Bengaluru, 4th February 2019: To mark World Cancer Day, the Oral Cancer Task Force, an expert committee comprising leading oncologists from all over India, presented their recommendations to create guidelines for the management of head and neck cancer.
Head and neck cancer, which includes oral cancer, has been a major public health issue in India for several decades.
The Convenor of the Task Force and Founder and Managing Trustee of Biocon Foundation, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said, "Given that a third of oral cancer cases in the world are reported in India, it is a huge opportunity for our country to be at the forefront, both in the areas of policy-making and therapeutic innovation. We should not be restricted to the low end of the spectrum but go beyond, to research in epidemiology, genetics and all that goes with diagnosis and treatment. We should aspire to achieve the best outcomes for head and neck cancer with new discoveries coming out of translational research, technologies and approaches like bio-specific antibodies and checkpoint inhibitors to drive the best possible treatment. Our aim should be to move from cancer care to cancer cure."
Although, there are global guidelines for the management of head and neck cancer, India with its huge head and neck cancer burden has several demographic and genetic peculiarities, which require focus and specific therapeutic guidelines. The Task Force met with the objective of identifying optimal treatment for head and neck cancer, based on existing evidence on best outcomes among Indian patients.
Dr. G K Rath, Head, National Cancer Institute, AIIMS, and the Chair ofthe meeting said, "Every patient has the right to receive ideal and optimal care, and healthcare should be made accessible to all. We should be able to offer both the ideal and optimal approaches to our patients."
This consortium of 24 eminent oncologists, also included Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi and Dr. Kumar Prabhash, from the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Dr. K Govind Babu, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru and, Dr. Munish Gairola and Dr. Manish Singhal from Delhi.
Dr. Kumar Prabhash said, "What we follow are Western guidelines. There is a need for developing our own India specific guidelines."
His colleague from the Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi added, "While addressing India specific needs, there are still many unanswered questions and research should be encouraged. We should pursue those research proposals actively and be at the forefront of research in the global space."
Dr. Govind Babu said: "While arriving at a consensus on the management of head and neck cancer is of utmost importance, it is equally demanding to focus on prevention and early detection. All stakeholders need to participate in spreading awareness and saying no to tobacco," he said.
The Oral Cancer Task Force has laid down recommendations for the management of head and neck cancer. The document will be released soon to help physicians and patients in establishing the best healthcare solutions for head and neck cancer patients in India.
About Oral Cancer Task force:
On the occasion of World Cancer Day, 4 February 2018, an independent Oral Cancer Task Force was launched to develop a strategy for oral cancer control in India over the next decade to develop a national, cost-effective, patient-centric, sustainable oral cancer control program. The multidisciplinary task force is comprised of leading specialists who will contribute their expertise to address the burden of oral cancer. The mission of the task force would be to ideate, educate and engage stakeholders, thereby effectively down-staging oral cancer in India. Biocon Foundation is committed to implement programs in line with the vision of this expert task force.
About Biocon Ltd:
Biocon Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Biocon and Syngene International, is working to empower marginalized communities since 2005. Biocon Foundation partners with the society to promote social and economic inclusion. It has thus made significant investments in enhancing access to quality healthcare, education and civic infrastructure along with environmental sustainability projects. Combined with field initiatives, these programs create a momentum to elevate the marginalized sections of the society. Over the years, Biocon Foundation has built a strong reputation for the quality of its programs and their impact in addressing the social, humanitarian and environmental challenges facing India. To make a more meaningful impact, the Foundation regularly partners with government agencies and like-minded organizations for program delivery. Besides addressing critical national and state level challenges in primary healthcare, education and rural development, the Foundation is also augmenting environmental sustainability through the lake revival mission in Bengaluru. Visit: http://www.bioconfoundation.org
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