Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Srinagar Nov 30 (Only Kashmir):Smoking has taken its toll among the males in the Kashmir Valley with the highest number of lung cancer cases being reported in the state so far this year.
Till October this year, 316 cases of lung cancer have been registeredd at SK Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS). There were 363 cases reported in 2009 and the number of such patients was 265 in 2008.
This year the number of lung cancer cases registered at SKIMS, the main oncology facility in the Valley, was a record high and surpassed the number of esophageal cancer cases which was previously the most common cancer here.
More than 7,000 cancer patients registered at SKIMS in last three years who suffer from among 80 variants of the disease, around 1000 patients had developed lung cancer with nearly 900 cases blamed on smoking.
"Lung cancer is mostly caused by smoking, all types of smoking, but 90% lung cancer cases are caused by cigarettes," Dr Maqbool Lone, head of the Oncology department, said.
Since smoking is more prevalent among the men here, it is they who suffer the most. The statistics of last three years show that among the two, majority of the cancer cases are male patients.
In 2008, the number of cancer patients registered here were 1,467 against 922 female patients. In 2009, the number of male patients suffering from cancer were 1,705 compared to 1,168 female patients. So far this year, 1285 males have been confirmed of the disease as against 822 women patients.
Apart from smoking, dietary habits of Kashmiris are another reason for the growing number of cancer cases.
Lone said pickles, which are not preserved properly, very hot tea and the sun-dried vegetables meant for consumption during the harsh winters in the valley, can also cause this cancer.
He said one of the causes of breast cancer, which is on rise in the valley with 148 cases in 2008, 162 cases in 2009 and 132 cases registered till this October end, is also poor dietary habits in the valley.
"Even though we produce lots of fruits, most of it is exported and not consumed here. That is also a problem because eating fresh fruits and vegetables decrease the chances of cancer," Dr Syed Ashiq H Naqshbandi, vice-chairman of Cancer Society of Kashmir, said.


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