: Cancer should be made a notifiable disease since it has emerged as a major non-communicable disease and a public health problem, said oncologists.

The States of Punjab, Tripura and West Bengal had successfully done this and there was no reason why Kerala should not follow suit, Director of RCC Paul Sebastian said while addressing the inaugural session of the 28th annual review meeting of ICMR’s National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) here on Thursday. An estimated 10 lakh cases of cancers were reported in the country annually, out of which 42,000 new cases were from Kerala, he said. Making cancer a notifiable disease would enable better data collection, facilitate scientific studies and better strategies for cancer control, he pointed out. Though the NCRP had grown over the years, with 27 population-based registries and nine hospital-based registries across the country, the registry network had to be further expanded as large areas of the country were still not represented in the available cancer data. The quality of data generated also needed to be improved. The hospital-based cancer registry in RCC, established in 1982, was the oldest and the first paper-less registry in the country.

The meeting was inaugurated by Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar. He also released the consolidated 30-year report of the hospital-based registry at RCC.

Those who spoke on the occasion included G. K. Rath, Chief, Dr. Ambedkar Institute Cancer Hospital, AIIMS, New Delhi; A. Nandakumar, Director-in-charge, NCRP Bangalore; K. Radhakrishnan, Director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology; and M. Krishnan Nair, founder-director of RCC here, among others.

  • Punjab, Tripura, West Bengal have given the disease the status

  • It helps data collection, studies