GUWAHATI, April 9 - City-based Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) has said that with urbanisation, globalisation, changing lifestyle and modern habits, non-communicable diseases are increasing even in developing countries like India.
Cardio-vascular disease is one of the most important causes of death due to non-communicable disease, which is followed by cancer, diabetes, stroke, and chronic respiratory diseases, the institute said in a statement.
The risk factors for all these diseases are same and related to one�s lifestyle.
This year�s theme for the year-long campaign for World Health Day is to highlight depression as one of the major causes of ill-health in society.
As per the latest estimates from the World Health Organisation, more than three crore people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18 per cent between 2005 and 2015.
According to the latest report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2015-16, in Assam, 29.7 per cent men and 2.9 per cent women consume alcohol in urban regions, and 36.8 per cent men and 7.7 per cent women consume alcohol in rural areas.
The national average for alcohol consumption is 28.7 per cent for men and 0.7 per cent women in urban regions and 29.5 per cent men and 1.5 per cent women in rural areas.
Similarly, the rate of tobacco consumption in the State is as high as 64 per cent in men and around 20 per cent in women.
The national average for tobacco consumption in men and women is 48 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.
According to Dr Amal Chandra Kataki, Director of the Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute, reduction of tobacco and alcohol consumption is very important from public health perspective.
As per the report of the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical Research, 39,635 new cancer patients were diagnosed in North East India during the period 2012-2014, of which 29,962 were diagnosed in Assam alone.
He also stated that implementation of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, besides meditation and yoga can go a long way in improving the health, hygiene and mental well-being of society.
Dr Kataki stressed on alcohol prohibition, de-addiction and creating awareness for tobacco control as a few measures for lowering the burden of cancer in the State and the entire North-Eastern region.
Dr Kataki further mentioned that smoke generated in the kitchen from burning of wood and fumes generated from burning of cooking oil pose a major threat to the health of vulnerable women in society.
The scheme of the Government of India to make cooking gas available to underprivileged people of society will make significant impact in reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases in women, he said.
According to Dr Manigreeva Krishnatreya from the Department of Cancer Registry and Epidemiology at BBCI, drinking alcohol increases the risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast cancers.
�Alcohol and tobacco consumption together raise the risk of cancer manifold, which is often not recognised. Alcohol acts as a solvent and thereby helps harmful chemicals in tobacco to get inside the cell and act as cancer causing agents.
Furthermore, alcohol slows down the cell�s ability to repair the DNA damage caused by the chemicals present in tobacco,� stated Dr Krishnatreya.
Assam ranks as one of the largest alcoholic beverage markets across North East India. Dr Krishnatreya also stated that water and air pollution, especially from the exhaust emanating from the increasing number of older vehicles and non-compliant vehicles as per the recent emission control norms might act as a potential risk factor for cancers.