Make cancer treatment affordable: Vice President

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New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday asked the policy makers to put in efforts to make cancer treatment affordable.

Naidu called for strengthening of preventive, curative and palliative care programmes at national and regional levels to combat the rising incidence of cancer.

Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the new State Cancer Institute Block at Kidwai Cancer Institute, Bengaluru in Karnataka on Thursday, the Vice President expressed concern over the rising cost of cancer treatment.

Governor of Karnataka, Shri Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy and other dignitaries were present at the venue.

“No doubt, huge investments are needed for trained man power and equipment necessary for offering optimal treatment, but the government should explore various policy alternatives that would make cancer treatment affordable,” Naidu said.

He asked doctors to establish a regular communication with the patients, especially in a dreaded disease like cancer. Patients and their families need comfort. They need palliative care and more importantly kind words that make the pain bearable, he added.

Empathy and patience, care and compassion are qualities that can infuse hope in the hearts of patients and calm the troubled minds of the families, he said.

The Vice President stressed on the need to create greater awareness on the dangers of pollution, obesity, harmful use of tobacco, betel nuts and alcohol, leading sedentary lifestyle, eating junk and other foods linked to cancer. It is also equally important to take up periodic screening of people, especially those at risk of developing cancer.

The Vice President asked policy makers to evolve effective cancer prevention strategies and said that there is a need for making increased investments in the area of cancer prevention research.

We need to establish cancer units for early detection, diagnosis, treatment and to provide palliative care in rural areas where about 70 per cent of our population resides. We need to have more medical and para-medical professionals in this field of medicine, he said.

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