Cancer is the fastest growing problem in India with nearly 8 lakh fresh cancer cases being reported every year. Meghalaya is no exception as it has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of cancer cases.
The Health Department conducted a medical camp for breast cancer screening on the National Cancer Awareness day.
Breast cancer is rapidly becoming the most prevalent cancer among Indian women followed by cervical cancer.
Addressing a press conference here yesterday, joint director and medical superintendent of Shillong civil hosoital Dr B Garod said, "The number of cancer patients was four in 1989 which went up to 73 in 1993. In 2000, 390 cases were detected and from then every year, we have over 500 patients."
"And this statistics is only for patients treated at the civil hospital here and it excludes cases being treated in other government hospitals in the state," she said.
Lack of awareness among rural people is the core reason responsible for this rapid spread of cancer. In spite of early detection, the rural people fail to come back for treatment until it reaches the advanced stage at which it cannot be cured.
The medical camp conducted breast cancer screening by clinical examination and free ultra sonography.
For better access of patients to treatments like radiation therapy (cobalt), chemotherapy, surgery, the Meghalaya state government has established cancer treatment centre at the Shillong civil hospital.
She said, "Cancer treatment centre set up by the state government at Shillong civil hospital is treating 40 patients daily and this arrangement has reduced the number of patients being referred to outside the state for treatment."