Over the years, there has been an increase in cancer incidence the world over. It is estimated that in India, there are nearly 11 00 000 new cancer cases every year, of which 40% are mouth and throat cancers. About 60% of the patients come for treatment when their cancer is in the advanced stage, i.e. when chances of cure are much lower. Cancer has become one of the three leading causes of death in India.
A combination of factors is responsible for a majority coming for medical assistance when their cancer is in an advanced stage:
- Inadequate awareness of the early signs of cancer
- Inadequate awareness of cancer prevention strategies
- Fear associated with cancer. Sometimes even when a person is aware that something is wrong s/he avoids seeking qualified medical assistance
- Patients lack the wherewithal to travel to a centre that offers early detection and appropriate treatment facilities
- The grass root level medical personnel are normally not trained to detect cancer, especially in the early stages
The infrastructure is inadequate to match the numbers.
It is in this background that the Indore Cancer Foundation was set up. Its activities have been focused to work towards filling this gap.