World Cancer Day observed in Bangladesh

Devise measures to provide modern radiation treatment facilities at home

Published : 04 Feb 2023 09:44 PM

The World Cancer Day was observed in Bangladesh as elsewhere across the world for raising awareness and education about cancer and pressing governments and individuals to take action against the disease. World Cancer Day is observed on the 4th of February each year. By promoting cancer awareness, educating the public about the disease, and encouraging governments and individuals around the globe to take action against it, World Cancer Day seeks to prevent millions of deaths each year.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) updated estimation, there are about 12 lakh cancer patients in the country and every year two lakh people are attacked by cancer and 1.5 lakh people die of the disease. Reportedly, around 59 per cent of the deaths in Bangladesh are caused by non-communicable diseases (NCD), 10 per cent of which are caused by cancer.  The National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH) statistics suggest that the top 20 causes of death in Bangladesh include four types of cancer – oral, oesophageal, cervical and breast.

Cancer is 95 percent curable if it

 is identified at the primary stage

 but unfortunately majority of our

 patients are identified at the advanced

 stage because of lack of awareness

High cost of treatment, lack of adequate radiation facilities, shortage of skilled manpower, and lack of awareness within the community are the main challenges hindering cancer care in Bangladesh. On top of that, unavailability of trained medical personnel has been an impediment to development of radiation treatment facilities in the country.

In Bangladesh, only a handful of government hospitals and one or two private ones have radiotherapy/oncology departments while others provide only medical oncology service. Therefore, necessary steps should be taken to train medical physicists and therapists in order to provide modern radiation treatment facilities at home.

Cancer is 95 percent curable if it is identified at the primary stage but unfortunately majority of our patients are identified at the advanced stage because of lack of awareness.  Authorities concerned should therefore devise initiatives to make people aware of the cancer. It needs no emphasizing that concerted efforts by the government and private sectors are needed for gradual progress in cancer care management. Also, necessary steps to decrease the treatment cost of cancer. There is a need to create a new or updated cancer control plan supported by accurate data, reliable cancer registries and monitoring and evaluation programmes.