Who We Are
The foundation is designed for advocacy and service, created to promote change, through proactive means, in both the public and medical/dental professional sectors. At the forefront of our agenda is the firm establishment in the minds of the general population for the need to undergo an annual Head Neck cancer screening, combined with an outreach to the dental and medical communities to provide this service as a matter of routine practice.
Oral Cancer is the most common cancer of all Head & Neck Cancer; with predilection towards Males. Majority of these cancers are reported in late-stage accounts for more than 70%. In the efforts to reduce the death rate from cancers in the India, the most significant progress has been made through early detection. Early discovery and diagnosis, yields better long-term outcomes, and lower morbidity to those who undergo treatments in advanced stage.
Tobacco Being the Reason for Causing Head Neck cancer in majority of patients. Tobacco awareness and cessation will help in decreasing the load of Head neck cancers in our country. Our foundation is working for tobacco awareness and tobacco counselling centre to overcome the habit of tobacco.
2. Our vision
We are committed to Supporting research and education in the early detection and treatment of Oral, Head and Neck Cancers, to advancing new therapies, and to alleviates the suffering and functional impairment of patients who undergo Treatment.
Asian Head Neck Cancer Foundation has the vision to make our country free from Head Neck cancers by inculcating lifestyle changes for prevention by counselling patient about risks associated with tobacco and alcohol consumption.
3. Our mission
The main object of the Foundation is the relief of sickness and the promotion and protection of good health among those suffering or at risk of Mouth, Throat and other Head & Neck Cancer by the collation and dissemination of relevant information among the public generally and by the provision of support to patients, carers and health professionals.
Our objectives are
- to co-ordinate and lead a oral Cancer Awareness programme in India that emphasizes early detection and prevention.
- to provide counselling and support for patients and families Individual counselling sessions for people with cancer and their loved ones; conducted in person, over the phone and via the Internet.
- providing a telephone helpline and education led by experts.
- providing an online support group and the interactive Web community.
- to foster and undertake research into any aspect of the objects of the Foundation and its work and to disseminate the results of any such research;
- to co-operate and enter into arrangements with any relevant authorities, organizations, national, local or otherwise.
Reason for initiation of Asian Head Neck Cancer Foundation
Oral cancer Among the Head Neck Cancers is a highly lethal and disfiguring disease. Not just in India, it is also the commonest cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Six million people die due to cancer every year. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 15 million new cases every year. Oral Cancer occurrence is particularly high in males.
The incidence is increasing and expected to increase more. The primary risk factor for developing cancer is tobacco usage & progressing age, although an increasing number of younger people are developing Oral Cancer.
Indian Scenario: India tops in the prevalence of oral cancer in the world; as 4 in 10 of all cancers are oral cancers. Annually 130,000 people succumb to oral cancer in India which translates into approximately 14 deaths per hour. In fact, in India, 60-80% of patients are present with advanced disease as compared to 40% in developed countries. The increasing prevalence of oral submucous fibrosis, especially in younger individuals, caused by gutka has been seen. In India, the age standardized incidence rate of oral cancer is reported at 12.6 per 100,000 people.
Risk Factors: The greatest risk factor for Oral Cancer is tobacco. It is important to mention here that tobacco is one of the largest causes of preventable deaths in the world. The relation of Oral Cancer with tobacco is well established and documented. The risk of developing oral cancer is high in case of chewable tobacco. Smoking may also lead to the development of oral cancer; Smoking causes oral cancer however chances of laryngeal cancer are more. Paan with tobacco is said to be the most potent risk factor for the development of Oral Cancer. The combination of Areca nut, Lime and tobacco is the possible reason behind the increased risk.
Other risk factors such as alcohol use , sun exposure or radiations , any sharp Offending tooth, Ill fitting dentures, vitamins deficiency & virus like HPV have also been associated with Oral and Neck Cancer.
Since risk factors are so profound and well established, undoubtedly curbing the use of tobacco is one of the major steps to prevent Oral and Neck Cancer occurrence.
The increasing use of tobacco amongst the younger population and children, has largely contributed to the sharp increase in the occurrence of Oral Cancer.
In the wake of increasing prevalence and occurrence of Oral Cancer as well as evidence supporting the effectiveness of prevention of risk factors, the step of early diagnosis and prevention is the most crucial.
More cancers are curable. However, treatments may have delayed or long-term side effects. Today, the long-term effects must be considered. There is a need for education for patients /health professionals to understand the risks and seek/provide the best possible care.
Treatment choices are more complex. Patients can be confused and overwhelmed by the treatment choices available owing to medical advancements. It is difficult for patients to determine what applies to their individual situation. There is a need for education and support that people need to manage their choices and responsibilities.
People with cancer are overwhelmed with information (some credible, some not) that is often not in the context of their individual needs. There is a need to help people shift through the information available, to understand how it applies to their individual situations.
The importance of psychosocial services is evident. Professional counseling may improve quality of life in areas such as self-esteem, sense of control, and the understanding of his/her diagnosis. People with cancer face many challenges as they grapple with their own fears, as well as the fears of their loved ones. There is a need for emotional and practical support.
Many patients encounter financial problems resulting from their illness. Patients and carers need information about government entitlements and private resources, and assistance in helping them to access and utilize these critical benefits.