BHUBANESWAR/CUTTACK: In a major boost to cancer care in the State, the Government is planning to establish cancer screening and diagnostic facilities at the community health centre (CHC) level within the next couple of years.
A pilot project will go underway in three districts, Koraput, Cuttack and Sambalpur, from April this year with focus on three major cancers - cervical, oral and breast. Women attending public health institutions from CHC upwards in the district will be screened for cervical cancer.
“Cervical cancer accounts for more than 25 per cent of all cancers in Odisha. The major cause of concern is that almost the bulk of patients are detected at advanced stages where cure is not an option. If detected early, it can be completely cured,” said State Nodal Officer for Non- communicable diseases Dr PKB Patnaik.
In addition, ANMs, ASHAs and Health Workers would be engaged in community level surveillance and also educate the people on self-examination techniques for breasts and oral cavities, which is key to early detection.
While the World Cancer Day was observed on Wednesday, in Odisha as many as 80,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed every year with oral, head and neck contributing more than 40 per cent, cervical around 25 per cent and breast around 15 per cent.
The problem is aggravated by a serious lack of cancer care facilities in the State. There are only around 400 beds including both public and private centres for 60,000 patients every year. Due to lack of proper diagnosis and treatment, cure rate is only 30 per cent in India and worse in Odisha, whereas it is over 50 per cent in the developed countries, said medical director of Panda Curie Cancer Hospital Dr Krupasindhu Panda.
“Thus, we have to focus on early detection and prevention which can only be achieved by installing capacities at health institutions and generating awareness in the population,” said Director of Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre Prof SK Giri.