Srinagar, May 23: Continuing the trend of a growing number of patients being diagnosed with Cancer, Kashmir recorded 5284 new patients in 2022, the number up by 11 percent from the previous year. Experts feel early diagnosis by increasing awareness was the need of the hour.
J&K’s only Population Based Cancer Registry (PbCR) at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) which records the details of all the cancer patients in Kashmir, diagnosed at any facility is the most comprehensive estimate of Cancer burden here. As per the records of PbCR, in the year 2022, between January 2022 and December 2022, 5284 new patients were registered. These include patients diagnosed at private, as well as government hospitals across Kashmir. Slightly, more men than women were diagnosed with Cancers. Males constituted 54 percent of the people diagnosed with cancer in the year 2022, while females were a little higher than 45 percent.
Cancers of Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract) still afflict the most people in Kashmir. Cancers of Esophagus, Stomach, Colon, Gall Bladder and Rectum when put together form 28.3 percent of all cancers among men and 21.1 percent of Cancers among women. Stomach and Esophagus Cancers are very common in Kashmir among men and women both and have for long intrigues the healthcare professionals as these cancers are not as common in other parts of the country. GI tract Cancers have been inconclusively linked to contaminations in food, especially of fertilizers and pesticides, some micro-organisms, food habits and more.
Lung Cancers have also emerged in Kashmir in the past few years and has taken the top spot in the list of malignancies afflicting males. In the previous year, 388 males and 113 females were diagnosed with lung cancer at various stages of the disease. Lung cancer constitutes 10 percent of all cancers, and is the most afflicted site, males and females together. Lung Cancer has been linked to smoking and environmental pollutants, including pesticides.
Although Lung Cancer is the most common cancer among males in Kashmir, among females, Breast Cancer is the commonest. In 2022, 351 females were diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Thyroid Cancer has taken the second spot in the list of cancers afflicting women. The year saw 221 women being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. Breast Cancer and Thyroid Cancer constitute one-fourth (23.6 percent) of all cancers that females are being diagnosed with in Kashmir.
Many doctors that Greater Kashmir spoke to stressed the need for early detection, possible through increased awareness about cancers. Doctors have for long advocated better expertise at peripheral hospitals for suspecting and diagnosing cancers. Delayed diagnosis and treatment has been linked to poor outcomes of Cancer management.