Number of cancer patients in J&K alarming

J&K has witnessed a sharp spurt in cancer-related cases, with nearly 18,000 people detected with the deadly disease in last three years.
According to the official data available 18,391 patients were detected with cancer since 2013 till October 2015, while 13,358 have been treated in Jammu and Srinagar Government Medical Colleges and SKIMS, Srinagar so far.
There were 6300 patients detected with cancer in the state in 2013, followed by 7098 in 2014, and 4993 till October 2015. “The total number of patients treated in GMC Jammu, Srinagar and SKIMS are 13,358 while 17, 515 people are under treatment in various hospital,” the data reveals. The number of cancer cases had gone up by 789 patients in 2014, and the toll may surpass the preceding limit by the end of this year. Experts have attributed the rise in cancer cases to intake of spicy food, changing dietary habits and consumption of bulk of contaminated food items available in the market. According to the experts, cases of cancer are witnessing steep rise over the last ten years in the state, with breast, lung and stomach cancers common among both males and females. The figures prepared by the government also suggested that 4,654 patients have been treated in 2013 followed by 5136 in 2014 and 3568 till October 2015. The number of patients under active treatment since 2013 is 17515. According to the experts, the top 10 cancers afflicting the Kashmir Valley are esophagus (cancer of food pipe), lung cancer, stomach, colon (large intestine cancers), breast, brain, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, gastro esophageal, junction cancer (cancer between the stomach and food pipe), ovary and skin cancers.
Expressing serious concern, experts said the cancer mortality rate among Kashmiris had increased due to some leading behavioral and dietary risks, including high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and lack of regular check-up. They said the changing lifestyle and food habits among the Kashmiris had caused surge in all the cancers especially in esophagus, colon and breast.