Mohammed Shiraj (62), a resident of Agra, was addicted to tobacco. As his family members objected to his habit, he switched over to ‘manjan’, a tobacco-based tooth powder.
Shiraj then got addicted to the manjan’ and continued to use it until he developed an ulcer in his mouth.
As the ulcer did not subside even after three weeks despite consuming over-the-counter medicines, Shiraj decided to see a doctor, who told him that he exhibited early signs of oral cancer.
According to health experts at government hospitals in Agra, there is a 50-60 per cent rise in the number of oral cancer patients. Tobacco, tooth powder-based on tobacco, smoking and alcohol were among the primary reasons for the disease, they said.
If we compare cancer cases in Agra in the last 10 years, there is a 50 percent rise in oral, breast and throat cancers. Besides, cancers of lungs, gallbladder, oesophagus, cervix and large intestine are also on the rise, Dr Surabhi Gupta, associate professor of radiotherapy, Sarojini Naidu Medical College and Hospital, said.
World Cancer Day is an international day marked on 4 February to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day is led by the Union for International Cancer Control.
The common cancers in men are of the mouth, throat and lungs, while in women, there are mostly breast and cervical cancers, she said.
Breast cancer cases were about 21 per cent of the all cases in 2010. This increased to 32 per cent by 2020. And cases of oesophageal cancer were 1 per cent in 2010. In 2020, they shot up to 13 per cent, she said.
She suggested that patients visit their doctors early on, consume a balanced diet and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Dr Veerendra Yadav, associate professor of dentistry at the institute, said tobacco-based tooth powders are equally famous among men and women in Agra and a large chunk of the population was addicted to tobacco and alcohol.
Those who exhibit abnormal symptoms such as numbness, ulcers, ulcerative bleeding and others must consult a dentist as soon as possible, he said.
Dr Bhupendra Chahar, a cancer specialist at the district hospital in Agra, said 160 patients visited the outpatient department in two months, of which 50-60 per cent had cancers of the head, neck and mouth.
My suggestion for all those who have symptoms of cancer is that they need not fear. If cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the diagnosis results are positive. After chemotherapy and radiotherapy, follow-ups are necessary, he said.International, News