#India – Cost of cancer treatment could drop to Rs 1,000 a month #goodnews #Health



Author(s):
Akshay Deshmane
Issue Date:
2013-6-7

Tata Memorial Hospital’s preliminary studies of combination therapy prove successful; clinical trials to begin soon

Treatment for cancer may become far more affordable and cost less than Rs 1,000 per month in coming years, if an ongoing research project at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai is successful. The treatment currently being researched combines low dosage metronomic therapy—administration of chemotherapy at low, minimally toxic doses every day –with drug repositioning, which is the use of low cost drugs usually administered for ailments other than cancer.

The treatment of the commonest form of cancer in India – head and neck cancer– usually costs between Rs. 15,000-20,000 a month. With the new form of drug therapy, a patient’s cost of treatment could be reduced to as low as Rs 500 per month, or even Rs 250 per month if the treatment is carried out at the Tata Memorial Hospital.

Testing efficacy

A review of the preliminary studies of the method which proved successful was published in the May issue of British medical journal Lancet. Researchers are now set to begin randomised clinical trials of the combined approach of treatment on patients with head and neck cancers from next month. Confirming the development, Shripad Banavali, head of medical oncology department at Tata Memorial Hospital, said the institutional review board of the hospital has recently given clearance to begin randomised trials on patients suffering from head and neck cancer.

“More than 400 patients suffering from head and neck cancer will undergo randomised trials over three years at the hospital, beginning next month. We are starting with this (type of cancer) as it is the commonest cancer in India. Once we conduct these trials, we will have conclusive evidence about the effectiveness of the therapy,” said Banavali.

The drugs Celicoxib and Methotrexate, usually used as anti-inflammatory drugs, are also considered useful in treating head and neck cancer. Low chemotherapy doses of these drugs will be administered on patients and their effects studied closely to gauge efficacy.

Drug repositioning

The current method of treatment of cancer is called maximum tolerated dose therapy. This involves administering heavy doses which target the tumour every three or four weeks. A gap between two doses is maintained to ensure that the patient has enough time to recover from the overwhelming effects of the treatment. This treatment, however, is very expensive and not widely available. In metronomic therapy, daily low doses are administered not only on the patient’s tumour but also in areas surrounding the tumour; the blood supply is cut off and resistance power of the body is increased.

The drug discovery system followed in the West involves making new inventions and discoveries for the treatment of ailments. However, this method does not solve the problem of affordability and access to treatment in most of those suffering from ailments. In our context, we need to follow drug re-positioning method, says Banavali.

“We use drugs which are already there in the market for treatment. Also, our effort is to ensure that the drugs are among those included in the World Health Organisation’s Essential Drugs list as they are not only cheap but affordable and available the world over,” adds Banavali.


Source URL: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/cost-cancer-treatment-could-drop-rs-1000-month

 

#India – Medical negligence: Father compensated for daughter’s death #Vaw


New Delhi | Wednesday, 2013 10:06:05 AM IST

The father of a pregnant woman, who died after a negligent doctor treated her for cancer that she did not suffer from, has been awarded compensation of Rs.5 lakh by the apex consumer court.The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held Chennai-based doctor Kurien Joseph and Joseph Nursing Home in the city guilty of medical negligence and upheld the Tamil Nadu Consumer Commission’s decision that “there was medical negligence on their part in giving wrong and irrational medical treatment to the patient for a disease which she did not have”.”The rounds of chemotherapy given to her caused untold damage to her and were also responsible for her death,” said commission president Ashok Bhan and member Vineeta Rai recently, dismissing an appeal filed by the doctor and the nursing home.Joseph and the nursing home were directed to pay by June 2 a sum of Rs.5 lakh as compensation to victim G. Ushanandhini’s father Govindarajan, failing which the amount would carry an interest of 9 percent per annum, together with Rs.3,000 as costs, the commission said.The doctor and the nursing home have the option of challenging the decision in the Supreme Court.Govindarajan, a resident of Jothi Ramalingam Nagar in Perambakkam, sought compensation of Rs.10 lakh in his complaint, which stated that the cancer treatment given to his daughter was not correct since she was not suffering from the disease. Ushanandhini was admitted with complaints of stomach pain and menstural discharge despite being pregnant.The commission held the doctor and the nursing home guilty of ignoring a pathologist’s advice to conduct tests for cancer before starting the treatment.”Despite specific advice of the pathologist to correlate the provisional finding of carcinoma with the clinical picture and conduct biological test in dilutions of the patient, the appellants failed to heed this and did not conduct the required tests nor did they consult an oncologist or get biopsy done, which is the common procedure undertaken in cases of suspected cancer of this nature involving mass in the abdomen and growths,” Bhan said.The doctor and the nursing home took the defence that there were important and more than adequate indicators to confirm that the patient had cancer and that there was no need for other tests, including biopsy, which could have caused her further damage.The commission rejected the contention and said: “We are unable to accept this contention of the appellants.No medical report has been produced to conclude that Ushanandhini was suffering from cancer.”The doctor, not having conclusively established that the deceased was suffering from cancer, should have realised that chemotherapy was ill-advised on the patient. “We, therefore, hold that the opposite parties had been negligent in treating the patient and this had been the cause for the death of the patient,” the judgment said.”We note that appellants had deposited a sum of Rs.2.50 lakh with the state commission, vide this commission’s order of Feb 5, 2008. In that case, this amount be released to Govindarajan with interest accrued thereon and appellants are directed to pay the remaining amount as directed above,” Bhan said.(Rahul Chhabara can be contacted at rahul.c@ians.in)–Indo-Asian News Service rah/vm/tb

WHO downplays the health impacts of Fukushima nuclear disaster, a ‘PR Spin’


Published on Thursday, February 28, 2013 by Common Dreams

Greenpeace says report ‘shockingly downplays’ increased cancer risk for thousands of Japanese

– Jon Queally, staff writer

A new study released by the World Health Organization says that women, and especially female infants, exposed to radiation released following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan are at a significant risk of developing cancer later in life.

 A child is screened for radiation contamination before entering an evacuation center in Fukushima, Japan, Friday 1 April 2011. (Photograph: Wally Santana/AP) Despite those announcements by the WHO, critics of the new report say that overall the organization has done a great disservice by downplaying the overall dangers posed by the leaked radiation and accused the report of hiding “crucial information” about the ongoing dangers faced by those living in and beyond the Fukushima Prefecture.

“The WHO report shamelessly downplays the impact of early radioactive releases from the Fukushima disaster on people inside the 20 km evacuation zone who were not able to leave the area quickly,” said Dr. Rianne Teule, Greenpeace International nuclear radiation expert.

“The WHO should have estimated the radiation exposure of these people to give a more accurate picture of the potential long-term impacts of Fukushima. The WHO report is clearly a political statement to protect the nuclear industry and not a scientific one with people’s health in mind.”

Specifically focused on the threat to girls and women, Reuters reports on the WHO findings by explaining:

In the most contaminated area, the WHO estimated that there was a 70% higher risk of females exposed as infants developing thyroid cancer over their lifetime. The thyroid is the most exposed organ as radioactive iodine concentrates there and children are deemed especially vulnerable.

Overall, however, it was the WHO’s conclusion that “predicted risks” of cancer for Japanese generally “are low and no observable increases in cancer rates above baseline rates are anticipated,” that Greenpeace aggressively pushed back against.

Pointing out that the WHO only releases its radiation assessments only with the approval of the International Atomic Energy Agency—often criticized as an advocate for, not a regulator of, the global nuclear industry—Greenpeace says the entire report should be looked on suspiciously as more “public relations spin” than good science.

According to Greenpeace scientists, the WHO “shockingly downplays” the cancer impacts on the population by emphasizing small percentages increases in cancers, but fails to adequately describe how those seemingly small numbers translate into the risks posed ot many thousands of people.

“The WHO’s flawed report leaves its job half done,” said Teule. “The WHO and other organizations must stop downplaying and hiding the impact of the Fukushima disaster and call for more emphasis on protecting the millions of people still living in contaminated areas.”

A village where every house has a cancer patient


Feb 13, 2012-A village in Germany has left health experts baffled as almost every household there has a resident suffering from cancer, a media report said Monday.

The Wewelsfleth village with a population of 1,500 has been dubbed the “village of the damned”, said the Daily Mail.

Village mayor Ingo Karstens, who lost two wives to cancer, said: “It feels like a curse.”

Researchers from the University of Lubeck investigated the phenomenon and found cases of breast, lung, oesophageal, womb and stomach cancer.

They could, however, find no cause for the deadly disease.

Residents have blamed three nearby nuclear power plants and a shipyard where vessels were reportedly sprayed with toxic paint. Villagers say wind and rain blew in cancer-causing particles from those place into their homes.

Experts have probed the nuclear plants, the shipyard, asbestos sheeting used on roofs, electro-smog from power lines and the lifestyle of the cancer patients.

Ever heard of sari cancer?


Doctors at Grant Medical College have stated in Indian Medical Association journal that  something called sari cancer’ is on the rise.

CHENNAI Jan 30: The next time you drape a sari, you might want to re-tie that petticoat knot. According to an article in the November issue of the Journal of the Indian Medical Association, doctors at Grant Medical College in Mumbai have reported cases of what they are referring to as sari cancer.

“We have treated three women for waist or sari cancer in the last couple of years,” says author of the article Dr G D Bakhshi, who is an associate professor of surgery at Grant. He authored the piece with colleagues Dr Ashok D Borisa and Dr Mukund B Tayade. While two of the patients diagnosed a couple of years ago are mentioned in the article, the third was detected just three months ago. All the women were above the age of 40.

“The sari petticoat, if tied in the same place day after day, can cause chronic irritation along the waistline,” says the report. “The constant irritation can result in scaling or pigmentation. But most sari-wearers don’t notice it until it gets chronic,” says Dr Bakhshi.

He adds that women need to be cautious because waist dermatoses can turn malignant as it did in the case of the three women treated at GMC.

Dr Bakhshi advises sariwearers to tie their petticoats looser or switch from the usual rope-like belt to broader ones that reduce pressure on the area. He also suggests that they keep changing the level at which they tie saris. “This kind of cancer does not really affect those wearing pants or belts because the pressure is spread over a larger area, unlike in the case of a petticoat nada or string,” he says.

Treatment depends on the stage at which the cancer has been diagnosed. “If detected early, it can be treated with reconstructive surgery. But if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes then we need to remove the malignancy,” says Dr Bakhshi. He adds that if detected early the cancer is curable.

Chennai-based dermatologist Dr Maya Vedamurthy says that around 3% of sari-wearers who come to her have waist dermatoses but she has not seen any cases where it has turned malignant. “The moment I notice it, I tell the patient to start wearing the nada a little looser or switch to a broader string,” she says.

Like sari cancer, there are several lifestyle-related cancers that are increasingly being seen in India, such as breast, ovarian and tobacco-related cancers. “There are many types of tobacco-related cancers from lung and stomach to bladder and pancreatic. The cancer is also lifestyle-related, caused by smoking as well as increased levels of pollution in the environment,” says Dr T Rajkumar, professor and head of molecular oncology, Cancer Institute, Adyar.

He says breast and ovarian cancer have similar lifestylerelated causes such as late childbirth, lack of exercise, and breastfeeding on the decline. “Working women tend to postpone the age at which they have their first child and going beyond 30 is risky. With ovarian cancer, risk factors include early menarche and late menopause,” he says. Dr Rajkumar adds that colonic cancer, which is related to a low-fibre diet, is also on the rise world over.

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,231 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,784,103 hits

Archives

May 2020
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
%d bloggers like this: