With the detection of 40,000 to 60,000 new cancer patients every year, Odisha is emerging as one of the worst affected states in the country.
What is more alarming is that the State has around 3 lakh cases of surviving cancer patients and 70 to 80 percent of cases are detected as stage-III or stage-IV, when treatment is costly and the survival rate is low.
In a bid to expand the cancer care initiatives, the Odisha Government has initiated process for establishment of seven new radiotherapy units in the State. The units will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to treat all major cancers.
While one unit each will be opened at Capital Hospital, Angul, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar and Nabarangpur, two units will be set up at Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) at Cuttack. Earlier, MKCG Medical College and Hospital at Berhampur and VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) at Burla had radiotherapy departments apart from the AHRCC.
Special Secretary of Health Department Dr Kailash Chandra Dash said seven new radiotherapy units would be made functional in this financial year. These centres would help reduce the burden of patients on the AHRCC, where patients had to wait for several days due to long queues to avail radiation therapy, he added.
Dash said palliative care service, including pain management, has been started at the District Headquarters Hospitals (DHHs) where free chemotheray treatment and cancer day care services are being provided since last year.
The State Government is also planing to introduce home-based palliative care through trained medical practitioners and open tertiary care centres at VIMSAR, MKCG Medical College and Hospital and Kalahandi DHH, which would help reduce the disease burden.