When centers cannot hold

A million people get cancer each year in India and 980,000 die. “The system is overwhelmed,” as one epidemiologist told me. The government is strengthening and expanding national and state cancer institutes, and some cancer treatment is covered by new national insurance programs. However, there’s concern that boosted spending on treating patients with advanced cancer in both public and (essentially unregulated) private cancer centers will quickly soak up most funding for cancer care, at the expense of more cost-effective prevention and early detection programs. Such issues in cost-effectiveness may be clear–but they wouldn’t be clear to you or me if we were among the million.

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