Cost of treatment is the highest for breast cancer: Report

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, Breast, Cervical, Oral, Lung and Colorectal Cancers contribute to a greater proportion of incidences, accounting for 47% of all cancer cases. While there is enough and more data on how cancer patients live with this disease, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance embarked on a research journey to determine how oncologists perceive India’s readiness to fight the battle of cancer.

The findings of its report titled ‘The Big C’ serve as a warning call to all – not just in terms of early detection, and survival, but also affordability.

Here are some noteworthy findings:

  • Doctors believe cancer incidences will rise by 23% over the next five years, and Breast, Cervical and Ovarian Cancers are likely to see a greater proportion of incidences
  • While causes of cancer are known, most cases are detected at a locally advanced stage, which is Stages 2 & 3
  • More than 40% cases of Breast and Cervical Cancer are diagnosed at a locally advanced stage, affecting the survival rate of the patients
  • At a locally advanced stage, survival rate of breast cancer patients drops significantly from 68% after the first year of diagnosis to 37% after 5 years
  • At a locally advanced stage, survival rate of cervical cancer patients drops significantly from 59% after the first year of diagnosis to 25% after 5 years
  • Cost burden of treatment is the highest for breast cancer at 13.2 Lakhs for a late stage treatment
  • Nearly 50% patients are uninsured to meet the expenses of medical treatment

While survival rates will drop as cancer condition progresses, cost of treatment increases significantly. This leads to several patients dropping out of the much-needed treatment routine.

This report hopes to spread and deepen awareness among its readers regarding the importance of critical illness cover to provide for such unforeseen circumstances, the possibility of which seems distant but is very likely.

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