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Abdominal cancer contributes over 26% of total cancer incidents and 35% cancer related deaths worldwide: expert

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Thursday, January 19, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The rising incidents of abdominal cancers contribute over 26 percent of the total cancer incidence and 35 percent of the overall cancers related deaths worldwide. These numbers are predicted to increase by 58 percent and 73 percent to 7.5 million and 5.6 million, respectively by 2040, according to Dr Sundeep Jain, Founder, Abdominal Cancer Foundation, Jaipur.

Moreover, these cancers are mostly diagnosed in later stages where treatment options are limited and largely ineffective.
According to a study released over a decade ago, the total economic impact of premature death and disability from cancer worldwide was $895 billion, which represented 1.5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) then.

“Apparently, India’s National Cancer Registry Program has from time to time shared the magnitude and pattern of this dreaded disease and the budget must complement National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) with increased fund allocation to capture more data and thereby improve healthcare delivery for the patients,” said Dr Sundeep Jain.

“India, the world’s fifth and Asia’s third largest economy, currently has a network of six population based and five hospital-based cancer registries under the NCRP run by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and without doubt there is a need to allocate fund and expand the ambit of cancer registries amid rising mortality due to gastrointestinal (abdominal) cancers,” Dr Jain further added.

Unlike a hospital-based registry, a national disease specific registry is a special database that contains information about people diagnosed with a specific type of disease. The allocation in the budget followed by appropriate legislation would ensure mandatory data compilation of patients, which is currently being done on a voluntary basis beyond those prescribed locations.

While India has recently established the National Cancer Grid to promote use of digital technologies and tools to improve cancer care across the country, the increased fund allocation would facilitate in tracking the clinical care and outcomes of a large sample space of the defined patient population. The data from the registry can also help device public health interventions to create awareness about prevention and early detection of these cancers.

“The pan-India data captured by the registry could help in documenting the economic burden for patients as also the nation on the healthcare spending, productivity losses from morbidity as also premature mortality and facilitate in taking corrective measures,” Dr Jain concluded.


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