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National Cancer Control Programme

Cancer is an important public health problem with 7 to 9 lakh cases occurring every year. At any point of time, it is estimated that there are nearly 25 lakh cases in the country. Four lakh deaths are estimated to occur every year due to cancer. Forty per cent of the cancers in the country are due to tobacco. Hence Tobacco related cancers are very common among males, namely, cancers of the lungs and oral cavity. Among women, cancer of uterine cervix and breast are common.

The National Cancer Control Programme (External website that opens in a new window) was launched in 1975-76 with the objectives of primary prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation. In order to cater to the changing needs of the disease the programme has undergone three revisions with the third revision in December 2004. Under the revised programme, the primary focus is on correcting the geographic imbalance in the availability of cancer care facilities across the country. The scope of the programme and the quantum of assistance under the various schemes have been increased.

There are 5 schemes under the Revised Programme:

  • Recognition of new Regional Cancer Centres (RCCs) by providing a onetime grant of Rs.5.00 crore.
  • Strengthening of existing RCCs by providing a one-time grant of Rs.3.00 crore.
  • Development of Oncology Wing by providing enhanced grant of Rs.3.00 crore to the Government institutions (Medical Colleges as well as government hospitals).
  • District Cancer Control Programme by providing the grant-in-aid of Rs.90.00 lakh spread over a period of 5 years.
  • Decentralised NGO Scheme by providing a grant of Rs.8000 per camp to the NGOs for IEC activities.

Guidelines for the durable scheme are available on the officers report of the Ministry of Health:

  • As of now, there are 25 Regional Cancer Centres providing comprehensive cancer care services. There are 210 institutions possessing radiotherapy installations.
  • A National Strategic Task Force has been constituted to formulate a strategy for the National Cancer Control Programme for the Eleventh Five year Plan.
  • Training: In order to increase the capacity of the health staff at all levels of health care, training manuals have been developed in cancer control, tobacco cessation, cytology and palliative care.
  • Onconet-India: C-DAC Trivandrum has been entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the DPR for Operationalisation of Onconet India. Under the project all 25 RCCs will be linked with each other and also each RCC would in turn be linked to 5 peripheral centres.
  • Membership of IARC: India has become a member of the International Agency for Research in Cancer that shall provide a fillip to cancer research in the country.
  • National Cancer Awareness Day : November 7th, the birth anniversary of Madame Curie is observed as the National Cancer Awareness Day. Number of banners are displayed for creating awareness among the general masses about cancer on the day.

Health Minister's Cancer Patient Fund Under "RAN"

The "Health Minister's Cancer Patient Fund" (HMCPF) within the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) Scheme has also been set up in 2009. In order to utilize the HMCPF, it is proposed to establish the revolving fund like RAN in the Various Regional Cancer Centre(s) (RCCs) which are getting fund for equipments from Cancer Programme of Govt. of India. Such step would ensure and speed up financial assistance to needy patients and would help to fulfil the objective of HMCPF under RAN. The Financial Assistance to the Cancer Patients up to Rs.1,00,000/- ( lakhs only), would be processed by the concerned Institute/Hospitals on whose disposal, the revolving fund has been placed. The cases of financial assistance above this limit would be referred by the Hospitals/Institutes for assistance from Central Funds. Initially, 27 Regional Cancer Centres have been proposed, for whom revolving funds of (Rs.10 lakhs) have been released.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 10-02-2011