Cancer Research, Statistics, and Treatment

LETTERS TO EDITOR
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 176-

A new hope for patients with cancer in North India


Anshul Singla1, Alok Goel2,  
1 Department of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital, Sangrur, Punjab, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology Medical Oncology, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital, Sangrur, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Alok Goel
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital, Sangrur, Punjab
India




How to cite this article:
Singla A, Goel A. A new hope for patients with cancer in North India.Cancer Res Stat Treat 2021;4:176-176


How to cite this URL:
Singla A, Goel A. A new hope for patients with cancer in North India. Cancer Res Stat Treat [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 May 9 ];4:176-176
Available from: https://www.crstonline.com/text.asp?2021/4/1/176/312062


Full Text



We read with utmost interest the hospital-level audit of patients with head-and-neck cancer presenting to a newly opened specialized cancer care facility in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, by Roy et al.[1] There have been several such single-institution studies in the past, some even from North India,[2],[3],[4] and hence, we were intrigued to discover additional insights that the authors might have gained from this exercise. Does the demographic profile of the patients, their willingness to undergo treatment, and compliance to the prescribed treatment change rapidly over time?

We appreciate the fact that the authors have comprehensively described the limitations of their study. We would also like to commend the authors for bringing these valuable data into the public domain in a timely manner, when most researchers wait until they gather a large amount of data along with the clinical outcomes before reporting their findings. Interestingly, the authors have reported a considerably higher rate of compliance (78%) than that reported in the previous studies of similar nature from the same geographical region. Could the people's perception and treatment compliance be influenced by the fact that the authors' institution was a specialized cancer center and an extension of the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, one of the most reputed and visited centers for cancer treatment in India?[5],[6],[7] Long-term prospective studies with a larger sample size will show whether this trend continues.

Another noteworthy aspect of this study is the multidisciplinary approach used for treatment planning. Several studies have reported improved patient outcomes with this approach,[8] and hence, we eagerly await the outcome data from Roy et al.'s study to see if the outcomes reported are comparable to those from other centers. The study also reported a higher proportion of patients with oral cavity cancers compared to institutions from other regions such as Delhi and Mumbai;[3] this is in line with the higher tobacco intake in this part of the country. This provides an opportunity for cancer prevention in this region through behavioral modification, tobacco cessation activities, and incorporation of tobacco cessation counseling in multidisciplinary teams. In addition, the community outreach program for cancer awareness can be strengthened. It has been shown before that frequent quality reviews and assessment of patient records are essential to identify deficiencies and to take corrective actions to further strengthen the care provided to the patients and to improve the outcomes, in general. In conclusion, this hospital-level audit provides useful insights into the unique problems that might be locally prevalent and will help provide quality clinical care to the patients.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Roy S, Mandal TK, Das S, Srinivas S, Agarwal A, Gupta A, et al. Demography and pattern of care of patients with head-and-neck carcinoma: Experience from a tertiary care center in North India. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:730-5.
2Nandi M, Mandal A, Asthana AK. Audit of cancer patients from Eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP), India: A university hospital based two year retrospective analysis. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013;14:4993-8.
3Mohanti BK, Nachiappan P, Pandey RM, Sharma A, Bahadur S, Thakar A. Analysis of 2167 head and neck cancer patients' management, treatment compliance and outcomes from a regional cancer centre, Delhi, India. J Laryngol Otol 2007;121:49-56.
4Ahluwalia H, Gupta SC, Singh M, Gupta SC, Mishra V, Singh PA, et al. Spectrum of head-neck cancers at Allahabad. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2001;53:16-21.
5Boppana M, Vora CS. Posting in Varanasi: A blessing in disguise. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2019;2:209-11.
6Nayak L. Cancer care in India's spiritual city. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:162-3.
7Srinivas S, Roy S, Mandal TK, Das S. A Varanasi experience. Cancer Res Stat Treat 2020;3:160-1.
8British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists. Practice care guidance for clinicians participating in the management of head and neck cancer patients in the UK. Drawn up by a Consensus Group of Practising Clinicians. Eur J Surg Oncol 2001;27 Suppl A:S1-17.