Lifestyle changes can not only prevent cancer but also reduce medical bills over time

11:36 am Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine

Both affordability and quality of services hold importance

New Delhi, 23 January 2019: A new study now finds that cancer survivors carry a higher burden related to medical debt payments and bills compared with individuals without a cancer history. The greatest hardships are found in younger survivors. Medical financial hardship can encompass three domains: material (such as problems paying medical bills); psychological (for example, worrying about paying medical bills); and behavioral (which might include forgoing or delaying care because of cost).

When a patient seeks health care, he/she looks for availability, quality and affordability. Safety, desired outcome of treatment and respect are becoming more and more important to the patients today. Quality is always preferred but it may not always be feasible because quality care may increase the cost of treatment.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Although cancer has become an epidemic with a steep rise in its incidence, the irony is that cancer medicines are very expensive and beyond the reach of a common man. Thus, price control is very necessary to provide people with affordable cancer medicines. The government should also take adequate steps to ensure early diagnosis of cancer because it is a proven fact that early diagnosis can save many lives. There are four major types of clinical preventive care: immunizations, screening, behavioral counseling (lifestyle changes), and chemoprevention. This nomenclature is applied differently by some other disciplines.”

Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases that are caused when a group of abnormal cells begins to grow uncontrollably, often forming a tumor. Tumors can either be benign or malignant.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Under the light of these increasing prices, should we focus on affordability or should we focus on quality? Every hospital or health care establishment must try to improve and maximize quality within the resources that are available to them and with the best use of those resources. Poor quality service indicates poor utilization of resources. Both quality and affordability need to be balanced, especially in a country like ours, which has one of the highest out of expenditures on health in the world.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Pay attention to symptoms and get yourself checked regularly.
  • Using any type of tobacco puts a person at an increased risk of cancer. Avoiding or stopping the consumption of tobacco is one of the foremost steps in cancer prevention.
  • Filter tap water properly as this can reduce your exposure to possible carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals.
  • Get vaccinated on time and as per schedule. For example, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and several other kinds of cancer.
  • Drinking plenty of water and other liquids can help in reducing the risk of bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in urine and helping to flush them through the bladder faster.
  • Most importantly, make lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which can help ward off diseases.

2 Responses

  1. DR. JAYANT NAVARANGE Says:

    Very nice and simple practical advice for patients and all lay public–will surely circulate through all our official publications of IMA Pune and put it on notice boards in clinics and hospitals.

  2. Compurx Infotech Says:

    Important tips about cancer treatment,billing and causing of cancer.
    Thanks for posting this blog….!