The professor also suggested that the government may also consider making health care awareness as part of school curriculum.
New Delhi: Imperial College professor Justin Stebbing, one of world’s leading oncologists and professor of cancer medicine and oncology, said that massive awareness drive, curb on consumption of tobacco and alcohol and creating a niche environment for treatment are some of the key factors that will take India closer to reversing the trend of growing incidence of cancer in the country.
Prof Stebbing, who was in the national capital recently, recommended that the government should use the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi to wage a decisive war on tobacco control.
“Tobacco and alcohol pose the biggest risks and it is vital to curb their use through mass public programs with special focus on the youth and children,” said Prof Stebbing, who also serves as editor-in-chief of Oncogene, springer nature’s foremost cancer journal.
The professor also suggested that the government may also consider making health care awareness as part of school curriculum — children are the best brand ambassadors for bringing about social reforms and “we should use it effectively”.
Professor Stebbing, who has published more than 600 peer reviewed papers in leading journals, said that along with chemotherapy, there was a need to deploy judicious use of immunotherapy, biological therapy, counseling and nutrition support for the best cure in patients.
“The future of cancer care depends on how the doctors can personalise the treatment plan. I also think going to big medical institutions may not be required, as this experience may further add to the trauma of cancer patients and their families,” he said.
“A niche environment, in and out patient department model, with provision of world-class facilities and specialists’ care is the key to good personalised care,” Prof Stebbing felt.
While cautioning the people against getting scared, Prof Stebbing said that cancer care has made advances by leaps and bounds and efforts are underway to both cure and prolong the lives of the patients.
“We have heard it so many times that detection at the right time largely improves the chances of cure and good prognosis, yet we do not often go for screening,” the professor added.