15.86 lakh cancer patients in 2018: Govt tells LS

There were 15.86 lakh cancer cases in the country in 2018, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Lok Sabha on Friday.

The minister said cancer is diagnosed and treated at various levels in the health care system and the treatment of cancer is by surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and palliative care.

“As per the National Cancer Registry Programme of Indian Council of Medical Research, the estimated incidence of cancer cases in 2018 was 15,86,571,” he said during Question Hour.

Vardhan said while doctors with D.M. (Medical Oncology), M.Ch. (Surgical Oncology) and M.D. (Radiation Oncology) treat cancer patients in higher level tertiary care hospitals, other doctors such as general surgeons, gynaecologists, ENT surgeons etc. also provide treatment for cancer in government and private hospitals, depending on the type and site of cancer.

The minister said the information regarding cancer patients in government hospitals is not maintained centrally.

“Health being a state subject, the central government supplements the efforts of state governments in providing health care services including cancer care.

“The government of India is implementing the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) under the National Health Mission (NHM),” she said.

Vardhan said the objectives of NPCDCS include awareness generation for cancer prevention, screening, early detection and referral to an appropriate level institution for treatment.

He said 599 Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) clinics at District level and 3,274 NCD clinics at community health centre level have been set up under the programme.

To enhance the facilities for tertiary care of cancer, the central government is assisting 18 state cancer institutes and 20 tertiary care cancer centres under the strengthening of tertiary care for cancer scheme, he said.