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Talks focus on timely treatment

- On World Cancer Day, expert says disease can be contained through co-ordination among hospital departments

Bihar gets 80,000 new cancer patients every year and only 9 per cent of them reach for treatment in the initial phase of the disease.

J.K. Singh, director, Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, attributed the factor to the spread of cancer cases across the state.

He was speaking at an awareness programme organised by his hospital at the airport auditorium on Tuesday to mark World Cancer Awareness Day.

“The number of new cancer patients Bihar gets every year is 80,000 while the figure reaches 12 lakh on country level. According to World Health Organisation report, 70 per cent cancer is preventable but the problem, which we are seeing in our state, is that here patients do not come for treatment in the initial stage of their disease. They reach for treatment very late, which decreases their chances of survival,” said Singh.

He added: “In 30 per cent cases, a patient’s life expectancy can be increased by giving him/her various type of treatments but that is also not happening in the state because patient reach to the hospital very late.”

Singh said the government needs to create necessary infrastructure in the state-run hospitals for treating cancer patients. “Providing the latest state-of-art machines for cancer patients is one thing which the government can do. Also, it is necessary that there is hardly any co-ordination among different departments of a hospital where a cancer patient reaches for treatment. Cancer patients develop many problems. So, co-ordination between various departments of the hospital is important so that they get the right treatment on right time,” added Singh.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha emphasised on the need of specialised treatment for cervical cancer and oral cancer. “It has been found that the cancer, which is most prevalent among women in the state is cervical cancer while in men it is oral cancer which is most prevalent. There is a vaccine for cervical cancer. Girls needs to be given this vaccine on time so that they don’t develop cervical cancer. Besides, there is a need of completing banning the tobacco products in the state. If the state government bans the various forms of tobacco, 50 per cent cases of cancer would not happen,” he said.

Singh added that the risk of oral cancer increases 20 per cent if one takes tobacco in some form or the other. “Non-smokers also have a great risk of developing cancer. So, I would request the state government to completely ban smoking,” Singh said.

According to an estimate, more people would die because of cancer than other diseases by 2020. Singh added: “According to the Control of Tobacco Products Act, tobacco products cannot be sold within 100 yards of the school, hospital and other public places. The state government has extended the one-year ban on tobacco products for another one year, which is commendable. There is a need of strict implementation of the act in the state,” he said.

The act also stipulates prohibition of advertisement, sponsorship and promotion of tobacco products.