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Year 2012

Doctors, cancer surviviors join hands to spread awareness

The Times Of India.
18 Aug 2012

Oncologists and cancer survivors in Pune came together to celebrate 'freedom from cancer' – a theme derived to signify various successes made in the fight against cancer recently in Pune on the eve of 65th Independence Day.

The objective was to spread the word that cancer is curable and one can lead a normal life after surviving cancer. Misconception like cancer is not curable or that one could not lead a normal life after cancer treatment were addressed as survivors shared their experiences.

"The number of individuals who have survived cancer has considerably increased over the years. Certain adult cancers have a survival rate of 70% or more, while a few childhood cancers may have a greater cure rate, " said medical oncologist Chetan Deshmukh while addressing a news conference here.

Deshmukh said that in the last few years the medical science achieved a lot many successes in curing and preventing a number of diseases – cancer is one among them.

"Countries like the US have taken it so seriously that they have declared 'War Against Cancer'. The results of collective efforts, that are taking place across globe, are very promising and it seems that we are very close to conquering this disease, " Deshmukh said.

The medical science has been able to cure up to 80% cancers if they are diagnosed in early stage. He further said that breast cancer was now completely curable and added that cancer cure has entered a new era.

The advancements in the field of medical science have enabled survival of more than 10% cancer victims in their last stage. The greatest advancements have been in the area of childhood cancers.

"Childhood leukemia used to kill about 80% kids with the disease. Today more than 80% survive. Similarly, testicular cancer once claimed 95%of its victims; today upwards of 95% survive. Overall, during the mid–1970s, the five– year survival rate among adults for all cancers combined was 50%; today it is about 65%, " Deshmukh said.

Early detection is the surest way to get it cured. Generally people know about only few cancers such as breast, lung, liver, bone and blood cancer whereas there are about 200 types of cancers and all these cancers have different initial symptoms and stages.

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