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Mumbai: ‘Treatment of advanced oral cancer 42% costlier’ | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: The cost of treating an advanced oral cancer case in India is roughly 42% higher than the cost of treating cancer in early stages. This is the finding of the first study on cost of oral cancer by Tata Memorial Centre, Parel. India accounts for a third of the global burden of oral cancer.
The study by cancer surgeon Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi and Dr Arjun Singh found medical equipment (especially radiology services such as PET, MRI & CT) accounted for 97.8% of capital cost. “Variable costs, including consumables for surgery in advanced stages, were 1.4 times higher than early stages. With the addition of additional chemo and radiotherapy to surgery, average cost of treatment increased by 44.6%,’’ said the paper. The study found that most oral cancer patients visited sought help at an advanced stage. “Multiplying cost per unit of early and advanced cancer as per the study’s results, India spent Rs 2,386 crore in 2020 on oral cancer treatment, paid for by insurance schemes, government and private sector spending, out-of-pocket payments and charitable donations, or a combination of these,’’ said Dr Chaturvedi. Early detection strategies could lead to 20% reduction in advanced stage disease, saving Rs 250 crore annually.
TMH director Dr R A Badwe said, “The rate of new cases has increased by a staggering 68% in the past two decades, making it a real public health crisis.”




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