India has over 30 per cent of total cases of head and neck cancers in the world, and out of these 70 to 80 per cent of patients seek treatment in the very late stages of disease, with traditional treatment only giving them temporary relief. Now, electrochemotherapy (ETC) — simple, highly-effective and less expensive than the traditional chemotherapy, might give cancer patients a new lease of life.
ECT, an established procedure to treat superficial cancerous tumours in Europe, has now found its way in the Indian healthcare industry. In Asia . The therapy is useful for patients who have no other method of treatment.
“It is an established process in Europe. Thirty per cent of all the head and neck cancers are in India. This is an extremely useful therapy for superficial cancers such as oral or breast cancers,” said , Consulting Oncologist.
The device uses electrodes placed under the anaesthetised skin. The electrodes then pass electrical impulses with the chemotherapy drug, which directly reaches the cancer cells. Its cost is less than the traditional therapy. Up until now, ECT has been used to treat 13 patients in India. The procedure is also simple and takes only half. ECT is not replacing conventional treatment but is an excellent addition to the arsenal for treatment. It is effective in 85 per cent of cases.