In economically backward and developing country like India where infrastructural facilities pertaining to health and medical care are scarcely available ; the timely resorting to cancer screening tests may save innumerable lives
Now cancer is public health problem, globally. Cancer is claiming heavy human lives and causing untold suffering and agony to its victims. Cancer is an abnormal cell which goes on multiplication and replication in a diseased and uncontrolled manner. It is a morbid state of health of human economy. It is very detrimental to well being state of human body. Within a specified time from a single morbid cell,there is growth of hard lump or infiltrated mass of tumour cells. In Indian parlance, the most common prevalent cancer include cancer of breast, cancer of cervix, cancer of oral cavity, cancer of lungs, prostate cancer, cancer of esophagus, cancer of rectum and colon etc.
According to one data and search report, around six lacs of people died of cancer in India in 2010.Breast and cervical cancers account for 40% cancer deaths. This demonstrates fatality and lethality of cancer among Indian woman. The most prevalent cancers among Indian men are cancers pertaing to lungs and oral cavity.
Cancer screening is done and pursed as a means of detecting the cancerous growth early before it assumes alarming proportions in a symptomatic people and its prognosis becomes tedious and non manageable. Detecting of cancer at an early stage or in its primary stage may provide better treatment and management. After initial detection the cancer prognosis may follow favorable course. According to one estimate 35% deaths caused by malignancy may be avoided if it is diagnosed and detected early in its developmental manifestations. When metastasis occurs from the primary lesion to surrounding tissues and distant area by way of blood and lymph than its prognosis becomes hapless and blurred.
The Indian govt is spending tremendous amount of money on cancer screening tests especially for women to educate and make the public aware of the fatalities of malignancy and to focus the attention of public on the burning issue of cancer. Generally speaking, the cancers for which these screening tests are advocated belong to breast,cervix and lungs. The screening has two modes. Either it is broad based and organized public screening on the unit base population or opportunistic screening , a kind of volitional screening by individual himself or herself. Following screening tests final diagnosis is reached by biopsy and histopathological examination of the patient concerned
Screening for breast cancer among women above 30 years of age involving mammographic screening has proved very efficacious in reducing the mortality rate. The govt agencies are claiming that 30% of mortality of breast cancer can be reduced by employing and inspiring women populations for screening tests. Mammography is must for every two years.
Oral cancer accounts for almost as high as30% of all malignancies. The high incidence of oral cancer is caused by indiscriminate chewing of tobacco in its varied forms by Indian people. Although oral cancer is subjected to visual inspection by medical experts, over 80% patients present with advanced form of malignancy. Oral cancer screening by trained health workers may decrease the mortality of cancer in India. The incidence of colorectal cancer is also on the increase in India. Screening strategies in colorectal diseases, before the onset of malignancy, may easily detect and remove the primary lesion .Fecal testing and colorectal colonoscopy are accepted strategies for colorectal cancer screening. All those vulnerable to this type of cancer by the presence of strong family history of cancer should undergo fecal occult blood testing annually and routinely. Many of the colorectal cancer deaths may be prevented with screening because pre cancerous polyps can be easily detected and identified before cancers cell explode into full blown malignancy by invading surrounding and distant parts of body, a phenomenon called metastasis by medical experts.
One fundamental drawback of screening tests is that sometimes these may alarm false positive tests which may further lead to anxiety and unnecessary invasive diagnosis procedures. In spite of all the shortcomings, these cancer screening tests have great relevance to Indian society and its people and their utility can not be ruled out or undermined in any way .