TEZPUR, March 15 - In order to spread awareness about cancer among the people of the seven northeastern States, a team of bikers arrived here yesterday.
As part of the cancer awareness rally (�Run and Ride�), launched by Tata Trusts and Cachar Cancer Hospital in collaboration with the Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV), National Cancer Grid, Electrobion Sip and Silchar Thumpers, events like street plays, sensitisation and educational talks as well as stories of cancer survivors will be organised.
The Run and Ride rally will cover all the capitals of the seven northeastern States, besides a few other towns of the region. The rally will conclude at Silchar on March 21. The riders will cover a total distance of over 2,100 kilometres.
The northeastern region witnesses about 45,000 new cancer cases every year.
�This rally aims to spread awareness about cancer and the importance of its early detection. If tobacco use is minimised, 50% of all cancers and 90% of oral cancers could be prevented,� said Dr Ravi Kannan, Director, Cachar Cancer Hospital & Research Centre and VoTV patron.
He added that Aizawl district of Mizoram reported highest rate of cancer among males, while Papumpare district of Arunachal Pradesh reported highest cancer among females.
Among males, cancers of head and neck are the most prevalent form of the disease, making up 40% of the total cases, while among females, head, neck and cervical cancers make up 20% each and breast cancer makes up another 15%.
The delayed diagnosis is due to lack of awareness of cancer symptoms, poor access to affordable care and other psychological factors like fear and fatalism. This rally aims to spread awareness on these issues.
Director of Voice of Tobacco Victims Ashima Sarin said if tobacco use is minimised, 50% of all cancers can be prevented.
As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted in 2009-10 (GATS-1) and in 2016-17 (GATS-2), tobacco consumption has gone up in Manipur, Assam and Tripura.
As per the surveys, in Manipur, the rate of tobacco consumption has gone up to 55.1% from 54.1%; in Assam, the rate of tobacco consumption was 39.3%, which increased to 48.2%; and in Tripura, it has escalated to 64.5% from 55.9%.
Dr Ritesh Tapkire from Cachar Cancer Hospital, Manilal Jagirdar from Silchar Thumpers, Akash Pradhan from Tata Trusts were also present along with other bikers.