NCP MP Supriya Sule has proposed a private member’s bill for providing free treatment to all women suffering from breast cancer in government hospitals. The Breast Cancer (Awareness and Free Treatment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in the recently concluded winter session, but it is yet to be taken up for consideration. The Bill urges the central government to take steps for creating awareness among the people about the symptoms and treatment of breast cancer. “The central and state governments shall provide free medical screening to diagnose cases of breast cancer and free medical treatment to every breast cancer patient in government hospitals,” it reads. Sule said it is estimated that one in 28 women is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
In India, breast cancer among women has seen a rapid rise in the last decade. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 1.5 lakh cases were reported in 2016, she added. The ICMR recognises breast cancer as the most common cancer among women in India. It accounts for 27 per cent of all cancers in women in the country. The Centre and states should work together to provide free diagnosis and treatment to women suffering from breast cancer, Sule said. A private member’s bill can be introduced by any member of Parliament who is not a minister.