Practo Insights: Appointments with oncologists increase by 94% in India

Cancer cases in India have doubled in recent years. According to reports, India’s cancer incidence was estimated at 1.15 million new patients in 2018 and is predicted to almost double by 2040. Karnataka is in the top five states in India, when it comes to reporting new cancer cases every year. For every one lakh men and women, there are 113.4 and 139.1 cancer cases diagnosed respectively. This average is greater than that of New Delhi and Mumbai.

Practo Insights: Appointments with oncologists increase by 94% in India

Practo insights corroborate this fact where the increase in the number of online consultations and appointment bookings with Oncologists in Bangalore is almost double that of Delhi NCR and Mumbai. The appointment bookings for Oncologists in Bangalore grew by 44% in the last year while Mumbai and Delhi NCR saw an increase of 23% and 19% respectively. Additionally, there has been a 95% increase in the number of people searching about cancer on Practo as compared to last year. Our insights indicate that there’s an increased awareness among people regarding cancer and the need for timely medical assistance from a qualified specialist.  

Oral cancer emerged as one of the most discussed cancer-related topics last year, according to the latest Practo Insights report. Oral cancer is a major public health problem in India where it ranks among the top three types of cancers in the country. It accounts for over 30% of all cancers reported in the country. India has one third of oral cancer cases in the world. The types of queries that came in with respect to oral cancer were on smoking and tobacco chewing.

Practo Insights:

  • Practo receives an average of 25000 cancer related queries every month
  • Online consultations with Oncologists witnessed a 44% increase
    • 70% of these requests came from men
    • Majority of the queries  came from people aged between 21-40
  • In-clinic appointments for oncologists grew by 108%
  • The most discussed topics on cancer are breast cancer, oral cancer, prostate cancer and blood cancer
    • Bangalore, Mumbai, Lucknow, Indore, Chennai and Kolkata are the cities where the search for Oral cancer is higher than the others
    • The type of queries that came in for oral cancer was ‘Can smoking cause oral cancer’, ‘Can ulcers in the mouth cause oral cancer’, ‘early signs and symptoms of oral cancer’, and ‘Does tobacco chewing cause oral cancer’
  • The top cities W.R.T online queries and in-clinic consultations are Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai (in that order)
    • In Bangalore, oral cancer was the most-searched cancer related topics while breast cancer, Oesophageal cancer, lung cancer and blood cancer topped the search results for cancer queries in Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai respectively

Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said:

Digital is helping healthcare get to grips with patients' evolving expectations and experience. It empowers patients to be in control of their health and caregivers to deliver better quality care. Reports indicate that India is likely to register over 17 lakh new cancer cases and eight lakh deaths by 2020. It's important to tap into technology, esp. for early detection and access to high quality care, that are critical in oncology care. With Digital, there's more awareness and access to qualified specialists and facility to consult remotely, which serves as a lifeline, particularly to patients in rural and underserved areas.

As the country's leading digital healthcare platform, we are committed to bringing digital healthcare's convenience to a billion Indians."

Dr Sandeep Nayak, Director, Department of  Surgical Oncology, Fortis Cancer Institute, Bangalore, said:

It is true that the incidence of cancer is increasing. The increase is due to multiple factors. One of the important reasons is the increase in our aging population as life expectancy has increased. Today people have better awareness of cancer, so they get diagnosed earlier. People are seeking online opinions as well as look for information online for the same from platforms like Practo for reliable content. This has resulted in tremendous demand for online information. It is the responsibility of the medical fraternity to provide the right content online to help people. We need to strongly believe in the World Health Organisation theme of cancer day that is 'I Can, We Can', which indicates that every small contribution that we all make towards cancer awareness is valuable."

Dr Dhruv Kacker, Cofounder, Aaroogya (MDS, Prosthodontist):

We, at Aaroogya are solving the problem of late detection of Cancer of Breast, Oral and Cervical of women by prevention and early detection. And, the most important element of prevention is self awareness which is reaching a vast audience and making them understand the need for proper medical examinations. Our outreach is multiplied by partnering with digital healthcare platforms like Practo which acts two ways - Digital mode to create awareness, and give proper medical solutions with relevant doctors by analysing the trends of Cancers across geography and timeline. We have reached around 51000 women across India and we believe that platforms like Practo will have the ability to help us extend our reach multifold in the coming years.”



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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