Specialists for population based survey on prevalence of cancers in Valley
Alarming Rise In Disease Attributed To Conflict, Smoking, Spicy Food,
ARSHAD M BHAT
Srinagar, May 5: Renowned cancer surgeon and Breast Cancer Patients’ Benefit Foundation (BCPBF) president, Dr Sameer Kaul and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Professor and Head of Medical Oncology, Dr Vinod Raina Saturday attributed alarming rise in esophageal cancer in the Valley to consumption of spices, tobacco, salted tea (Nun Chai) and Helicobacter pylori (H Pylori).
The specialists underscored the need for conducting population based surveys in Kashmir about the prevalence of different types of Cancers.
“People of Kashmir consume spicy food, salt tea and red meat in high quantity, which is responsible for manifold increase in the number of cases of esophageal cancer,” Dr Kaul and Dr Raina who were flanked by senior consultant, plastic and reconstructive surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital ,New Delhi, Dr Shahin Nooreyezdan, Clinical Psychologist, Dr Deepika Kapoor and Mridul Arora said while addressing a media conference on the conclusion of the seminar “Women and Cancer,” organised by BCPBF here today. The seminar was inaugurated jointly by valley’s noted physician and former GMC Srinagar principal Dr G Q Allaqaband and Director SKIMS, Dr Showkat Zargar.
Dr Kaul and Dr Raina who are the sons of the soil said that the 23-years of conflict in Kashmir also had linkage with the increasing number of cancer patients. “In the conflict zones of Serbia and Iraq, there has been surge in the number of cancer patients and we find the same pattern in the conflict zones of Kashmir and Manipur,” Dr Kaul said adding a thorough research should be undertaken by the
government or voluntary groups to establish the theoretical assumption.
The oncologist also expressed concern over the increasing number of prostrate cancer cases in the Valley. “There has been a steep rise in the number of patients suffering from the prostrate cancer in Kashmir and the prime reason for this is the consumption of red meat in large quantity,” Dr Kaul said and described the intake of large amount of red meat as unhealthy practice.
Dr Raina said the lung cancer was also on rise as the teenagers have started using tobacco products from the age of 12 to 13 years. “When they reach the age of 45 years, they suffer from the dreaded disease,” Dr Raina said.
He said the cancer was also on rise among the Indian children. “Five per cent of the children were suffering from various types of cancers with leukemia patients topping the list followed by brain tumor and lymphoma,” Dr Raina added.
He said that one to two percent incidents of Cancer was increasing, adding that the ailment was a lifestyle disease.
Dr Kaul and Dr Raina said the breast cancer was now more prevalent among women across the India. “The number of women suffering from breast cancer has surpassed patients suffering from cervical cancer. The breast cancer has become number one disease prevalent among the women across India,” Dr Raina said adding the cervical cancer was much more predominant in Jammu than Kashmir. “The reason for less prevalence of cervical cancer in Kashmir is the circumcision done on the Muslim males at an early age,” Dr Raina added.
Clinical Psychologist, Dr Deepika Kapoor asked the women suffering from the disease to come forward and receive treatment. “The women suffering from the breast cancer and other gynecological disorders feel shy to discuss these with their family or even doctors due to the taboos associated with the disease. But the women suffering from any such disease should come forward and avail treatment in the hospitals,” she added.
Both the doctors underscored the need for holding population based surveys in Kashmir about the prevalence of different types of Cancers. “The hospital based registry study doesn’t give a full insight about the prevalence of the disease as many of the cases go unreported,” the medicos said adding that many of the patients don’t visit the hospital for consultation and subsequent treatment. “The doctors should identify these cases at district and sub-district hospitals and send the data to the Regional Cancer Centre established at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura.
The medicos also underlined the need for promoting health insurance in the Valley. The concept of health insurance is still in its infancy and people should go for it,” the doctors said adding that with cancer treatment drugs and targeted therapy available at higher rates, the need for the medical insurance is much more in the Valley.
The medicos also called for strengthening of the private sector in the Jammu and Kashmir. “The government should provide conducive environment for those, particularly to the people already in the business and willing to invest in the establishment of healthcare institutions in the Valley,” adding that the privately run hospitals were need of the hour.
Dr Kaul said that his foundation had provided medicines to 17 patients suffering from the cancer during the last one and half years.
Some of the patients who received benefits from the BCPBF also interacted with the media.
Member and media-in charge, Padma Rao was also present on the occasion.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 5 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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