Sunday, 17 October, 2021

National policy vital to fight against cancer

Indian expert Vishal Rao tells the Daily Sun

National policy vital to fight against cancer
Dr Vishal Rao

Making a proper national cancer control policy by the health authority of a country is vital to fight against the deadly disease cancer, said Dr Prof US Vishal Rao, an India cancer expert, told the Daily Sun in an interview on Monday.

“At first the disease burden should be reduced through taking preventive measures and then the cancer care facilities will have to be improved to fight against cancer,” he added.

Dr Vishal Rao, the Surgical Oncologist & Dean - Centre for Academic Research, HCG Cancer Center, Bengaluru, visited Dhaka recently. He also said the Bangladesh government should set up a cancer registry with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US for making cancer a modifiable disease.

“Through the cancer registry system, the government will get necessary data on cancer patients to help the respective authorities ensure proper treatment facilities and find out the way of taking preventive measures to fight against cancer,” he added.

Explaining the reasons behind the causes of cancer, Vishal Rao, also a member of Cancer Control Committee, the government of Karnataka in India, said around 50 per cent of cancer is caused for tobacco and others for chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, adulterating in foods, environmental pollution and carcinogen.

“If the tobacco is controlled in a country then around 30-50 per cent cancer will be reduced. We are recommending banning e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco, prohibit the point of sale advertisements on different forms of tobacco products and prohibit smoking in public places,” he added. The surgical oncologist also said he believes that the cancer community must continue to partner with and encourage governments around the world to invest in cancer control and be innovative in their approach so they can better understand their country’s cancer burden, and improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.  

During his visit to Dhaka on behalf of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Vishal Rao handed over an invitation to Md. Lokman Hossain Mia, Senior Secretary for Health Services Division, Bangladesh to attend the 2021 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS) to be held in Boston, US on October 25-26 this year.