Throat Cancer is one of the many variants of a disease that claims hundreds of thousands of lives annually, across the globe. First-time sufferers recount shocking experiences on becoming aware of throat cancer. Brian Tracy, the world-renowned success Coach/Public Speaker, shared the story of his diagnosis on his website…with a diagnosis of throat cancer, a large tumor the size of a lime fruit- 2 inches by 3 inches, in my ‘right tonsillar fossa.’
Sufferers of Throat Cancer are required to receive Standard Care. Standard Care refers to the best known and tested treatment paths or routes. This treatment regimen may also include Clinical trials; which involves the application of newly developed drugs for the cure of throat cancer. From www.cancer.net, the patient is treated by a team of medical specialists that include:
Medical oncologist: A doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication.
Radiation oncologist: A doctor who specializes in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer.
Surgical oncologist: A doctor who specializes in treating cancer using surgery
Plastic (reconstruction) surgeon.
Maxillofacial Prosthodontist: A specialist who performs restorative surgery in the head and neck areas
Otolaryngologist: A doctor who specializes in the ear, nose, and throat
An oncologic dentist or oral oncologist: A dentist experienced in caring for people with head and neck cancer.
A Physical Therapist
A Speech Pathologist
Audiologist: a hearing expert
Psychologist and psychiatrist.
These professionals play critical roles before, during and after the patient has received treatment. In all instances, the patient has the right to make inquiries, express opinions and reservations, seek alternative medical counsel as well as have the utmost confidentiality.
Most of the standards as mentioned above are not in place for people who seek throat cancer cure in India. For starters, with a population of over a billion people, India bears a 21 percent burden of global cancer cases; with people living with throat cancer making up a good chunk of that number. Estimates state that one person dies from cancer every 50 seconds. Furthermore, these large numbers put a strain on India’s medical infrastructure and personnel. At Tata Memorial, India’s biggest cancer treatment Centre, doctors are allocated 10 minutes for each of over 1000 visitors to the center per week.
Receiving treatment for throat cancer does not place a premium on patient/doctor confidentiality and the dignity of the victims. Because of the numbers requiring attention, doctors are short on time and even decent operating spaces. Some doctors work from small offices and operating theaters. For patients, hundreds have to await medical attention sitting on metal seats or leaning against walls or lying on the bare floor. The usual case in oncology center across India is that Government- subsidized patients would have to share first time meetings with at least two other people in the same condition.
Also, many Indians can hardly afford the cost of receiving treatment for Throat cancer. Hence so many will choose to suffer in silence or seek alternative means for a cure. Other concerns include other competing health problems. Infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis and Leprosy still ravage vast numbers of the Indian population. Healthcare funding is stretched, and throat cancer research is still under-funded. With a population of 1.19 billion people, the total health spending per capita is 141 USD per cancer patient. This figure compares to China’s at 432 USD (1.34 billion people) and the USA’s at 8,068 USD( with a population of 380 million). Also, there are 6.5 qualified physicians per 100,000 people in India. This number compares to 14.6 in China and 24.2 for the USA.
While the Indian Government is making concerted efforts in battling Throat Cancer, the country is not a prime destination for treatment purposes, at least for the present..