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Letters to the Editor

Making cancer treatment affordable

February 23, 2021 00:00:00

The number of cancer patients has been increasing in Bangladesh recently. Currently the country has more than 1.5 million cancer patients, according to a study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Most cancer patients now suffer because of inadequate treatment facilities and high cost of treatment.

Cancer treatment is Dhaka-centric and patients have to come here from different parts of the country. Many cannot find a place in government hospitals whereas private hospitals are expensive for diagnosing and treating cancer. WHO says one cancer centre is needed for every 100,000 people. Accordingly, Bangladesh needs 1,600 centres. It, however, has only 18 such centres.

Cancer can pass down from one generation to another. Screening is an important factor for members of a family with a history of cancer. Experts believe if cancer can be detected at the primary level, it can be easily contained. Early detection can make treatment easier and cheaper. Therefore, authorities concerned should prepare a set of well-planned and coordinated steps so that cancer treatment can be more accessible to people of all classes.

Afroza Sheikh,

Dania, Dhaka,

[email protected]

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