Srinagar, Feb 4: Cancer is devouring people across the globe with Jammu and Kashmir witnessing a rise in cases over the years.
The data shows that stomach cancer (25%) followed by colorectal (16%) and lung cancer (13.2%) is more common among males while colorectal cancer (16.8%), breast cancer (16%), and stomach cancer (10%) were mostly reported cancers among women.
The data shows that esophagus, stomach and colorectal cancers form 60 percent cases.
A leading oncologist at SKIMS Soura Dr Zahoor said that the last decade has witnessed a steady rise in cancer cases.
He cited lifestyle change, adoption of western/urban lifestyle among the causes for the increase in the deadly disease.
Dr Zahoor listed individual changes to be followed including healthy lifestyle and food habits with physical exercise, quitting smoking for bringing down cases of cancer. At a collective level, measures include prevention of environmental pollution and drinking clean water.
Dr Shabnam, an oncosurgeon insisted for timely diagnosis and screening of cancer for appropriate treatment.
She said that this year, the 2nd part of 3-year UICC Campaign for Impact ‘ Close The Care Gap’ focuses on ‘Realising the Problem and Taking Action’, we all together can work on reducing the inequities in cancer care at all levels, starting from creating more awareness.
“People need to understand that 30-50% of cancers are preventable. If we focus on certain lifestyle modifications we can reduce our risk,” said Dr Shabnam.
She suggested quitting smoking and alcohol consumption and doing physical activity, weight reduction strategies, de-stressing, proper sleep, consuming fresh fruits and vegetables especially high fibre diets and antioxidant foods for avoiding cancer.
“Avoiding junk and packaged foods, reducing unnecessary exposure to various radiations like overuse of mobiles & other such devices especially in close proximity to their bodies, taking proper precautions to reduce exposure to occupational carcinogens like gamma rays, asbestos, cadmium, coal-tar, radon, aniline etc by using protective equipment & regular check-ups,” she said.
Dr S M Qadri too stressed for a healthy behaviour for reducing risk of cancer.
He said that people must avoid pollutants and harmful chemicals including asbestos, pesticides and containers with BPA, get vaccinated against HPV and know the cancer symptoms and signs.
Doctors said that people are taking a lot of red meat and are not following a physical exercise, eating less fruits and vegetables due to which colorectal cancers are reported in young people who are aged 20 which was otherwise found in people above 50.
They said the cooking and diet system needs to be changed and salt tea must be used as low as possible and never drink hot tea and ripening agents must be banned and colouring agents must be avoided or used under limits.