GENDER INEQUITY IN CANCER CARE

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • Recent Lancet Commission report titled ‘Women, Power, and Cancer’ highlights gender inequity in cancer care in India.

More about the news

  • The report states that around 63% of premature deaths due to cancer in Indian women could have been prevented through risk reduction, screening, and diagnosis, while 37% could have been averted with timely and optimal treatment.
  • It notes that 6.9 million cancer deaths among Indian women were preventable, and 4.03 million were treatable.
  • Despite men being at higher risk for some cancers, cancer incidence and mortality among women in India remain high.
  • Women face challenges in accessing timely and appropriate cancer care due to factors like lack of knowledge, decision-making power, and financial resources.
  • Gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and underrepresentation of women in leadership roles are issues in providing cancer care.

Recommendations

  • It includes creating awareness, HPV vaccination for girls, improving primary health centre screening programs, and training nursing staff for early diagnosis and treatment.
  • It suggests regular data collection on gender and cancer health statistics, reducing exposures to known cancer risks, and promoting equitable access to cancer research resources and leadership opportunities for women.

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