A step towards greenery 

Delhi NCR’s pollution is increasing day by day and this is leading to a multitude of health problems among the population. 

According to a report, yesterday was the most polluted day of the year and this is bound to get worse as the winters progress. 

For a better and cleaner future, all of us have to make a sincere effort and it doesn’t need to be a giant leap. Even a small step towards greenery will go a long way in achieving this goal.

  
I saw this boot outside somebody’s’ house during my recent trip to New Zealand and was quite impressed by the idea. We also need to think out of the box to come up with more green solutions for our country and combat the rising pollution.

Go Green and Prevent Pollution!

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“Debunk the Myths” – Theme for World Cancer Day 2014

This year’s theme for the World Cancer Day –  “Debunk the Myths” is very apt for our country. Four myths have been highlighted by in this year’s agenda:myths

Source: www.worldcancerday.org

Myth 1:  We don’t need to talk about cancer
Truth: Whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level.

Myth 2: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer
Truth: For many cancers, there are warning signs and symptoms and the benefits of early detection are indisputable.

Myth 3: There is nothing I can do about cancer
Truth: There is a lot that can be done at an individual, community and policy level and with the right strategies; a third of the most common cancers can be prevented.

Myth 4: I don’t have the right to cancer care
Truth: All people have the right to access proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, and without suffering hardship as a consequence.

Everyone should come together and spread these messages across the community, so that maximum people can benefit from them. Another point which needs attention in our country is the Social Stigma, which some cancer survivors have to face. It needs to be highlighted that cancer is not contagious and that a cancer patient/survivor has the right to live a normal life.

Breast cancer cases in India to double by 2030

Currently, one in 23 Indian women develop breast cancer, but a recently concluded study states that the numbers are going to double by 2030 –Breast cancer cases to double by 2030: Study – Times Of India.

India is on the brink of a breast cancer epidemic and the question is that is it really prepared to handle this epidemic?

This study highlights some important facts:

  1. 115,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year and this number will double by 2030.
  2. Indian breast cancer presents a decade earlier than the Western world. This means Indian women in their thirties and forties will bear the brunt of this epidemic. As screening mammograms are not very useful in this age group, it cannot be used as an effective screening modality.
  3. Increasing longevity and lifestyle changes have been attributed to this sudden rise in the number of breast cancer cases.

There are some more shocking facts about Breast Cancer in India, which have been highlighted by other studies.

  1. Lack of awareness about this disease compounded by the lack of screening guidelines in the country, leads to majority of the patients presenting with locally advanced breast cancer. A study which I published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine, couple of years back, highlights this problem – Patient and provider delays in breast cancer patients attending a tertiary care centre: a prospective study.
  2. The above mentioned study also highlights the lack of preparedness of the medical system to tackle with this epidemic. There are very few centres in India, which are providing dedicated Breast Cancer Services. These facts should trigger a positive change in the medical system and more emphasis should be paid to develop dedicated breast cancer units across the country.

As it is extremely difficult to develop screening guidelines for breast cancer in our country, I feel increasing awareness about this disease is the first thing which we should focus on, in addition to developing a more comprehensive breast cancer service in our country.

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