Aizawl, Oct 18 (UNI) Cancer, which contributes to about 12 per cent of deaths annually, has claimed about 4.5 million lives in India, Mizoram Governor M M Lakhera revealed.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the two-day fourth annual conference of Association of Radiation Oncologists, North East zonal chapter, here yesterday, the Governor underlined that cancer is one of India's biggest enemies.
Mizoram has the maximum number of patients in the world in four types of cancer, including stomach cancer, he informed.
''Stomach cancer is the most prevalent in Mizoram constituting 50 per cent of cancer cases in males and 30 per cent in females,'' he added.
''Discovery of the major causes and extensive public awareness will definitely decrease cancer cases in the state,'' Mr Lakhera said.
He also expressed concern over high expenses of cancer treatment and stressed on the need to find ways to lessen the medical cost.
Also speaking at the function was Mizoram University vice-chancellor Prof A N Rai, who said there were certain types of cancer more prevalent in the Northeast India which was attributed to the genes of the people, the geographical environment and lifestyles.
''Unfortunately, the NE region is very backward when it comes to cancer research institutes,'' he added and emphasised the need for state-of-the-art institutes for cancer.
NE AROI president N K Kalita informed that the NE AROI was founded in 2005 at Shillong with the sole objective of increasing coordination among the NE doctors.
''Except Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim all the NE states have radiation units which enable cancer patients to get treatment in their respective states thereby lessening medical expenses,'' he informed.
He also pointed out that most of large hospitals in the region do not lack doctors, but did not have technicians to assist them, adding that modern equipment was meaningless without technicians to handle them.
Besides the NE states, oncologists from Tata Cancer Research Institute, Kolkata, also attended the conference which concluded today.
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