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Financial impact of oral cancer treatment on the households in rural India

1 Labcorp Scientific Services & Solutions Private Limited, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, MGIMS, Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Pathology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Radiotherapy, MGIMS, Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
5 Regional Cancer Center, Agartala Government Medical College, Agartala, Tripura, India

Correspondence Address:
Subodh Sharan Gupta,
Department of Community Medicine, MGIMS, Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_224_19

Background: Oral cancer ranks second and accounts for over 20% of all cancers reported in India. Like management of all other cancers, oral cancers bring a heavy financial burden to their families. This study analyzes the financial burden on families during the management of oral cancer at Kasturba Hospital, Sewagram, a government-aided tertiary health care facility in central India. Methods: The hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted in the cancer unit of a government-aided tertiary hospital of central India. A total of 100 patients with oral cancer being treated in the hospital were included in the study. Information regarding cost incurred on management of oral cancer was inquired from a close family member or a caregiver of the study subjects. Results: The out-of-pocket expenditure on treatment of oral cancer was approximately INR 100,000 (USD 1363). It has been found that 96% of families experienced catastrophic health expenditure as a result of treatment. Conclusion: Although India aims for universal health coverage, it is important to protect cancer patients from catastrophic health expenditure.

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