GUWAHATI: Mizoram, a small hilly State in the Northeast with a population of 11 lakh, has the highest number of cancer cases in the country. The State witnesses nearly 1,400 new cancer cases and reports about 700 cancer deaths every year.
Cancer, despite being the greatest threat to the people of Mizoram, fails to wake up politicians and political parties in the State. Not a single political party has mentioned about plans and measures to tackle cancer in their manifestos for the ensuing Assembly polls in the state.
Expressing serious concern over the development Guwahati-based oncologists said indifference of politicians and political parties to tackle the disease that has claimed thousands of lives in Mizoram is a dangerous signal. They said political will is crucial to tackle the disease like cancer in the hill State.
Director of B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) Dr Amal Chandra Kataki said cancer care and cure must be the prime agenda for the ensuing Assembly polls in Mizoram. He expressed surprise as to how this prime issue could not find a place in manifestos of political parties.
Kataki, one of the leading crusaders against cancer in the country, has urged political leaders to take major steps to reduce the number of cancer deaths in Mizoram by creating massive infrastructures and facilities for treatment and diagnosis.
Mizoram has a population of 1.1 million, but 189 cancer patients for every 100,000 people. Aizawl district has the country’s highest incidence of cancer — 273 per 100,000 men and 227 per 100,000 women, more than twice Delhi’s incidence figures of 125 for men and 120 for women.
A population-based registry run by the Indian Council of Medical Research shows that stomach cancer is the most common among men in Mizoram, making up 23 per cent of cancer cases, followed by cancers of the oesophagus and the lungs. cancers of the lungs, cervix, and breast are the most common among women in Mizoram.
Jeremy L Pautu, head of the department of the medical oncology in Mizoram’s only cancer hospital, said political will is must to eradicate cancer from the State.
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