Raipur: Oral, lung, breast, and cervical cancers remain among the most prevalent carcinomas identified in the state of Chhattisgarh. Early diagnosis and screening are paramount for cancer prevention, as emphasised by Professor Pradeep Chandrakar, a Radiation Oncologist at the Regional Cancer Care Centre in Raipur.
“Patients in rural areas often lack knowledge about the importance of follow-up appointments, which can lead to complications,” Dr Chandrakar stated.
Shveta Dwivedi, a 50-year-old cancer survivor from the capital city, recounted her challenging journey. Diagnosed in her mid-30s with advanced metastatic cancer, she endured over a hundred grueling chemotherapy sessions and a decade of treatment.
Despite financial constraints and moments of despair, Dwivedi’s determination and familial support sustained her through the ordeal. Even after being declared cancer-free initially, she continues to undergo follow-up appointments, underscoring their significance in monitoring post-treatment changes in the body.
Geet, a 12-year-old girl battling blood cancer in a rural district, radiates strength and optimism. Despite the hardships of treatment and confinement to a hospital ward, she remains resolute in her fight against cancer.
Dr Chandrakar stressed the importance of early cancer screening, highlighting its role in detecting symptomatic patients for timely intervention. He lamented the lack of awareness and the tendency to ignore symptoms, particularly in rural areas, exacerbating the severity of the disease.
Sudeshna Ruhhaan, representing the Niramayah Cancer Foundation, highlighted challenges faced by cancer patients, including financial burdens and centralised cancer care facilities. She advocated for decentralised cancer care to ease patient accessibility and emphasised the need for increased screening and awareness initiatives.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), early screening and detection significantly reduce the burden of cancer. However, many women in Chhattisgarh seek treatment only at advanced stages, limiting their chances of survival.