Cancer survival estimates according to the stage at diagnosis, published by UK’s Office for National Statistics a few years ago, showed that for most cancers, survival at one and five years is much higher if the cancer is detected early (at stage 1). While this may be a well-known fact, the study re-emphasises it, even breaking it up according to different types of cancers.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 disrupted the rates of early detection further – routine cancer screenings plummeted in many developed countries since the pandemic began. This is all the more worrying for India which has a high burden of cancer and where 75-80% of patients have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis. The 5-year relative survival rate for oral cavity, breast, and cervical cancer from Indian cancer registries cases is as low as 37.0%, 51.4%, and 46.1% respectively.
People diagnosed earlier with cancer are not only more likely to survive but are also likely to have an improved quality of life compared with those diagnosed late. Early diagnosis, says a Lancet report, is “the holy grail of cancer care”.
…using them to solve the problem is easier said than done because of the sheer lack of imaging diagnostic equipment available in hospitals. India reportedly has just 1 MRI unit per million of its population, which is certainly frightening considering the high rates of cancer in the country.
A news report some years ago in the India Today magazine said that India’s public health system is so underfunded and overburdened that at GB Pant Hospital, one of the biggest state-run medical institutes in the country, a patient was asked to return after three years for an MRI!
New MRI and CT scanners can cost more than ₹1 Crore each, which is high even for wealthy countries. So, what is the solution for effective early detection of cancers?
Refurbished equipment can play a critical role in the battle to prevent cancer deaths worldwide. These work just as well as a brand new machine, but can cost as little as a third, and so can certainly help reduce the capital investments required. Most pieces of Imaging equipment are built to be highly durable, and skilled refurbishment can extend their useful lives by many more years.
It is important to understand that ‘refurbished’ does NOT mean damaged or old. The safety and effectiveness of refurbished equipment are comparable to new devices as the machines undergo decontamination, calibration, repair, software upgrade, and replacement of worn parts. They undergo a complete and meticulous set of industrial procedures, safety inspections, and screenings before reaching the market.
We’d love to partner with you in the battle against cancer. For state-of-the-art refurbished diagnostic and imaging equipment, do give us a call at Blue Star Engineering & Electronics.