GUWAHATI, Sept 25 - A study conducted at the Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) has linked early diagnosis of uterine cervical cancers to �significantly better survival in these patients�.
Uterine cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer in females in the country, with nearly 1,22,844 new cases added each year and accounting for around 18 per cent of all cancers in Indian women.
In Assam, the incidence of uterine cervical cancers is around 5, 13 and 15 new cases per one lakh women in Dibrugarh, Cachar and Kamrup districts respectively.
Health experts say the situation warrants enhancing the access of patients with uterine cervical cancer to a cancer centre equipped with radiotherapy facilities, besides implementation of population-based screening programme for uterine cervical cancers. This is because in India, every year, 38,771 patients with uterine cervical cancer do not get the benefit of the combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and thus they have relatively poor survival chances.
The study was conducted on data of 193 uterine cervical patients diagnosed from January 2010 to December 2010.
�The study has for the first time shown the five-year survival of patients afflicted with uterine cervical cancers in the North East and Assam in particular. Around 40 per cent women diagnosed with uterine cervical cancers survive for five years in our settings. It is believed that the five-year survival is considered as surrogate indicator for cancer cure,� Dr Amal Chandra Kataki, Director of BBCI, told The Assam Tribune.
The vital finding from the study showed that the five-year survival significantly improved from around 30 per cent to 48 per cent in patients diagnosed in early stages in comparison with advanced staged patients.
�The study also showed that a patient who has had received chemotherapy along with radiotherapy had better five-year survival rates. Therefore, every effort should be made to improve the access of patients with uterine cervical cancers to a cancer centre equipped with radiotherapy facilities,� Dr Kataki said.
According to Dr Manigreeva Krishnatreya, lead investigator of the study, the biggest challenge in conducting the study was to gather information on the vital status of patients, as registration of birth and death is not complete in the State.
The study received technical support from the National Centre for Disease Informatics under the Indian Council of Medical Research. The State government has made cancer a notifiable disease in Kamrup (M) district.