New Delhi: About 67 per cent of cancer patients availing treatment in private hospitals and about 33 per cent being treated at government hospitals sought a second opinion to find if their treatment is on correct course and to check availability of latest treatment and medicines, a survey has found. The survey was carried out by the Cancer Mukt Bharat Foundation, a Delhi based NGO on 1,769 cancer patients across India who called on its Cancer helpline number from March 1 to May 31 this year.

The maximum number of calls were from Hyderabad followed by Meerut, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Dr Ashish Gupta, a senior oncologist who is heading the Cancer Mukt Bharat Campaign, said, “In the field of cancer care, new medicines are approved almost every week. So this is the main reason to get another opinion”.

“Since the launch of the free of cost National Cancer Helpline number 9355520202, it is proving to be a support system for cancer patients across India. We get more than 50 calls every day from across all Indian states asking about latest treatment methods for their respective cancer diagnosis,” he said.

The campaign aims to reduce incidence and impact of cancer on individuals and communities through education and early detection, Dr Gupta stated.

The helpline is operational from 10 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday. Cancer patients can call on this number to speak to leading oncologists directly or even place a video call to discuss about the cancer treatment without paying any fees.

The survey found that patients from both government and private hospital were keen to take second opinion for their cancer treatment.

Dr Gupta said 67 per cent patients who called on this helpline are taking treatment from private hospitals while 33 per cent were those being treated at government hospitals.

“First step should be the best step” to win over cancer as the first step decides the success of any cancer treatment. With continuous research now we get new medicines almost every week which can treat cancer in better way leading to better outcomes and good quality of life for cancer patients.

“So second opinion can assure the use of latest medicines and treatment methods that usually differ from hospital to hospital,” he said.

Cancer requires a comprehensive and accurate approach to diagnosis and treatment. In recent years, there has been increase in demand for second opinions in cancer care. This shift is driven by advancements in technology, increased awareness among patients, and the presence of internationally trained cancer experts practising in the country, Dr Gupta elaborated.

  • Published On Jun 30, 2024 at 02:54 PM IST

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