Task force set up to develop strategy for oral cancer control

Leading specialists to contribute their expertise

Published - February 03, 2018 11:04 pm IST - Bengaluru

To mark World Cancer Day on February 4, an independent Oral Cancer Task Force has been launched to develop a strategy for oral cancer control in India over the next decade.

Comprising leading specialists, who will contribute their expertise to address the burden of oral cancer, this multidisciplinary task force has a mission to ideate, educate and engage stakeholders, thereby effectively down-staging oral cancer in India.

Addressing presspersons here, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder and Managing Trustee of Biocon Foundation, and convener of the Oral Cancer Task Force, said the task force will create a master plan leveraging technology and partnerships.

It will develop a framework for operational control and impact measurement, establish relevant benchmarks and reference points through research, synchronise oral cancer control efforts with the broader national cancer control programme, and update skills of healthcare professionals. It will also establish an environment that reduces the risk factors (tobacco, alcohol, arecanut, HPV) through policy change and public awareness and strengthen the National Cancer Registry and surveillance systems, she said.

Oral cancer, which is the most common cancer in India amongst men (11.3% of all cancers) and the third most frequently occurring cancer in India amongst both men and women, has seen high incidence of mortality and morbidity that is preventable.

K.B. Linge Gowda, director of Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, expressed concern that 80% of patients report at the end stage.

“The best way to prevent oral cancer is to stop tobacco use completely. Through this task force, we aim to create awareness and work on ways to prevent and enable early detection,” said Kumar Prabhash, medical oncologist, Tata Memorial Hospital.

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