Of these, 49 lakh patients were screened for cervical cancer, 64 lakh for breast cancer, 1.07 crore for diabetes, and 1.52 crore for hypertension, at primary health centres across Tamil Nadu

Over the past year, the Tamil Nadu government has facilitated the screening of over three crore patients for non-communicable diseases (NCD), said C. Vijaya Baskar, minister for health and family welfare.

Of these, 49 lakh patients were screened for cervical cancer, 64 lakh for breast cancer, 1.07 crore for diabetes, and 1.52 crore for hypertension, at primary health centres across Tamil Nadu, said Mr. Baskar, on the sidelines of World No Tobacco Day function and Cancer Survivors Day, on Saturday.

The idea of the screening is to help people detect NCD as early as possible so they can control the progress of the disease, said Mr. Baskar.

The programme is part of a three-year NCD project that costs the government close to Rs. 91 crore. The screening is being provided at all government hospitals and clinics.

On Saturday, cancer survivors from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) were invited for the function, and they were counselled on the evils of smoking.

Apart from smoking, watching what you eat is important, said the doctors.

According to a recent study, around 90 per cent of the cancer patients at GH had been eating fast food on a regular basis. The details have been published in a study conducted by the hospital recently, on the correlation between eating habits and cancer, said S.M. Chandramohan, head of surgical gastroenterology.

In South India, 12 people per one lakh of the population have stomach cancers. In Chennai too, the number is quite high. It is important to watch what one eats, said K. Kalaiselvi, medical oncologist.