• According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, India recorded an estimated 3.9 million cancer cases in 2016
Various Steps taken by Government:
  • Oncology, and its various aspects, has been a focus at places such as new AIIMS and many upgraded institutions, under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY)
  • The setting up of National Cancer Institute at Jhajjar in Haryana and a second campus of the Chittranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, has also been approved
  • All these are aimed at enhancing the capacity for screening, prevention and treatment of cancer in the country
  • An initiative of prevention, control and screening for common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) (diabetes, hypertension and oral, breast and cervical cancer) has been rolled out in more than 100 districts in 2017-18 under the NHM
The incidence of cancer has grown over the last decade in India due to various factors. Examine the causes of raising rate of cancer in India and critically examine what efforts are being made by government to address this issue. (200 Words)
Over a million die in India every year due to cancer and this number is rising every year.
Various factors responsible are:
  1. Tobacco consumption- India is home to 10% of world‘s tobacco consumption, the  second largest after china. (WHO data)
  2. Pollution- most of the Indian cities are one of the most polluted ones in the world  with high  concentration of carcinogenic substances like benzene, formaldehyde, halons, lead etc  in air and water.
  3. Contaminated food and water- heavy use of fertilizer, pesticide and unpurified  water contaminates our food and water. (Mercury, Lead, Arsenic etc.)
  4. Industrial affluent- careless disposal of industrial wastes and hazardous industrial  wastes, unsafe working condition in these industries are also contributing factors.
Steps taken by government:
  1. 25 regional cancer centres have been set up across country for treatment and research on cancer.
  2. Rastriya Aarogya Nidhi provides financial assistance to poor cancer patients.
  3. National Cancer Registry Program (NCRP) by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) keeps tracks on the statistics of cancer cases.
  4. To spread awareness many steps such as mandatory statutory warning in cigarette packets, disclaimer in movies etc. have been initiated.
But in the face of rising cancer cases, a separate program should be chalked out to deal with cancer from awareness, diagnosis to treatment.
Do you think measures taken by union and state governments to control tobacco consumption are adequate in fighting cancer? Critically comment. (200 Words)
Present Measures Adopted
  • Increasing pictorial warning to 65% of areas from present 40%
  • COTPA also bans the smoking in public places
  • Differential taxes on basis on length of Cigarettes
  • Ban of sale of gutka, jarda in States Punjab etc.
  • Awareness campaign through print ,electronic media
Issues in present approach
  • Pictorial 65% is inadequate when compared to parliamentary committee suggestion of 90% and previous decision for 85% [60 image + 25 text]
  • Taxes imposed have become more a revenue to state rather discouragement
  • Ineffective ban, even minors have access to Purchase of tobacco products
  • Use of Scorpene in advertisement, which should be Crab instead symbolising cancer
  • Textual warning are redundant as lower literacy.
  • Ineffective ban on Films and Shows which glamourize such addictions
  • Inadequate alternate sources for tobacco cultivators
  • Schemes of minor forest produce Tendupatta and no Attention towards Bidis which are as harmful as Cigarettes is Also another impediment
Tobacco causes Health expenditure of nearly 1.1 lac crore, enough for one more NFSA and even lower then combined health expenditure of Union and states govt. Consensus over such important issue beyond vested interest and in greater public importance is necessary.

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