An increasing number of people in Jammu are getting afflicted by cancer. The Government Medical College here has registered about 1,500 cancer patients in 2009 alone.
In 2004, the number of new cancer cases in Jammu and Kashmir was reported to be at 1,164 and, this number kept rising every year till it touched 1,500 in 2009.
According the Ashutosh Gupta, the Head of the Department at the Regional Cancer Centre in Jammu's Government Medical College, most of the cancer patients are from Jammu.
"What we found that in last year, in 2009, we registered about 1,500 new patients in our region, which includes Jammu province. Maximum patients come from Jammu District, Udhampur District, Kathua and others," said Gupta.
Gupta attributed this increase in cancer cases to changing lifestyles and eating habits.
He said lung, throat, oesophagal, stomach and cervical cancer were the most common in terms of occurence.
"In our part of the country, like last year, we analysed lung cancer was number one, followed by throat cancer then cancer of the food pipe, then stomach in male population, and then again in female population, we found cancer of cervix," added Gupta.
Subash Chander, a senior X-Ray technician of GMC, said that the number of cancer patients has doubled in the last decade.
"If we see ten years back, we used to give radiotherapy to 30 to 40 patients everyday, but now we give radiotherapy to 80 patients, which means the disease is spreading fast," said Chander.
According to World Health Organisation reports, over 11 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, with 800,000 cases being reported in India alone.
Cancer is feared to becoming the leading cause of death worldwide in 2010, bye-passing heart disease.