Mizoram: Cancer kills 3,137 in the state in 5 years

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Aizawl, feb 6: With the dreaded cancer killing 3,137 people in Mizoram in five years, this tiny Northeastern state has not been dubbed ‘cancer capital of India’ for no reason.

According to the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) and Mizoram Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) report, at least 5,888 new cases of cancer were detected in the state during the last five years. Of these, 3,137 people, including 1,290 women died.

The report was highlighted during an official function to mark the World Cancer Day here today.

Mizoram has the highest cancer incidence in the country, state Nodal Officer for Non- Communicable Diseases (NCD) Dr Eric Zomawia said at the function.

Zomawia said that Mizoram has a very high incidence of stomach, esophagus, lung and cervix cancer.

“At least 3,137 people died due to cancer in the state during the past five years while 5,888 people suffered from cancer during the same period,” he said.

Quoting Mizoram Population Based Cancer Registry reports, he said, “Of the 3,137 deaths due to cancer during the period 1,290 were women, while out of the 5,888 new cancer cases 2,659 were women.”

This year’s theme of World Cancer Day was ‘Not Beyond Us’.

According to the report, Mizoram topped the list in the overall cancer incidence as well as in stomach and lungs cancer (in men and women) and in Cervix cancer in women in the country.

“At the present rate of cancer incidence, an average of three people in Mizoram is infected with the cancer per day,” a health official said.

In fact, six districts of Mizoram – Aizawl, Champhai, Kolasib Lunglei, Mamit and Serchhip – are among the ten districts of India with the highest cancer incidence among men. The other districts are North Goa, Chandigarh, Kollam and South Goa.

Four Mizoram districts – Aizawl, Kolasib, Mamit and Serchhip are among the top ten districts in India in cancer incidence among women, the doctor informed. The other districts are Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and North Goa.

Quoting the report, officials said, “Stomach cancer is the most common type of cancer among men, constituting 23.5 per cent, followed by esophageal cancer (14.5 per cent) Lung cancer (13.9 percent) and hypopharynx cancer (4.7 percent).

Lung and stomach cancers are the commonest among Mizo women, constituting 16.9 percent and 13.7 percent respectively, Cervix (13.2 percent), breast (11.2 percent) and oesophagus cancer (4.1 percent).

Liver cancer is said to be has increasing among men since recently. With 80 per cent of men infected with liver cancer contracting hepatitis B and C, liver cancer is expected to rise further as cases of hepatitis keep increasing. Due to the changing of lifestyle, breast cancer is also predicted to overtake lung and uterine cancer among men, doctors said.

Extensive consumption of tobacco, coupled with unhealthy food items such as smoked meat and vegetables and fermented soyabean and pork etc are attributed to the high incidence of cancer in Mizoram.

At present, Mizoram has the dubious distinction of being the highest tobacco consuming state in India.

“According to the National Family Health Survey, Mizoram was in the first position in tobacco consumption, which is clearly indicative of the fact that Mizoram leads in cancer incidence,” Dr Jane R Ralte, nodal officer for Smoke Free Mizoram programme said.

Tobacco consumption is also highly prevalent among Mizo women, with about 62 per cent of the fairer sex consuming tobacco in various forms, mostly chewing.

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