Cells are the building blocks for the tissues, organs and blood in the our body. Usually, these cells divide to make new cells in a controlled way. This is how our bodies grow, heal and repair. Sometimes, this process goes errant and the cell becomes abnormal. The abnormal cell keeps dividing and making more and more abnormal cells. These cells form a lump, which is called a tumour. Not all lumps are cancerous. A lump that is not cancerous (benign) cannot spread to anywhere else in the body. A lump that is cancer (malignant) can grow into surrounding tissue.
Twhe cancer causes in India are the same as the causes elsewhere in the world, irrespective of it being in a developing or developed world. The presence and prevalence of carcinogens in the forms of chemical or biological in the environment are always responsible. The catalyst in the progression of the factors to occurrence of the disease, in the Indian context, is largely due to lifestyles and food habits.
A recent World Health Organization (WHO) study estimated more than 30,00,000 cancer patients in the country. The lack of suitable treatment centres results in patient overloading in the premier cancer treatment centres in the Country, most of which which are located at the major metros – Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and New Delhi. The institutes of repute in non-metros are few, notable among them located in the southern part of the country; and not in the northern and eastern sections of the subcontinent. The gap in supply and demand adds considerable stress on financial responsibility for treating the disease.
There is a lack of adequate health care coverage available to many people living in less developed countries and when available, it is often inequitable and not affordable. It is clear from the above data that cancer will become an increasingly important challenge to health services of developing countries in coming decades. Recognizing cancer as a public health problem hospital managers have to bring certain rationality in financing of health and hospital services, and control of these expenditures besides maintaining quality of service.