Mizoram, second highest cancer prone zone in world: ICMR

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Aizawl, Dec 31 (UNI) Alarmed by the findings that Mizoram has world's second highest cancer cases, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted a comprehensive study of the abnormal cancer growth among the Mizos.

According to the report of Development of Atlas of Cancer in India (DACI), Aizawl district has the highest Minimal Age Adjusted Incidence Rate (MAAIR) in India among women followed by Serchhip district in the state.

The study revealed that on an average about 40 people in one lakh suffer from stomach cancer in Mizoram. This is only second to Japan.

ICMR came up with the analysis after collecting data from 105 hospitals spread over 82 districts across the country.

Talking to UNI, Chief of Cobalt Therapy of Mizoram Health Service Dr Zothankima said, ''Union Ministry has been monitoring the disease in the state for the past five years since Aizwal Civil Hospital participated in a ''Cancer in India Project'' under National Cancer Registry Programme in 2001.'' He said, ''In a population of about one lakh, 82 men and 72 women suffer from cancer which is a matter of concern.'' However, the high incidence of stomach cancer could be attributed to either genetic aberration or environmental factors. Cancer also affects the oesophagus, lungs, breast and cervix, he said.

Cancer among the Mizos was increasing due to extensive usage of tobacco in their daily lives, Population-based Cancer Registry Senior Pathologist Dr Eric said, ''Women tobacco users do not share the same health risks as men but also face health consequences unique to women.'' According to statistics, in a single year, 161 cases of stomach cancer have been registered in the state. All the eight districts of the state have reported a high incidence of cancer cases. About 687 histological proven cases, including 310 female patients, were officially recorded from the state.

It indicated that Aizwal district recorded the highest incidence of cancer, with 382 cases, followed by Lunglei, Champhai, Serchhip, Kolasib, Mamit, Saiha and Lawngtlai.

A finding of population studies worldwide by experts on the subject said, ''Cancer arise with strikingly different frequencies in different places. Stomach cancer is frequent in Japan, liver cancer in China, skin cancer in Australia, leukemia in Canada, colon cancer in the US, cervical cancer in Brazil, head, neck, uterine, cervix and breast cancer in India.'' Environment experts mentioned that the socio-environmental factors were responsible for the abnormal growth and suggested that a study should be carried out across the North-East and precautionary measures should be taken.


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