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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-76

Nuclear Oncology in Northeast India: Current scenario, challenges, and way forward

1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, National Cancer Institute (AIIMS), Jhajjar, Haryana, India
2 Department of Preventive Oncology, National Cancer Institute (AIIMS), Jhajjar, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kalpa Jyoti Das
National Cancer Institute - AIIMS (New Delhi), Jhajjar Campus, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aort.aort_19_22

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The recent ICMR-NCDIR population-based cancer registry data indicate that India's Northeast (NE) region is a hotbed of cancer cases, and has been dubbed as the “Cancer Capital of India” in the past literature. While the national average for cancer incidence cases is 80–110 per lakh, the Northeast region has almost double the rate at 150–200 cases per lakh population. In addition to a unique cancer profile and high incidence rates, the NE region has reported poor clinical prognosis and cancer survival rates. With the rising cancer burden and inadequate cancer care facilities in the region, a high proportion of patients seek treatment outside the region which further aggravates the physical and economic burden of care. It is high time that relevant stakeholders of the NE region come on board and earnestly address the inequitable status of cancer care services in the region. One important aim in developing a standard multimodality cancer care system in the region that needs immediate redressal is the deficit in Nuclear Oncology services. The Nuclear Oncology facilities host specialized services such as Position emission tomography/Computed tomography (PET/CT), positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MR), and Radionuclide therapy, which plays an important role across the spectrum of cancer diagnosis, management, and follow-up and therapy. Nuclear Oncology resources in the NE region are lagging far behind compared to the rest of India, considering the imminent and projected requirements. There is an acute shortage of nuclear medicine facilities, PET/CT, PET-MR, Cyclotrons, and trained men power in the NE region. We have attempted a desk review of the current scenario of Nuclear Oncology in the NE region and have extrapolated the burden-matched Nuclear Oncology resource that is required for the region.

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