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Cancer cases on the rise in Meghalaya, shows data

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SHILLONG, Feb 4: The rise in the number of cancer cases in the state has become a matter of concern.
As per data released by Indian Council of Medical Research – National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (ICMR-NCDIR) in 2021, Meghalaya is ranked second in the country in terms of cancer prevalence among men while it is ranked 11 in the number of cancer cases among women.
As per the data, Meghalaya has 227.9 cancer cases per one lakh population among men and 118.6 cases per one lakh population among women.
The total number of cancer cases registered in the state between 2015 and 2019 was 7,014 with 4,350 male patients and 2,664 females.
Senior Oncologist of Shillong Civil Hospital, Dr Anisha Mawlong said the number of cancer cases in the State was witnessing an upward trend.
According to her, they are able to detect the cases better now due to increase of the screening programmes and also because more people are coming forward to test themselves. “The major cause of cancer in the state is the use of tobacco. In addition kwai (betel nut), alcohol, smoked food and fermented food also contribute to the rise in cancer cases,” Dr Mawlong said.
Speaking at a function at Shillong Civil Hospital to observe World Cancer Day, she said they are witnessing cancer patients in almost every household.
“Last year we were number three in terms of the number of cancer cases among men. But this year we are ranked number two. I would not like to see us attaining the number one rank next year,” the Oncologist said.
Dr Mawlong urged the citizens to reduce the use of tobacco to achieve success in the war against cancer.
“We need cooperation from everyone to reduce the number of cancer cases in the state,” she said.
Dr Mawlong pointed out that the facilities for cancer treatment in Civil Hospital has significantly improved.
“We are thankful to the state government for allocating a separate building for cancer patients. We are soon getting new equipment for treatment of cancer patients,” she added.
The number of cancer cases in the past five years stands at 1,417 (890 males, 527 females) in 2015; 1,492 (949 males, 543 females) in 2016; 1,452 (890 males, 562 females) in 2017; 1,621 (965 males, 656 females) in 2018 and 1,032 (656 males, 376 females) in 2019.
The total number of registered outdoor cancer patients in Shillong Civil Hospital was 5,102 in 2016, 7,026 in 2017, 6,307 in 2018, 8,211 in 2019, 4,117 in 2020 and 7,002 in 2021.
The total number of new patients registered in the Oncology OPD in the past five years includes 1,323 in 2016; 1,131 in 2017; 1,101 in 2018; 1,353 in 2019; 843 in 2020 and 1,001 in 2021.
The number of patients administered radiation therapy in the past five years includes 482 in 2016; 521 in 2017; 549 in 2018; 515 in 2019; 462 in 2020 and 489 in 2021.
The number of outdoor patients admitted in the Oncology general ward at the Civil Hospital stands at 18,351 in 2016-2017; 16,302 in 2017-2018; 15,490 in 2018-2019; 13,664 in 2019-2020; 14,186 in 2020-2021 and 9,810 till December 2021.

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