Background An increase in cancer incidence in developing countries is expected in future and the number of cancer patients requiring palliative treatment will also rise in Nepal. Estimation of trends is very essential for the planning of future requirements in any healthcare programme.
Method This retrospective study analysed the records from the Radiotherapy Department at Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara, Nepal to calculate the number of cancer patients who received palliative treatment with radiotherapy between September 2000 and December 2008. Statistical modelling techniques were applied for forecasting of future trends.
Results Of 1001 cancer cases, 363 patients received radiotherapy with palliative intent during the study period. Excluding the constant term from the equation, the Logarithmic model was the best fitted, with R2=0.727, p=0.002 for the forecasting of cancer patients receiving palliative treatment. Using this model, the number of cancer cases receiving palliative radiotherapy at the hospital in the year 2015 was estimated to be 68. Thus, the number of patients requiring radiotherapy with palliative intent shows a pattern of increasing trend over the coming years.
Conclusion The data analysed in the present study indicates an increasing future trend of patients requiring palliative therapy at the centre. Therefore, in the future, there could be a discrepancy between the requirement and capacity of care to these patients. Government and healthcare agencies of Nepal must ready themselves to promote better strategies for adequate provision to the cancer patients receiving palliative treatment in the coming years.
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