Amid changing times, pressures of a hectic life and variations in the environment, the number of cancer cases is on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir or elsewhere.
Data over the last few years presents a grim picture. From 12675 in 2019 and 12344 in 2018, the cancer cases have increased to 13012 in 2020 in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the latest National Cancer Registry Programme Report. The figures surely look alarming compared to 3,075 cancer cases in 2011, 3,288 in 2012, 3,157 in 2013, 3,940 in 2014 and 4,257 in 2015.
As per World Health Organization, cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs; the latter process is referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the primary cause of death from cancer.
While cancer is a multifactorial disease, the risk factors, inter alia, include ageing population, sedentary lifestyle, use of tobacco products, unhealthy diet and air pollution.
Cancers of the lung, mouth, stomach and oesophagus were the most common cancers among men. Cancers of the breast and cervix uteri were the most common cancers among women, the report said.
In 2020, tobacco related cancers are estimated to contribute 3.7 lakhs (27.1%) of the total cancer burden.
As per the officials, cancer is diagnosed and treated at various levels in the health care facilities. The treatment in Government Hospitals is either free or “highly subsidized” for the poor and needy, the Ministry of Health informed the parliament recently.
The studies show a sharp rise in dangerous diseases like cancer, largely attributed to food. The experts have been stressing the implications of junk and packaged food. As depicted from the data, tobacco related cancers are also on rise. The experts have been calling people to focus on preventive measures to arrest the growing incidence of the disease in the Kashmir Valley. The government must create more and more awareness including on reasons for oral cancers possibly because of rampant consumption of tobacco and tobacco-based products, stomach cancers due to consumption of foods involving the use of preservatives and chemicals, and cigarette smoking etc.