilities must be created either by the Government / NGO on a war footing with financial aid from the Government. Nil
5 The regional Cancer Centres / NGO run tertiary Cancer Centres must be NABH and NABL accredited to provide quality care and achieve patient satisfaction. Partial compliance
6 Cancer specialists visiting District Hospital must also conduct Annual Cancer Check-ups of all the normal healthy targeted population and issue Health Check-up certificates, jointly signed by the physicians of District Hospital. Nil
7 Undertaking from all employees at the time of going for service that they will not use tobacco in any form, will not cross more than 20% of the standard body weight, submit a certificate confirming their immunization status is as per the WHO recommendation and a medical fitness certificate. Any employee, who is found to be using tobacco or becoming obese, will loose job. Nil
8 All restaurants / hotels who do not conform to NO SMOKING in their Premises should loose their license. Nil
9 No Government / Private contracts should be awarded to any firm, which does not give an undertaking that the labour employed by them will not smoke and take alcohol at the work site. Nil
10 Strict adherence to the guidelines of environment and pollution boards. Partial Compliance
11 Mandatory use of protective devices like masks, goggles and gloves for workers handling chemicals, paints, thinners, pesticides, working in asbestos industry etc. Partial Compliance
12 Compulsory annual health report before every increment / promotion / membership for any organisation. Partial Compliance
13 Severe punishment including imprisonment and loss of job for offenders. Nil
14 Rehabilitation of tobacco growers. Nil
15 Total ban on any form of advertisement in any media for tobacco, alcohol and junk food. Nil
16 Promoting NGO actively involved in cancer control. Partial Compliance

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