The Department of Health and Family Welfare, the Home Department and the National Informatics Centre's state unit in an effort to create awareness about tobacco-related cancers, announced that cancer will be a notified disease. A notified disease is one that is required by law to be reported to government authorities.
The government also launched a software to keep tabs on the implementation of the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA).
The event also marked World Head and Neck Cancer Day. Home Minister K J George said that Karnataka is the fourth state to make cancer a notified disease. With this initiative, more focus will be given on data collection and policies establishing treatment facilities. Every doctor who comes across a cancer patient should inform the government, he said.
"Cancer is a growing health concern in the world and in Karnataka. Till date 2.4 lakh individuals were booked under the COTPA. This was done in coordination with other departments," George said. Health Minister U T Khader said the new software will help monitor the effective implementation of the Act.
The deputy commissioners and superintendents of police will have to submit reports on the action taken based on the Act and this information will be available at the NIC, he added.
Dr Vishal Rao, oncologist and member of High Power Committee for Tobacco Control, welcomed the move and said that apart from treatment options, now there will be workshops and other approaches to create awareness about cancer in society.
Dr Ravindranath, Vice Chancellor, RGUHS, said that the university is going to create awareness among its staff about cancer and hold workshops for students. "The risk factors of tobacco will be included in academics," he said.