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Outdoor Air Pollution Key determinant for lung cancer says health experts in lung cancer awareness month

Recognizing the pressing need for comprehensive solutions, our commitment aims to revolutionize the landscape of cancer care with the right health facilities

New Delhi, 30th November 2023: In a significant stride toward combating lung cancer, India is at the forefront of enabling advanced treatment and diagnosis options for patients. Recognizing the pressing need for comprehensive solutions, our commitment aims to revolutionize the landscape of cancer care with the right health facilities says Dr Akshay Jain, Joint Director, National Health Authority Government of India at the ASSOCHAM 2nd Conference on Lung Cancer- Enabling Innovations in Treatment Pathways held in New Delhi. 

Dr. Jain emphasized Ayushman Bharat's goal to provide comprehensive, need-based healthcare instead of a sectoral, fragmented approach to health service delivery. The goal of this program is to implement ground-breaking interventions that address the healthcare system as a whole (encompassing preventive, promotion and ambulatory care). Ayushman Bharat is a continuum of care initiative that consists of two interconnected parts: the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) and Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs).There are 27000 health facilities in India to foster healthcare and 27 crore Ayushman cards are issued across the country. Digital Ayushman Act is the key to move ahead with seamless transaction integration. 

Dr. Yutaro Setoya, Team Lead, Non-Communicable Diseases, World Health Organisation, India, delivered a special address where he highlighted how 8.1% of cancer-related deaths are attributed to lung cancer. He mentioned annually, 1 lakh people are diagnosed with lung cancer and the disease significantly impacts the working-age population. WHO also commends India for its proactive ban on e-cigarettes, he added. 

Dr. Dipjyoti Das, Head Medical Planning and operations, Assam Cancer care Foundation in his address talked about delivering equitable and affordable healthcare in backward regions. He further added, through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers, we are working to reduce barriers to entry for groundbreaking lung cancer treatments, offering renewed hope to patients in Assam. 

Padmashri Prof Dr. D. S Rana Chairperson ASSOCHAM National Healthcare Council and Board of Trustees, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital how smoking is directly linked to lung cancer and how it acts as a barrier affecting lung health. Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer. About 80% of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from smoking. 

Ms Neelima Dwivedi, Senior Director External Affairs MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd stressed on India being the 2nd largest consumer in the world for tobacco and 28% of Indian population consume it. In this lung cancer awareness month, key stakeholders should join hands to curb the risk of most diagnosed cancer. A critical component of our strategy is to raise awareness about lung cancer, its risk factors, and the importance of early detection, she added. 

There are environmental and occupational determinants of lung cancer said Dr. Abhishek Shankar Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi mentioning the rise in incidence of lung cancer among non-smokers.  Lung cancer screening implementation can be part of a larger effort to educate the population about preventive healthcare and the benefits of early screening. 

By integrating advanced diagnostics, accessible treatments, education, research, and support services, we aim to empower both healthcare professionals and patients in their journey toward better lung health said Dr Sudhir Kalhan Chairperson ASSOCHAM National Digital Healthcare Taskforce. He focused on strong condemnation of deteriorating environment causing air pollution. There is a definite link of rising incidence of lung cancer in non smokers due to air pollution.

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