It has been estimated that one in every ten Indians will suffer from cancer at some point in their lives. Cancer is now a critical health and human issue.
World Cancer Day is an organisation that works to reduce the incidence of cancer, and advocates for better cancer care. Each year, February 4th is dedicated to the cause of cancer, and governments, institutions, charities, businesses and communities from all over the world are doing their bit to support this cause.
This year the conversation is focused on how we can close the care gap in cancer. Not everyone with cancer gets the same level of care. Their location, economic situation, gender and many other aspects tend to influence the kind of treatment, information and assistance they receive.
We, at Onco.com, are committed to reducing this gap all year round through our services. We also have some additional offers and events for the month of February, with the intention of making cancer care more accessible to everyone.
The financial gap in cancer care
In India, one of the first gaps that cancer patients and caregivers speak of is the financial gap. Cancer treatment is widely considered expensive and beyond the means of most Indians. Subsidised cancer treatment facilities are unable to meet the demands of the population, leading to long waiting lists of patients.
In an effort to make quality cancer care more affordable, we are offering Onco Care Plus. At INR 399 per month, you can avail the following benefits:
- One free in-person consultation with an oncologist
- One free audio consultation with an oncologist
- 35% off on diagnostic tests and scans from our partner centres
- 5% off on cancer treatments from our partner hospitals
- 15% off on medicine delivery from our partners
- 50% off on the Tumour Board service that finds the best treatment plan for you
The information gap in cancer care
Cancer patients and caregivers are often given varied and conflicting advice by well-wishers and the internet can also throw up a lot of (mis)information on how cancer can be treated.
To bridge this gap, we are providing answers to all questions related to cancer care for free. This is a feature of the Onco Cancer Care app that can be downloaded for free. This means you can get accurate answers to your queries without having to wait or wade through a lot of websites that may or may not have scientific content.
Additionally, Onco Care Plus also provides a complimentary, customized nutrition plan to ensure that cancer patients know what kinds of foods will help them get the most out of their treatment plan.
Our care managers also provide handholding throughout a patient’s cancer journey so that they can get all the right information at one place, be it finding the right cancer facility for them, or finding out how to deal with a particular side effect.
The access gap in cancer care
Seventy percent of India lives in rural locations but ninety percent of cancer care is concentrated in urban areas. This problem of access to cancer treatment expertise is further compounded by the pandemic situation where lockdowns and the fear of viruses prevent people from traveling for treatment.
Through online services like doctor consultation and Tumour Board, we are hoping to reduce this gap and enable more people to get the best possible services irrespective of where they are located.
Additionally, we host free virtual events with expert oncologists, cancer survivors and medical practitioners to aid the sharing of knowledge and experience. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to know more about these events.
The technology gap in cancer care
Cutting edge-technology in chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, is still largely concentrated in a few cancer centres in metropolitan cities. The location and price point of these centres put these facilities out of the reach of most cancer patients.
Our Onco Cancer Care Centres are providing world-class technology in cancer care, at affordable packages, at multiple locations to allow easy access. Treatments like chemotherapy, and targeted therapy are provided in a safe and comfortable environment that is COVID-free. Patients also get access to scalp-cooling technology that reduces side-effects like hair loss.
The compassion gap in cancer care
An unfortunate consequence of cancer in India is the social taboo that accompanies it. People still hesitate from sharing their diagnosis for fear of social isolation.
Through our community of survivors who are very vocal about their cancer stories, we hope to change this trend. These survivors also offer mentorship to anyone who is seeking support and encouragement during their cancer treatment.
We also promote a holistic approach to cancer care, which includes counselling services for the patient as well as for cancer caregivers.
How can you join this fight against cancer?
If you are moved by this cause, we urge you to join us in closing these gaps in cancer care. Here are some of the ways in which you can join this fight against cancer:
If you know a cancer patient or a cancer caregiver who can benefit from the above information, please share it with them. They will be pleasantly surprised to find out that quality cancer care can be more affordable than they previously thought it to be.
Awareness of the symptoms of cancer helps you spot cancer early, while it is still in the early stages. To improve your understanding of what causes cancer and how you can reduce your risk of developing it, visit our blog.
February is Cancer Awareness Month, but any month of the year is a good time to host an event around cancer. Virtual events are popular in most educational institutions and workplaces. Take a look at this list of ideas on how to promote cancer awareness.
Get yourself checked
No one is invincible, when it comes to cancer. An annual health check can highlight any abnormalities that need investigation.
Set reminders to check your breasts regularly for any lumps. Watch this video to know how you can self-examine your breasts. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in India and it is easily treatable if detected in the early stages.
Speak to your doctor about your family history of cancer to find out which screening tests you should be going for. Cancers of the breast and cervix can be identified in the very early stages through simple screening tests.
Switch to a healthy lifestyle
Having an optimal weight and leading an active lifestyle can cut down your risk of developing cancer.
Simple changes in your lifestyle can be a start towards cancer prevention. Avoiding processed foods, red meat, sugary drinks etc can be one such change. Consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables can also greatly contribute towards this.
Tobacco is the most preventable cause of cancer. After cancers of the breast and cervix, the most common type of cancer in India is cancer of the lip and oral cavity. Tobacco is one of the most important causes of this type of cancer.
Apart from different types of cancer, including lung, oral and cervical cancer, tobacco also causes many other illnesses. If you have trouble quitting your tobacco habit, speak to a de-addiction counsellor who will help you succeed.
The long road ahead
Much work remains to be done to make cancer care truly accessible and egalitarian. We look forward to partnering with every person who is looking to bridge these gaps in cancer care in India.
To know more about our events for World Cancer Day, visit us virtually.