GUWAHATI, May 26 � At a time when the experts have been ringing the alarm bells on high incidence of cancer in the Northeast, it has been revealed that lung cancer, which has its highest prevalence in the region, both among males and females, is the most preventable and treatable form of the disease.
Expressing concern over lung cancer, experts from Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals have said that the disease is often misunderstood to be pneumonia in the initial stages, which if not diagnosed and treated at the right time, can be fatal.
According to a recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the North-east India is gradually becoming the centre for cancer-related deaths and tobacco remains the leading cause for this.
According to the latest ICMR report, among men, incidence of all types of cancers is the highest in Aizawl of Mizoram followed by East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya and Mizoram State. Among women, the highest incidence is in Aizawl district followed by Kamrup Urban district and Mizoram State.
Addressing mediapersons ahead of the World No Tobacco Day on May 31, Dr Indranil Ghosh, a consultant of oncology medicine, said that tobacco, especially smoking, was the most common cause of lung cancer in the region.
�Large-scale efforts are required from the government and the private sector for prevention and treatment of cancer in the region,� he said.
Warning against the risks of passive smoking and working in hazardous environment, Dr Sushmita Roy Chowdhury, a consultant pulmonologist said that till grown to a certain extent this type of cancer might not produce any noticeable symptom.
Pointing out some of the conditions, where one should go for medical intervention, she said that a worsening cough that persists despite appropriate treatment after two weeks, a blood tinged spit, constant chest discomfort and unexplained weight loss could be the symptoms of lung cancer.
�Those having a long smoking history of more than 30 years or having a history of lung cancer in the family should go for yearly screening with low dose CT after careful discussion with their physician. New technologies are being incorporated in the treatment of lung cancer, but early diagnosis is still the key,� she added.