EKH has highest number of tobacco-related cancer cases

SHILLONG, March 11: In a startling revelation, Health Minister A.L. Hek on Thursday informed the House that East Khasi Hills has the highest relative proportion of cancers associated with the use of tobacco for both males and females and also has the second highest cancer incidence rate in the country.
The Health Minister referred to the National Cancer Registry Programme, Cancer Statistics 2020, while revealing the information to the Assembly in reply to a query of Mawphlang MLA Syntar Klas Sunn.
Hek informed that among cancer patients, 66.9% men and 43.1% women were suffering from tobacco-related cancer.
The number of cancer cases detected in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi districts in the past five years is 7,014, the Health minister added.
In reply to the query on the steps taken by the department to facilitate treatment of patients suffering from the disease, the minister said, “The department is in the process of augmenting the existing cancer treatment facility at Shillong Civil Hospital by setting up a cancer treatment centre namely the DAE- Civil Hospital Cancer Wing and steps are taken to make it functional within a year.”
He further informed that the Department of Oncology at Shillong Civil Hospital is already catering to the needs of the cancer patients by providing services like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, pain and palliative care services and surgical oncology.
To a query by the Mawphlang MLA, Hek replied that chemotherapy was being provided free of charge to BPL patients.

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