Bhaktapur, February 3
All over the world, more than 15 million new cancer patients have been recorded, while 8 million people have died of cancer, and a total of 32.5 million cancer patients have been recorded till now, according to the World Health Organisation.
“In Nepal, more than 100,000 cancer patient have been recorded after treatment became available 22 years ago,” said Lokendra Kumar Shrestha, chairman at the Nepal Cancer Relief Society, Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital.
Till now, more than 30,000 new patients of cancer have been identified while nearly 20,000 cancer patients have died throughout the country.
According to Shrestha, cancer can be cured if it is identified and treated on time. He said, “It is hard to identify cancer in a person early as it does not have any symptoms, but it can be completely cured in early stages. The disease is also largely preventable if people begin to practice healthy lifestyles.”
Cancer affects people of all age groups. The main cause of increasing cases of cancer in the country is unhealthy lifestyle. Smoking, chewing tobacco, pollution, unhealthy eating habits, and food grown using harsh chemical fertilisers have contributed to the increase in cases of lung cancer, mouth cancer, stomach cancer, and large intestinal cancer.
According to the data recorded in Bharatpur Cancer Hospital, in 2016, 44.4 per cent of cancer patients were male while 55.6 per cent were female. The data shows that cancer cases were more common at 57.7 per cent in the broad age group of 35-60 years whereas the age group of 0 to 14 years has the lowest number of cancer cases at 3.6 per cent.
According to Dr Sarita Ghimire, gynaecologist/oncologist, lung cancer is more common among men, and uterine cancer among women in the country.
To increase awareness among people about cancer and various carcinogens, various programmes are being organised throughout the country from tomorrow with the theme ‘We can. I can.’ The objective of the programme is to encourage healthy lifestyles. Shrestha said the subject of cancer must be incorporated in the curriculum of Grade VIII, IX, and X so that information about cancer is disseminated to children from an early age.
A version of this article appears in print on February 04, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.