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Related News: Developmental Issues | Topic: Health & Sanitation and related issues

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October 03, 2023 07:36 pm | Updated 08:34 pm IST - NEW DELHI


Image used for representational purpose only. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

With only a few districts across India being able to effectively implement cancer screening measures in accordance with Health Ministry norms, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is gearing up to bring in remedial measures. It has invited Expressions of Interest on the implementation of research to accelerate cancer screening, early diagnosis, and treatment.

Also read | Cancer cases in India projected to rise from 14.6 lakh in 2022 to 15.7 lakh in 2025: Govt.

The Council noted cancer poses a significant and pressing public health challenge in India, which currently ranks third in cancer incidence after China and the United States. According to Global Cancer Observatory projections, however, India is expected to witness a substantial 57.5% increase in cancer cases between 2020 and 2040.

In the long run, the Council is looking at improving the coverage and quality of cancer screening through the existing healthcare system using accepted and validated methods. It plans to engage non-specialist physicians and other health care workers within a supportive healthcare system for the screening of cancer as well as pre-cancerous conditions. The Council also wants to ensure that all those who test positive are linked to facilities for early diagnosis and treatment. The involvement of local communities is key to encourage the target population to undergo screening for early diagnosis and treatment. 

“Research has indicated that frontline health workers, such as Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), have the potential to play a crucial role in promoting and conducting home-based cancer screening. Home screening has resulted in higher compliance rates because it offers the privacy and convenience necessary for individuals to participate actively in the screening process,’’ the Council noted.

This will be a four year project, ICMR said, including six months for preparatory activities and another six months for analysis and interpretation. It will also include formative, implementation, and evaluation phases. 


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