Stomach and food pipe cancers are on the rise in Kashmir due to food habits and stress.
Around 2,500 people suffer from the dreaded disease in a year. According to a study done by an NGO, the Cancer Society of Kashmir (CSK), at least 70 per cent of the total cancer patients in Kashmir are suffering from stomach and food pipe cancers.
"In Kashmir spices and fried food are consumed on a large scale. For the last 20 years, Kashmir has been suffering from militancy exerting mental pressure on people here. This is resulting in increase in stomach cancer patients," said Shabir Ahmad, relative of a cancer patient.
Besides traditional food habits, intake of Kashmiri tea known as noon chai that contains sodium bicarbonate, is also being attributed to the spurt in number of stomach and food pipe cancer patients.
"Stomach and food pipe cancers are widely found in Kashmir as compared to other cities of India. We are probably one of the places in the world where these cancers are found in large numbers," said Dr. Showkat Zargar, Cancer Specialist and Chairman of Cancer Society of Kashmir.
The Cancer Society of Kashmir has launched a wide range of programmes for awareness, prevention and early detection, to fight against cancer.