Changing Profile and the Burden of Treatment of Cancer in India

Shalini Rudra, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Indrani Gupta, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG)

The study used data on morbidity and healthcare utilization from three large-scale household surveys pertaining to three different time periods to analyze the shifts in self-reported cancer and the correlates and determinants of expenditure on treatment. A clear increase in self-reported cancer across the three time periods is observed specifically for women, those with less education, across income quartiles as well as vulnerable social classes. Such pattern is suggestive of shifting profiles of those afflicted with chronic illnesses across the socioeconomic spectrum and Cancer is seen to increase treatment burden relatively on households with cases of cancer. The increasing cases among vulnerable classes and the high treatment costs are likely to reduce welfare impact on health equity. Prevention efforts need to consider the relevance of such messages of changing face of the disease, to be effective, and advocates for a much higher focus of research and policy on cancer.

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Presented in Poster Session 7