Agartala, Nov. 9: Concerned over the rising incidence of cancer cases especially lung and throat cancer in the state, the Regional Cancer Centre here has decided to set up a nuclear medicine unit for effective treatment of the disease.
Director of the centre and senior oncologist Dr Gautam Mazumder said that till 2010, Tripura used to have 60 cancer patients per one lakh population, but over the past two years, the number has risen to 80.
“The actual number of cancer patients in the state may be higher because all of them do not come to us for registration or treatment but go outside the state,” said Mazumder. He, however, said the cancer incidence rate was still lower than the national average of 100.
Regarding the nuclear medicine unit, he said a team of experts from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre would arrive here soon to see how equipment could be set up in the centre.
Mazumder said the research centre’s nuclear medicine division would provide both diagnostic and therapeutic facilities for treatment of cancer patients.
“We already have trained doctors and technicians for handling modern equipment,” said Mazumder. “But we do need another trained doctor and two more technicians to carry out treatment in the nuclear medicine unit.”
He attributed the high incidence of cancer to food habits, addiction to drugs and alcohol and other factors. “Consumption of tobacco in various forms causes oral or throat cancer ands consumption of fried foods and alcohol causes liver cancer,” said Mazumder.
He said prompt treatment of tumours in any part of the body was the only way to check the spread of cancer.