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Awareness of cancer care lacking in rural areas

Despite oncologists repeatedly trying to spread the message that ‘early detection saves lives’, it is seen that only one in every three reported cases gets treated for cancer, due to the non-availability of cancer detection and treatment in non-urban areas.

Awareness of cancer care lacking in rural areas
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Stating that although early detection saves lives and that just one in eight Indians calls on a doctor in the early stages, Dr Meenakshi M, an Oncologist surgeon from the city, said, “Cancer care in India is characterised by high incidence, late detection, lack of access to quality affordable care to majority of the populace and high mortality.” 

“Cities like Madurai, Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruchy have radiation units and Oncology centres. However, patients from towns like Kanniyakumari must travel either to Chennai or to the surrounding nearby cities for treatment facilities,” said Dr Anita Ramesh, Medical Oncologist, Sri Ramachandra University. “Though the government card is available, patients have to travel long and many are not aware of the facilities available in the state. 

Some big hospitals conduct screening in smaller cities and get the patients back to their hospitals. However, if screening was available in all hospitals, it would serve to benefit the state,” she added. 

Despite surgeons taking the initiative to visit smaller towns to conduct checks and create awareness, they are unable to perform high end and complicated surgeries due to the lack of supportive and post-operative care.

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