Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla said that it was our collective responsibility to make people aware about the cancer disease as awareness was a key to the early detection of the cancer. The Governor stated this while addressing a conference on ‘Cancer – A Growing Concern’ organized by Simla Sanitarium and Hospital of Seventh-Day Adventists at Gaiety Theatre, Shimla, today. In low and middle-income countries, patients with cancer generally have a poorer prognosis compared with patients in high-income countries, the reasons being lack of awareness, late diagnosis and inequitable access to affordable curative services.

The Governor said that compassion, empathy and a sense of community could provide solace and strength to individuals and their families as they navigate the often-daunting path of cancer treatment. Most of the cancers remain in the precancerous stage for a longer period and early diagnosis will help in reducing mortality. He said that Cancer was a growing concern that has touched the lives of countless individuals across the world and this formidable adversary has become an ever-present challenge, affecting not only the individuals diagnosed but also their families, friends and communities at large.

He said that cancer in its various forms has become a global health crisis, demanding attention, resources and collaborative efforts. The statistics were staggering and the impact was profound, he added and said “Behind every statistic is a personal story, a human face and a community affected by the relentless burden of this disease”. It was revealed in the conference that the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for nearly one in six deaths, he said.

He detailed that in year 2020 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), World Cancer Report, released by WHO revealed that Asia accounts for 49.3% of the global cases of this deadly disease. What’s even more alarming is the projection that from 2020 to 2040, Asia will experience a staggering 59.2 per cent increase in new cancer cases, he said. The incidence of cancer in India is projected to touch 15. 7 lakh per year by 2025, up from nearly 14.6 lakh such cases recorded in 2022, as per WHO report. It was estimated that one in ten Indians would develop cancer in their lifetime and one in 15 will lose their lives to it.

The Governor focussed on a comprehensive and collaborative approach. He said that it was our collective responsibility to advocate for and invest in healthcare systems that prioritize early detection and intervention. Earlier, Dr. Jacob Prabhakar Chindrupu, Medical Director of the Ruby Nelson Memorial Hospital, Jalandhar welcomed the Governor. He said that the Seventh-Day Adventists were the largest Protestant Health care providers in the world and operated more than 200 hospitals and medical facilities in over 25 countries.

Dr. Dave Weigley, President, Columbia Union Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, USA welcomed and honoured the Governor on the occasion. Cancer experts, faculty and heads of various Departments from India and abroad were also present on the occasion.

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