The Fact News Service
Ludhiana, March 18
There are several ways to detect cancer early, such as regular cancer screenings, self-examinations, and awareness campaigns that encourage people to seek medical attention when they notice any unusual symptoms. These measures can help identify cancer at an early stage when it is more treatable and less likely to have spread to other parts of the body.
It is important for governments to prioritize the funding and implementation of cancer detection and prevention programs to ensure that citizens have access to these life-saving measures. It is also essential to raise awareness and educate people about the importance of early detection, so they can take the necessary steps to protect their health.
The number of persons screened so far through Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) across the country include 20.53 Crore for oral cancer, 9.62 Crore for breast cancer and 6.58 Crore for cervical cancer.
This startling fact has been revealed by Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani in reply to a question about creating awareness among women regarding cancer asked by AAP MP (Rajya Sabha) from Ludhiana Sanjeev Arora in the ongoing session of Rajya Sabha.
Arora had asked about the Government’s initiatives being implemented across the country for spreading awareness regarding early detection, prevention, controlling and screening for breast, cervical, oral etc cancer which commonly affect women.
Giving this information here on Saturday, Arora said the Union Minister further informed the House that trainings of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) are conducted for early detection of three common cancers including breast cancer.
The Union Minister in her reply further stated that “Preventive aspect of Cancer is being strengthened under Comprehensive Primary Health Care through Ayushman Bharat- Health and Wellness Centre Scheme, by promotion of wellness activities and targeted communication at the community level. Further, healthy eating is also promoted through Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Fit India movement implemented by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and various Yoga related activities carried out by Ministry of AYUSH are also supplementing the preventive healthcare pertaining to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). In addition, National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) gives support under National Health Mission (NHM) for awareness generation (IEC) activities to be undertaken by the States/ UTs as per their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs).”
The Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments/ UT Administrations and provides technical and financial support to them under NPCDCS, as part of NHM. The Programme focuses on strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion and awareness generation for prevention, early diagnosis, management and referral to an appropriate level of healthcare facility for treatment of the given common NCDs including hypertension, diabetes and common cancer (oral, cervical and breast cancer) in both the sexes. There is particularly focus on cervical cancer and breast cancer. Under NPCDCS, 708 NCD clinics at District level and 5671 NCD clinics at Community Health Centre level have been set up to ensure the treatment of common NCDs.
Meanwhile, Arora said Punjab Government too under the able leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister Sh. Bhagwant Mann is committed to support cancer treatment infrastructure built in Punjab and is going for Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer screening as a mission across the State. The purpose is to detect this deadly disease early to successfully treat it. He recalled the words of Punjab FM Harpal Singh Cheema who while presenting the Budget for the Year 2023-24 to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha on March 10, 2023, had stated that “Cancer has ruined uncountable lives and families in our State. I remember that a train was infamously tagged as Cancer Express, which took Punjabis to a Cancer hospital in Bikaner.”
Further, Arora said the few proposed initiatives to be undertaken in FY 2023-24 by the Punjab Government included running and upgradation of drug management facilities and centers for which Rs.40 crores have been earmarked; Procurement of PET scan and SPECT CT machines for Homi Bhabha Cancer Centre at a cost of Rs.17 crore; and providing 24 hours Emergency Response Services at a cost of Rs.61 crore. At the same time, State Cancer Institute for cancer patients at Government Medical College, Amritsar at a cost of Rs.119 crore and Cancer Care Center at Fazilka at a cost of Rs.46 crore are expected to start soon.