In Gorakhpur, the number of people dying from cancer is on the rise, say officials. They said that so far,19 people, mainly women, have died since 2003.
"First I did not know that I had cancer. Initially, I was asked to take allopathic medicines for two months and I felt better after the dose. I stopped having the medicines, and after sometime, the symptoms reappeared. This time, I took homeopathic medicines for three weeks, but felt no respite. Finally, I was informed that I have cancer," said Rina Prajapati, a patient.
Though villagers are complaining of chemical elements in the water supply, health officials blame the spread of the disease to untimely medication and improper treatment.
"A majority of women are affected by breast and uterus cancer. The men are affected by mouth and neck cancer. Around 15 to 16 people have already died due to lung cancer. In this count, the death of women has been more. This disease has been in our village for the past 15-20 years," said Sushil Shahi, a villager.
Since 2003, the number of cases have risen and mostly women in the village have been affected by both breast and uterus cancer. The doctors complain the lack of awareness about the disease among the villagers as a major concern.
"The survey report conducted by me and my team recorded 19 cases since 2003 in which women were affected with breast cancer and uterus cancer and others were affected with mouth and tongue cancer. Till now, 13 death cases have been recorded since 2003 and six people are treated for different kinds of cancer in different hospitals in the village," said A. N. Tiwari, Chief Medical officer.
The villagers complain that lack of interest from the administration has worsened the situation and even after constant pressure from the villagers and cancer affected patients no one seems to pay heed to their condition.
The National Cancer Registry's research shows that new cancer cases are likely to rise to 1.14 million in 2015 and to 1.32 million in 2020 and estimates a possible 21 percent rise in cancer cases in India in the next seven years.