Awareness and early detection

Cancer care in India faces a multitude of challenges, including low awareness, inadequate and accessible infrastructure, and exorbitant treatment costs. However, the preeminent and most pressing challenge in cancer diagnosis and treatment remains late detection. Even though the primary factor in achieving superior clinical outcomes in cancer management hinges on the ability to detect the ailment in its nascent stages, India grapples with a 70% late detection rate, with only 30% of cases being detected at an early stage. Globally, however, this 70:30 ratio stands reversed with only 30% of cases detected at a late stage.

Tata Trusts have designed and implemented a public health programme for reducing the cancer burden through an MoU with the National Health Mission (NHM) in multiple regions for the structured implementation of cancer screening for oral, breast, and cervical cancers.

The Trusts have deployed dedicated outreach teams in regions where their hospitals are set up. Screening and awareness camps, on-ground activations and campaigns are regularly organised.

As a part of the MoU with NHM, front-line health workers are trained for cancer screening and community mobilisation.

A multi-pronged strategy has been adopted in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, the education department, NGOs, and NSS groups to ensure maximum coverage of tobacco control initiatives and reduce risk of cancer.

Opportunistic screening kiosks have been introduced as a proactive step towards downstaging cancer. Screening and awareness kiosks have been set up in collaboration with Government Medical College Hospitals / District/ Area  hospitals to provide free screening and awareness services to patients and their family members.

To ensure a continuum of care, palliative care services are being strengthened across the Cancer Care Programme centres.

To strengthen cancer awareness and early detection efforts and to break the barriers involved in cancer detection, the Tata Trusts have collaborated with Network-18 for a special programme, Sanjeevani – United Against Cancer, as knowledge partners.

There is a pressing need to formulate a supportive social narrative to remove the stigma attached to cancer. Awareness campaigns and on-ground efforts can pave the way for this narrative and boost awareness and screening.

More initiatives