Cancer, after cardiac-related deaths, is turning out to be a giant killer in India with millions of people falling prey to the disease -- mostly caused by tobacco and alcohol. An estimated 40 lakh cancer patients are in India and every year 5 lakh cancer deaths were being reported in the country, according to noted surgical oncologist Voona Murali Krishna.

Participating in a seminar on the subject ‘myths and facts of cancer', organised by Padmanabha Cancer Awareness Foundation at the Rajasthani Sanskritic Mandal here on Sunday, he said that 30 to 40 per cent of incidence of cancer can be prevented if usage of tobacco and alcohol is controlled. Lung cancer in men and breast and uterus cancer in women are widely prevalent.

Oral cancer among rural women is ruling the roost as they are mostly habituated to chewing of tobacco and reverse smoking called as ‘Adda Poga'. Majority of these women were prone to cancer and they come to the physician at an advanced stage of the killer-disease. Many of them conceal the problem even from their near and dear ones until they reach the advanced stage. Several rural women also suffer from uterus cancer due to promiscuous living and unhygienic vaginal conditions, he observed.

Lifestyle disease

Giving a lively and detailed Power Point presentation on the subject, Dr. Murali Krishna revealed that alcohol caused liver cancer among men and poor dietary conditions in women result in breast cancer. He advised that women take food products which offer rich fibre diet. He also described cancer as a lifestyle disease. Habits such as eating junk food, devoid of nutritious value, also contribute to cancerous growths in the body.

Many women fail to detect early symptoms of cervical cancer like white discharge which is taken lightly. Other symptoms include delayed healing of sores, unusual bleeding, indigestion and thickening of lump in the breast etc.

For early detection of cancer, he suggested breast examination by self, going for pap smear apart from periodic health check-up including biopsy, x-ray, ultra sound scan and CT scan.

Earlier, coordinator of the seminar Dr. Lakshmi Narain Kedia lauded Dr. Murali Krishna and Dr. Kanhu Charan Patro for rendering yeomen services through their Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital based in the city. He stated that the hospital has excellent team of doctors and the state of-the-art facilities as in United States. But for the hospital, cancer patients would have gone through the trauma of travelling to far off places for treatment. Doctors treating cancer patients need a great human heart to treat them with sympathy and care, he added.

In 2008, 14 per cent of deaths in the world were due to cancer. The figure had of late risen to 21 per cent. It is now the biggest killer in Western Pacific, United Kingdom, France and Australia.

Dr. Patro addressed the technical session of the seminar by going in-depth into the technicalities of the disease. The seminar was inaugurated with the lighting of the lamp by the panel of speakers.

Keywords: canceroncology