India. a rapidly growing economy that is only second to China in terms of population. A rising growth of cancer cases in the last decade has, however, become a major public health concern for this growing nation. With nearly 1.5 million cases registered every year, the burden of diseases like cancer can have far-reaching consequences for individuals as well as have a larger impact on the social strata of the country.
Cancer that begins in the blood-forming tissues, affecting your body’s immune system, is called blood cancer. There are mainly three types of blood cancers: Lymphoma, Leukaemia, and Multiple Myeloma, in order of rates of incidence.
While there is no data to conclusively show that the incidence of blood cancers is rising in India, the number of bone marrow transplants being performed in hospitals is steadily increasing each year.
The specific causes of Blood Cancer are not yet known. However, there are certain factors that contribute to Blood Cancer:
Studies suggest that India ranks 3rd highest in reported cases of Blood Cancer, after the US and China and affects more than 70,000 men and women in the country. This growing burden is a serious concern for public health administrators in India.
While we have gained more knowledge and expertise in understanding and treating Blood Cancer, we now have challenges which are specific to a growing country. Because of our high population, the number of cases registered is lower than in the West, but the mortality rate is higher.
This is due to a number of factors such as lack of a holistic health system, low accessibility to affordable healthcare in rural areas, and lack of awareness and education on Blood Cancer.
Blood Cancer patients require bone marrow transplants in most cases to be able to survive and lead a longer life. The aim of the treatments of blood cancer is to cure and prolong the life of people affected by it. Due to lack of awareness, diverse gene pool, and general misunderstanding with respect to bone marrow donation, India faces a huge gap in demand and supply. Take a look at what you need to know about Bone Marrow Transplant and Donation here.
A minimum of 30% of the future cancer burden can be preventable if we take necessary measure in the early stages. From tobacco sale and consumption control, dietary changes, expansion and equal distribution of medical facilities, to awareness and education programs about risks, prevention, and bone marrow donation, a lot can be done to minimise the rise of Blood Cancer in India.