Srinagar: On world cancer day, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday called for population-based cancer screening in Kashmir valley.
“With cancer reaching epidemic proportions in the valley, screening people for cancer is the need of the hour,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
Dr Hassan said cancer screening detects disease early and reduces the risk of dying from the disease.
When a cancer is detected at an early stage, the chances of survival is dramatically higher than when detected at a later stage when the tumor has spread and the disease is more advanced.
“In a study survival rate for women diagnosed with cervical cancer at an advanced stage was just 15% compared to 93% when cancer was detected at an early stage,” he said.
“Results from decades of research clearly shows that women whose breast cancer was detected early by screening mammography are less likely to need aggressive treatment, and are more likely to be cured.”
The DAK President said with no screening, most patients in Kashmir seek medical attention at later stages of cancer.
“And when they come to an advanced stage, the treatment remains mostly ineffective and the chances of survival are less,” he added.
Dr Nisar said people need to recognize that many cancers can be prevented by simple life-style measures.
“Avoiding smoking, exercise and a healthy diet will reduce the risk of cancer,” he said.
As per the union health ministry figures, Jammu and Kashmir has reported an estimated 51,577 cancer cases in last four years (2018-2022). While lung cancer was found prominent among men, breast cancer was the most common cancer among women. More than 22, 000 people have died due to cancer during the period of 2018 to 2021.
General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ai said there is a dire need to set up a separate cancer hospital in Kashmir. “That will strengthen cancer care in the population and improve patient outcome,” he said.