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Tobacco-induced cancer on the rise

R. Sairam
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Main reason for cancer cases is ignorance about healthy lifestyle and diet

A majority of the cancer cases being treated by Coimbatore Medical College Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) are found to have been caused by tobacco products such as cigarettes, pan masala and ghutka.

Lung, head and neck cancers, all of which are caused by tobacco use, constitute nearly one-third of all cases treated at the Rs. 15 crore-centre, which became operational last month.

A. Suresh Venkatachalam, Head, Department of Surgical Oncology, RCC, said that they were also treating a larger number of cervical cancer patients from rural areas, who developed the problem due to lack of hygiene.

Healthy lifestyle and diet besides not realising the need for regular health check-ups. Only around 10 per cent of patients came at a stage early enough to be cured.

R. Vimala, CMCH Dean, said that the centre was treating patients from all districts of Western Tamil Nadu besides border districts of Kerala. Awareness was the key for early detection of cancer.

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