Srinagar, Feb 8: The number of cancer patients is on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir as around 7,000 patients have been registered alone at the Department of Radiation Oncology, SMHS Hospital GMC Srinagar since 2017.
As per the details available, 1640 cases of cancer were reported at the Radiation Oncology Department in 2023, which is the highest in the last several years.
The details reveal that 491 new cancer patients were registered at the radiation oncology department, SMHS in 2017; 1,032 in 2018, 801 in 2019, 650 in 2020, 1,010 in 2021, 1,169 in 2022 and 1,640 in 2023.
Officials said that around 5 to 6 new cancer patients are being registered at the department every day.
Prof Manzoor Ahmad, Head of the Department of Radiation Oncology at GMC Srinagar said there is a sharp increase in new cancer cases in J&K, with the department registering a record number of 1640 cases in 2023, out of which 911 were males and 729 were females.
“The most common tumour in males was lung cancer and in females breast cancer. This scenario looks very grim as far as lung being the most common tumour in males is concerned because this cancer has a direct bearing and relation with tobacco use,” he said.
“This indicates the magnitude of tobacco products in our society and how much awareness we have to make among the general public regarding the use of tobacco,” he said.
As far as breast cancer in females is concerned, one of the major reasons is the lack of physical activity and obesity. “So both the common cancers, whether it is lung in males or breast in females, could be easily avoided if we make the change in lifestyle,” Prof Ahmad said.
He called for public awareness through signs and symptoms of cancer, preventive measures and timely medical evaluations.
He said that the OPD of the department remains functional for six days (Monday-Saturday) from 10 am to 4 pm where the consultant along with senior resident and PG student remains available.
“After checking the relevant reports in the OPD, patients are registered and data is digitized,” he said, adding that there are two separate units where patients are being admitted and four consultants along with senior residents remain available in each of the wards.
“Later, plans are being discussed after proper unit meetings and accordingly, the patient is being treated for months. The patient comes for follow-up in OPD whenever it is feasible for him,” he said.
All high-tech and latest technologies are available at the department including Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, Image-guided radiation therapy, Stereotactic body radiation therapy, Stereotactic radical surgery and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), the doctor said.
Prof Manzoor said all treatments are being done easily. “There is an inpatient ward, day care ward for patients who come for blood transfusion and chemotherapy besides that there is a ward for terminally ill patients as well,” he said, adding that all kinds of tumours among adults as well as children except acute leukaemia are being treated at the department.
The department has Telecobalt 60, linear accelerator, Brachytherapy and CT stimulator machine available and everything is being managed very well, he said.