The rapid advance of cancer in India and ways to stay protected against it
Fighting cancer and living to tell the story is no small feat. The mere name of this dreaded disease incites a substantial amount of anxiety. However, the more worrisome factor here is our lack of awareness. With the World Health Organisation (WHO) reporting up to seven lakh cancer deaths in India during 2015, it is high time we change our approach from being reactive to proactive.
Major Types of Cancer in India
Breast and cervical cancer are the most common types of cancers affecting India women. According to Breast Cancer India, breast cancer accounts for 25-32% of all cancer cases, making it the leading type of cancer.
For men, oral cavity and lung cancer are the most common, caused by the excessive intake of tobacco. Collectively, they account for over 50% of cancer deaths in India.
The National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research states that every year more than seven lakh cancer patients are registered and around 25 lakh are living with the disease. A majority of these numbers succumb to death due to late detection.
How Susceptible To Cancer Are You?
With cancer becoming one of the leading causes of death in India, it is important to assess our vulnerability to it. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy eating habits can increase susceptibility to the illness. Exposure to highly polluted environment and processed food are other contributors. In addition, the usage of tobacco and tobacco-related products is a major cause for oral and lung cancer.
Thus, a change in the way we go about our daily lives can help to alleviate the risk of cancer to a certain extent.
Prevention and Early Detection
The following changes, though simple, not only reduce your risk for cancer but also for many other diseases:
- Opting to consume a healthier diet and avoiding processed food
- Quitting the use of tobacco and related products
- Reducing the intake of alcohol
- Controlling your BMI
- Staying fit and active through any form of exercise
While adopting a healthy lifestyle can go a long way, it is not a sure-fire method to prevent cancer. Early detection is considered one of the key elements for treatment of cancer. If the disease is detected quickly, it not only reduces the risk of death but also the cost of treatment.
Regular health check-ups and screenings can detect cancer in its initial stages. This increases your chances of survival and reduces the pain and difficulty that patients in advanced stages go through. With a suitable health insurance plan, you can avail the benefits of regular screenings and tests.
Due to expensive infrastructure and technology-based drugs, the cost of treatment is becoming higher. A sudden incidence of cancer can disrupt the livelihood of individuals. Cancer being a long term disease, the costs are recurring in nature. This places a huge financial burden and results in added grief, often wiping out a person’s life savings.
The Financial Aid from Health Insurance
To combat this problem, insurance companies offer a variety of health insurance plans with benefits that help alleviate the financial burden. Tailor-made cancer plans are reasonably priced compared to other health-related plans. It also helps that a deduction under section 80D of the Income Tax Act is available for premium paid for health insurance.
It is advisable to opt for an insurance policy related to cancer to ensure peace of mind and be prepared for eventualities.