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Cancer cases show alarming rise in Kashmir

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Lung cancer prominent among men; breast cancer dominant among women

Srinagar: Kashmir’s leading tertiary-care hospital – Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura — has recorded over 1100 cases of cancer in the first quarter of this year.

The medicos at the SKIMS’ Radiation Oncology department admit that the cancer cases have shown a steep rise in Kashmir, with lung cancer being the most prominent among men while women are fast falling prey to breast cancers.

The doctors at the institute termed the growing cancer rate as a “cause of great concern”.

According to local news agency KNO, the figures accessed by it reveal that against last year’s total patient load of 4,800, SKIMS Soura received 1110 cancer cases in the first three months (January 01 to March 31) of 2022 – the highest in recent times.

Dr. Afroz, Head of Radiation Oncology at SKIMS told KNO that smoking is one of the primary reasons for cancer among males. “Family history, obesity, and age are among other factors responsible for the cancer cases,” Dr Afroz said.

She, however, said that one of the positive changes that has happened in the Valley in the past few years is that people are getting aware about the disease.

“We have a high inflow of such patients who come forward to get themselves treated. People have overcome their fear of getting treated, which is a good sign,” Dr. Afroz said, adding that “early detection of the disease helps in its timely treatment, which ultimately can help save precious lives.”

As per Union Health Ministry’s figures, Jammu & Kashmir has reported some 12,675 cancer cases in 2019, around 13,012 in 2020 and 13,354 in 2021.

“Cancer is a multi-dimensional disease and the risk factors inter alia include ageing population, sedentary lifestyle, use of tobacco products, unhealthy diet and air pollution,” the ministry’s note reads.

Dr. Afroz said that the actual rise in cancer cases could be found at the end of the year after drawing comparison with the last year.

“I urge patients having symptoms of cancer to come forward, as early treatment can prevent the disease from spreading further and thus help save life,” she said, adding that at the SKIMS quality treatment available as far as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are concerned. (KNO)

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