GUWAHATI, Feb 5 � The North-east has the highest incidence of consumption of smokeless tobacco (chadha) in the world, and this is not a coincidence that the region also has the highest number of throat and mouth cancer patients.
Observing this at a seminar organised by the North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute in association with the North East Community Health Association on Saturday, Dr Munindra Narayan Baruah, director of the North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, said that late detection of cancer had been a major stumbling block in successful treatment of cancer patients in the North-east. The seminar was organized on the occasion of World Cancer Day.
Quoting from the Union of International Cancer Congress (UICC), Dr Baruah said that the North-east had the maximum number of smokeless tobacco consumers and that consumption of tobacco had a direct bearing on throat and mouth cancers � which had the highest incidence in the region.
Underlining the importance of enhanced awareness and early detection, Dr Baruah said that a majority of the patients coming to his hospital were Stage-IV patients and it was not possible to cure them. The important thing, Dr Baruah said, was not which hospital a patient is treated in but how early he is getting treatment.
Former Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University Dr Nirmal Kumar Choudhury � the chief guest on the occasion � stressed the need for timely detection and treatment of cancer in the North-east, a region having a high incidence of the dreaded disease but with limited facilities to counter the scourge.
Dr Choudhury said that a cancer patient often tends to regard himself as good as dead which warrants the doctors attending on him to look after his mental needs as well � something termed as �personalized medicine.�
Lauding the cancer institute for ensuring modern cancer care to the region, Dr Choudhury said that an urgent need was to disseminate information on cancer among the masses so that they could avail timely treatment and defeat the disease.
Father George, director of the North East Community Health Association who was the guest of honour on the occasion also emphasized on enhancing people�s awareness levels on cancer, especially in a region like the North-east.