All cancer care facilities in the State, both private and public sector, will have to mandatorily set up multidisciplinary tumour boards and ensure that patients are provided optimum treatment as per the standard treatment guidelines.
Even smaller cancer centres will have to develop, in course, multidisciplinary chemo/tumour boards, including medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, who will together decide the best course of treatment for every patient.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of oncologists from 30-odd private and public sector cancer care institutions across the State at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) here over the weekend, to aid the State government’s efforts to draw up standard treatment guidelines for common cancers in the State.
Though Kerala has a well-established system for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, inequity in access to care and lack of uniformity in treatment strategies have been a major challenge.
Equitable access to affordable cancer care is one of the main aims of Kerala Cancer Control Strategy 2017-30, which envisages a network of cancer care facilities across the State, offering a set of defined services and optimum treatment to all cancer patients within 50 km radius of their residence.
The standard guidelines cover at least 10 common cancers in the State, starting with breast cancer, cancer of the cervix, oral cavity, lung, colorectal cancers, lymphomas, leukaemias and genito-urinary cancers, brain tumours and bone cancers and also decided to review the guidelines every year.