Nationwide Cancer Control Programme

Nationwide Cancer Control Programme – A three tier programme

To be implemented in three Stages:

(I) Awareness 1/3 Cancers are preventable

(II) Detection 1/3 early detection & Cure

(III) Palliative Care 1/3 quality of life can be improved in terminal cases

Extract from National Cancer Control Programmes – 1995 World Health Organisation

Extract from National Cancer Control Programme – 1985 Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India

Some excerpts from the National Cancer Control Programmes

Both NCCPs have emphasized on the Primary prevention which is generating awareness about cancer causing factors, good dietary habits and healthy living habits and Secondary Prevention which is awareness about the early symptoms of cancer thereby promoting early detection and cure.

National Cancer Control Programme, Government of India:

“The Governement of India launched a National Cancer Control Programme in 1975-76 but it did not take up well as expected because at that time priorities were given for equipping the premier cancer hospitals/ institutions with sophisticated treatment modalities. We all know that in advance stages of cancer therapy is not at all cost effective, the strategy was revised in 1984-85 and stress was laid on primary prevention and early detection of cancer.” – Page 2.

“There is thus, the need to evolve a practical strategy to meet this challenge, keeping in mind the limited resources available to the country. This can perhaps be done by giving major emphasis to the primary prevention and early detection of cancer rather than face the burden of costly treatment for advanced stage cancer which is not at all cost effective. It is estimated that with appropriate measures upto 40% of all cancers in India can be prevented and about a third can be detected early and cured by appropriate measures. The reminder will need palliative treatment for relief of pain and other symptoms which at present is to the tune of 90%. Therefore a strategy has to be evolved to diagnose cancer cases in early stages.” – Page 4.

National Cancer Control Programmes of the World Health Organisation:

“When cancer is diagnosed, it is natural reaction to seek to cure the condition, and increasingly effective treatment strategies indeed make cure possible in certain cases. However, undue reliance on this approach, which often involves the use of sophisticated and expensive techniques, can result in inequitable selection of patients, rapid depletion of scarce resources, and a shift in emphasis away from much more appropriate and affordable prevention activities.” (inequitable selection of patients hereby means patients in advanced stages) ? Executive Summary page xiii, NCCP WHO.

Cancer can be controlled by Prevention and Early Detection

Prevention and early detection are two of the most important and effective strategies for reaching the Cancer Aid Society’s goals of saving loss of precious human lives due to cancer, diminishing sufferings of not only the patient but the entire family due to expensive treatment which is almost ineffective in the terminal stages.

Both prevention and early detection are on the priority list of the Cancer Aid Society for the control of the disease at the National Level. The Society is actively involved in awareness related research including risk factors and early detection methodology, as well as in planning and carrying out programs that apply this knowledge to prevent cancers or find them as early as possible.


Primary Prevention is generating awareness amongst the masses about cancer, good dietary and healthy living habits, ill effects of tobacco and passive smoking, carcinogens .

Secondary Prevention is generating awareness on the symptoms of cancer in the Primary stages promoting self examination, followed by early diagnosis and treatment when it is likely curable and cost of treatment is comparatively lesser thereby saving the precious human lives, their families and the National resources which are often wasted in advanced stage treatment (about 80% of the cases are detected in the advanced stages).


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