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Key concerns for cancer treatment is access to tests: Expert

06-Feb-2017

Bengaluru, Feb 4 (UNI) With the country witnessing increased incidents of cancer, the main challenge remains symptoms recognition by general practitioners and access to various tests like Pet Scan, Chemo Pathology tests and access to oncologists, an expert today said.

Briefing reporters after releasing 'Painful Wait' a research report to study the various difficulties faced by cancer patients in India, conducted by BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals, which was released on the occasion of World Cancer Day today, Dr Jayanthi S Sumsi, Breast oncologist at the hospital said the study revealed that more than 50 per cent of general practitioners were not very effective in gauging the symptoms.

Delaying diagnosis has a significant impact on the final outcome of the patient who receives cancer treatment. Patients in early stages of cancer are more likely to receive curative treatment in comparison to the palliative care that is given to end stage cancer patients. Hence, early diagnosis and initiation of treatment is crucial for higher chances,'' she said.

The study was conducted in major cities in the country like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. It said poor access to onco-physicians to confirm diagnosis was the prime difficulty. All respondents had to perform multiple tests repeatedly while consulting different oncologists at different centres which was causing a delay according to 39 per cent of respondents.

In the South, on an average the patient had visited 2.2 doctors before starting treatment. Respondents also shared that costly treatment options, re-emergence of cancer, lack of counseling to deal with the emotional stress and access to oncologists were the key areas of concern in their personal experience.

Dr Sachin Jadhav, an expert in Hematology at the hospital said cancer was characterised as a fast growing disease that is often uncontrollable. The physical impact of cancer was well documented and researched, while the far reaching impact on one's emotional state of mind was frequently ignored.

A cancer patient had a higher chance of being a survivor if he or she was supported through the journey by ensuring ease of treatment, adequate counseling and quality treatment at affordable cost, he added.

 

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