By 2020, half-a-million people in India will die of cancer annually'

By 2020, half-a-million people in India will die of cancer annually'

 India will need at least 600 more cancer care centres by 2020 to meet the requirements of growing number of cancer patients when the country is likely to lose nearly half-a-million people to cancer annually, according to doctors at Manipal Hospitals.

On the eve of World Cancer Day, Manipal Hospitals announced the launch of its awareness campaign ‘Let’s Beat Cancer’. Aimed at spreading awareness and educating people against the disease, Manipal Hospitals urged people to quit smoking and alcohol, exercise more and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

The campaign was unveiled by multilingual star Arjun Sarja and his actor-nephew Dhruva Sarja, along with a group of cancer survivors who shared their experience of fighting cancer.

 Meanwhile, in a bid to drive home a point that prevention is indeed better than cure, a poster exhibition with key messages was also launched. A ‘Wishing Tree’ with messages for cancer-affected patients was inaugurated and cancer ribbons were placed on the cancer tree and later distributed to people.

People pledged against cancer by placing positive messages on the wishing tree and expressed solidarity in creating awareness among their dear ones. Handouts on cancer care and screening were distributed. The hospital is also contemplating a cycling campaign across all its units in India.

 Speaking on the occasion, Arjun Sarja said “Today, cancer is one of the deadliest diseases across the age groups and is a matter of great concern for millions who suffering from cancer. I sincerely urge people to take proactive steps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals said, “Ignorance among the public, delayed diagnosis and lack of adequate medical facilities have given cancer the dubious distinction of being a "killer disease". Incidence of cancer has increased in India, especially, prostate cancer in elderly men besides kidney, penis and intestine cancer. Women suffer more from cervix, breast and ovarian cancers. However, the fact remains that if cancer is detected in its early stages, it can be treated and an individual can lead a healthy life. Regular exercise, balanced meal and staying away from tobacco is the mantra to keep cancer at
bay.”

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