World Cancer Day 2022: Spotlight On India’s Fight Against Cancer!

By: Sonali, Diamond

Published On: February 04, 2022

A global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), World Cancer Day is observed on 4th February every year. At its core, the day is observed to unite global leaders and citizens - to fight cancer together, inspire change and take actions to reduce the suffering around cancer. 


For years now, cancer has terrorized human life. Currently, this brutal disease is the second leading cause of human death in the world. Since a while now, ImpactGuru has witnessed several stories of hope, strength, kindness, and courage when it comes to fighting cancer. One thing that has been common throughout the years is the will and determination to stand tall against cancer by patients across all age groups. ImpactGuru, one of the leading crowdfunding platforms in India has helped many patients to afford and get timely medical treatment with the help of cancer crowdfunding. ImpactGuru has helped several cancer patients facing various challenges while accessing cancer treatment that we bring to light ahead. 


This World Cancer Day, we focus on the various challenges plaguing India’s fight against cancer. How we as a community can collectively help fight this deadly disease and contribute towards creating a cancer-free nation. 




World Cancer Day 2022


The first World Cancer Day was observed on February 4, 2000, during the World Cancer Conference in Paris, France. Since then, every year the day has been marked with different themes and campaigns around the world. The main aim is to raise awareness around the disease, eliminate the various stigmas associated and minimize cancer-related mortality. For the next three years, the theme for World Cancer Day will be ‘Close the Care Gap’, focusing on recognizing and eliminating the disparities and inequity in cancer care at regional and global levels. 


Read: What are the different types of treatments for cancer


Closing The Gap In Cancer Care


According to a report by WHO and the World Bank, at least half of the world’s population lacks access to essential healthcare services. Each year a large number of households are pushed into poverty as they have to pay for healthcare expenses out of their own pockets. As per UICC, when it comes to cancer, many patients are denied basic healthcare despite the fact that ‘we live in a time of awe-inspiring advancement in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.’ This is one of the equity gaps and is costing lives! Addressing the equity gap, UICC has mentioned 7 barriers that stand in the way of cancer care and one amongst them is poverty and socioeconomic status. 




Poverty has serious implications for access to quality cancer care. Lower socioeconomic status causes countless obstacles to one’s financial means to access cancer care. According to a study by the ACTION study group published on BMC Medicine, regardless of where a person lives, if diagnosed with advanced cancer, belongs to low-income status, and lacks health insurance, they are more likely to experience financial catastrophe or die within 12 months of the cancer diagnosis. 


Economic Burden Of Cancer In India


Despite India having seen remarkable progress in the medical field for research, medicines, diagnosis, especially with regards to cancer treatment, around 8.5 lakh people died due to cancer in 2020 alone. One of the primary reasons for this is the unaffordability of cancer treatment by the majority of the population. Research conducted on cancer in India published in the Asian Pacific Journal Of Cancer Prevention revealed a shocking statistic that 18% of cancer patients said that they have knowingly delayed medical treatment even after being diagnosed, due to financial barriers. Around 76% faced financial problems while undergoing cancer treatment. 


Average Cost Of Common Type Of Cancer Treatment In India


Types Of Cancer

Starting Average Cost Of Treatment

(In INR) 

Breast Cancer Surgical

1,68,185 

Cervical Cancer Surgical

3,29,059 

Oral Cancer Surgical

2,19,372 

Prostate Cancer Surgical

3,29,059

Colon Cancer Treatment

4,60,683 

Lung Cancer Treatment

5,33,807 

Stomach Cancer Treatment

402,183 


The average monthly income in India is around ₹16,000. This makes critical and long-term cancer treatment far beyond reach for most of India.  As a result of which, medical treatment costs are forcing more and more Indians into debt. One common way to cover the cost of expensive cancer treatments is through health insurance. However, a report by Niti Aayog shows that nearly 30% of the Indian population is devoid of any form of health insurance, and some of those who have insurance may not have complete coverage. 




India’s Fight Against Cancer


The National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) has estimated that by the year 2025, India is likely to see a 20% increase in cancer cases. To reiterate, in 2020 alone, India observed over 13 lakh cancer cases and over 8.5 lakh deaths. According to the World Cancer Report by WHO and its specialized International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 1 in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime and one in 15 will die of it. Although all of this data sounds quite frightening, the Indian Cancer Society has stated that many cancers are treatable, if detected early and treated in time. 


However, we saw that the financial demands of such urgent treatments cannot always be met within the required time and may lead to patients losing their life. So, how can we exactly come out of this vicious cycle?


Can Cancer Patients In India Afford Costly Cancer Treatments?


One of the major barriers for cancer patients in India is the financial hardship to get timely access to cancer treatment and the difficulty in paying high hospital bills. Various government schemes have been launched in the past many years to relieve some of the financial burdens that the patients incur. Schemes like the Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund, The Health Minister’s Discretionary Grants, State Illness Assistance Fund, The Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), and many more do help cancer patients in their financial hardships but are limited to a certain amount and to an only certain category of patients. 




In recent times a practice that is emerging to be one of the most viable options to financing costly cancer treatment in India is Medical Crowdfunding. At its heart, medical crowdfunding is the practice of supporting a medical cause by raising money from a relatively large number of people where each person contributes a small amount as per their ability. As India’s leading medical crowdfunding platform, ImpactGuru has supported various online cancer fundraisers by connecting potential donors to those in need. 


Read: How medical fundraising in India is beating cancer


Here are some stories where medical crowdfunding became a ray of hope for cancer patients in India -


Thousands of donors at ImpactGuru helped to save 1-year-old Rudransh from cancer




Little Rudransh was diagnosed with cancer days before his first birthday. The family called for his first birthday cake at the hospital with some hope to create happy moments in those dark times. The bandage and the IV line covered his tiny hand as the little guy attempted to fight cancer. Just earlier, the doctors at Fortis Memorial Research Institute informed the family that he needed a bone marrow transplant worth ₹18 to ₹20 lakh. By then, the family had already exhausted all their savings on Rudransh’s treatment. With urgency and medical bills knocking at their door, they then decided to start an online fundraiser on a fundraising platform in India. With the support from several generous donors, Rudransh completed his cancer treatment, the little man is all happy and lives a cancer-free life.


Vegetable vendor’s son lives a cancer-free life. Thanks to ImpactGuru’s donors!




3-years-old Krish was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (blood cancer) with persistent fever and a body full of rashes. As his condition worsened day by day, the doctors informed his father that Krish needed a bone marrow transplant worth 26 lakh to survive. The family was shattered as Krish’s father earned only ₹200 per day and had no source to afford such expensive treatment. However, they found a silver lining in such dark times when they started a fundraiser and several generous donors came forward and made Krish’s transplant possible! 


There are many other stories of hope and kindness where people in need started an online fundraising campaign and received support from generous donors from all around the world. If you or any other loved one around you is struggling to manage medical expenses, starting a free online fundraiser at ImpactGuru can help to overcome this difficult time. One of the best features of crowdfunding is that there is no liability to pay back. 


Read: Planning A Fundraiser For Your Cancer Treatment? Follow These Steps To Begin


Let’s Play Our Role In Closing The Cancer-Care Gap!


As individuals and social beings, we have an important role to play too in this fight against cancer. How? By doing our small bit in making cancer treatment accessible and affordable to those in need. Despite various initiatives and schemes, there is a large number of cancer patients who are in dire need of our collective help to get timely medical treatment. ImpactGuru created a simple yet innovative solution for cancer patients in India. Our Monthly Giving Subscription provides cancer patients with timely healthcare. All you have to do? Choose any amount that you are comfortable with donating monthly and set up your Giving Subscription for easy, automatic and life-saving giving!


Why Give Monthly?


  • Your monthly donations are automatically directed to urgent cancer fundraisers of the month.

  • As a monthly donor, you also receive monthly fund utilization reports to view the impact you helped create!

  • You can also avail of 80G tax benefits on your donations that allow for a more sustainable style of giving.


The reality today is who you are and where you live could mean the difference between life and death. It isn’t fair. But we can change this.


- UICC,2022. 


When people unite and when communities come forward to help the vulnerable, change is within reach. This World Cancer Day, let’s make sure that we all contribute our bit in closing the gap in cancer care, paving a way towards a better health environment, and building a cancer-free society.


Also Read:


Caring For A Cancer Patient At Home: 10 Things You Can Do


Cancer Symptoms And Causes: Getting the basics right



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