With an aim to tackle the estimated spurt of 500% in cancer cases in the country in the next two decades, the Union government has signed an MoU with the Indian Cooperative Oncology Network (ICON), a national body of cancer specialists specializing in cancer training, teaching, education and cooperative cancer clinical trials in India. The objective of the MoU is to conduct cancer awareness and education (CME) in all the 315 odd medical colleges of the country for undergraduate and post-graduate medical students.
Hemant Malhotra, head of medical oncology (SMS Medical College) and the programme director of CME, known as PromOTE (Promoting of Oncology Training and Education), said recognising the gravity of the situation and the relative lack of knowledge and interest in the medical students – both UGs and PGs -regarding cancer, this programme is expected to make them better acquainted with oncology, to ensure early diagnosis and better treatment of cancer patients.
Malhotra said according to WHO’s observation, more than two-thirds of all the cancer deaths annually will be recorded in developing countries. “Indian cancer registry data suggest that one in every 10 Indians will develop cancer in his/her lifetime. The diagnosis, work-up and the management of the cancer patient has undergone a dramatic change in the past 20 years and today more than 50% of all cancer cases can be cured,” Malhotra added.