Cancer cases on the rise in State

SHILLONG: The number of cancer cases in the State has recorded an alarming increase, with around 500 cases detected only at Shillong Civil Hospital so far this year.

“The situation is alarming as there is huge increase in the number of cancer cases this year,” Dr Judita Syiemlieh, a specialist in the department of Radiation Oncology, said on Tuesday.

To mark the Anti-Tobacco Day, the Shillong Civil Hospital on Tuesday organised a screening camp where eight out of 61 people were detected with deadly diseases while other complications were detected in some of them.

According to Syiemlieh, 90 per cent of the cancer cases in the State is due to the use of tobacco.

Altogether 5230 cancer cases have been detected in the State in the past five years – 518 in 2005, 759 in 2006, 865 in 2008, 888 in 2009, 1004 in 2010 and 348 cases till March 2011.

Meanwhile, she informed that Meghalaya now has the latest equipment for cancer treatment. “We have the radiation therapy which can cure 80 per cent of the cancer cases,” she said.

Since its inception in Shillong Civil Hospital on August 14 2006, 1136 people have been provided radiation therapy in the hospital.

“Meghalaya is one of the states where consumption of tobacco products is very high,” she said.

About 3.5 lakh packets of cigarettes and 6.5 lakh sachets of gutkha are being sold in various states of the north-eastern region everyday.

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