Some Delhi-based urologists on Tuesday hailed the government’s health insurance scheme, saying it would make treatment of all urological disorders, including prostate cancer, easier for the poor and weaker sections. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) under Ayushman Bharat Mission will cover treatment of all urological disorders, including prostate cancer, and this will immensely help patients from poor and weaker sections who had so far neglected the critical disease due to unaffordable cost of treatment, said Dr Anup Kumar, Head of Department of Urology and Renal Transplant at Safdarjang Hospital. “Under PMJAY, the government, in consultations with healthcare providers, has fixed up charges for treatment for all urological disorders and that will be reimbursed by the insurers. Due to lack of awareness in rural areas people tend to ignore prostate problems and now with PMJAY in place, a large number of people can avail treatment for prostate cancer which is the second largest cancer in the country (in terms of prevalence),” Kumar said.
Prevalence of prostate problems in India is progressively rising and the experts recommended targeted or smart screening to diagnose prostate cancer in early stage and cure the disease. “The cancer projection data shows that the number of cases will become doubled by 2020. Delhi Cancer registry shows cancer of the prostate is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in Delhi where incidence of cancer is 10-12 percent and after oral cancers, prostate is the leading problem,” Kumar said. Rising cases of enlargement of the prostate, which is not a result of cancer and is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, and prostate cancer are major challenges for the Indian health systems, said Dr P N Dogra, head of department of urology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
In view of progressively rising non-communicable diseases, including cancer burden in the country, the government is mulling to launch a massive awareness campaign. The experts said that the proposed campaign would greatly help in creating awareness about prostate cancer, its causes and availability of latest treatments. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in Indian males, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and various state cancer registries. The incidence rate in India is 9-10/100,000 population which is higher than other parts of Asia and Africa but lower than the US and Europe. – Business Standard