Dr Krishnamani Kalpathi speaks to ecancer about the epidemiology and treatment of lung cancer in India.
Widespread cigarette smoking means lung cancer is historically common in India, however a good amount of cases are seen in non-smokers as well.
Education and smoking cessation programmes are key, Dr Kalpathi mentions the challenges faced in general in smoking prevention in India.
He talks about the government education programmes that are underway to spread awareness about lung cancer and smoking in India, also noting that diagnosing and processing the samples is a problem in rural areas.
Dr Kalpathi further discusses access to drugs and biomarker testing / the pathology of lung cancer in India.
Cost is often less of a constraint for drugs and testing than expected, due to strong purchasing power in such a large market and the production of generic drug versions. There is a wide access to a variety of drugs, and there are also patient programmes to fund a patient’s treatment.
He also looks at metastatic lung cancer and newer modalities, especially in resource-limited settings and access and use of immunotherapy. Dr Kalpathi concludes by describing lung cancer follow-up and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.