Muzaffarnagar: The department of radiation oncology at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), organised a conference — UPAROICON — during the weekend under the aegis of the Association of Radiation Oncologists of India (AROI) at Hotel Ramada in Aligarh. The event themed “Glorious Past, Emerging Future” focused on escalating cancer cases in India.
Dr Prashant Mathur, director of ICMR-National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research, graced the inaugural occasion as chief guest. “The nation is facing an estimated 14,61,427 new cases and a crude incidence rate of 100.4 per 1,00,000 people, confronts a substantial health and financial challenge. Almost 50 per cent of cancers can be avoided through risk reduction strategies like addressing tobacco and alcohol use, diet, physical activity, air pollution, overweight or obesity, and infections.”
“Over the past three decades, pattern of cancer diagnosis has shifted — with 60 per cent to 70 per cent cases being identified at advanced stages. Although, early detection and cancer screening programs are crucial, they are in early development stages. The conference underscored urgent need for universal, cost-effective, accessible, and equitable cancer care, particularly in light of increased complexity and cost associated with treating advanced-stage cancers,” he added
AMU VC Mohammad Gulrez highlighted the importance of such conferences in fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration. He hoped the two-day conference would contribute to intellectual growth and positive change in radiation oncology.
Dr Surbhi Gupta, general secretary of UP-AROI, emphasised the role of technological advancements in radiotherapy since the discovery of X-rays in 1895. Meanwhile, Veena Maheshwari, dean of faculty of medicine, addressed challenges in oncology healthcare in India, including infrastructure limitations and lack of awareness.
The organising chairman, Mohammad Akram, stressed on the importance of learning from accumulated clinical experiences and laboratory research. He highlighted the need to balance the technical aspects of radiation therapy with insights from cancer biology, incorporating advancements in AI, genomics, proteomics, and radiomics.
With over 200 delegates from across Uttar Pradesh, the conference aimed to explore and debate best practices in radiation therapy. Dr Mohsin Khan, the organising secretary, delivered a vote of thanks, while Dr Samreen Zaheer conducted the proceedings.