Tobacco responsible for rise in head, neck cancer cases: GCRI

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Ahmedabad, June 3: An estimated 35 per cent of the 45,000 new cancer cases registered in Gujarat every year are that of the head and neck due to high tobacco consumption, according to Gujarat Cancer Research Institute (GCRI).

"An estimated 30-35 per cent of cancer cases recorded in the state every year are that of head and neck cancer. More than 50 per cent of the men in state show symptoms of this cancer because of high tobacco consumption," Associate Professor, Department of Community Oncology, GCRI, Dr Parimal Jivrajani said.

In Ahmedabad district, more rural women are prone to head and neck cancer cases than urban women, according to Ahmedabad Cancer Registry (ACR), maintained by the GCRI.

"While 18 per cent women in urban areas of Ahmedabad are prone to head and neck cancer cases, in rural areas, the figure goes up to 20 per cent," Dr Jivrajani said.

Jivrajani said 55 per cent men in urban and rural areas of Ahmedabad district were affected by head and neck cancer cases.

Senior consultant and director at Health Care Global (HCG) Cancer Centre, Dr Rajendra Toprani said that with young people getting addicted to tobacco these days at a very early age, there has also been a rise in young population showing symptoms of head and neck cancer cases.

Overall, 90 per cent of head and neck cancer cases are tobacco-related, caused by chewing of smokeless tobacco, inhaling nicotine, among others, head and neck cancer surgeon of Apollo Hospital in Gandhinagar Dr Vishal Choksi said.

In Gujarat, close to 60 per cent of men are tobacco-addicted while the percentage of women addicted to tobacco is 8.40, Dr Jivrajani said.

The symptoms of this type of cancer vary from ulcers in mouth, lump in neck, change of voice to eating difficulties, among others.

Head and neck cancer refers to cancer of mouth and neck region that start in the lip, oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity (inside the nose) and paranasal sinuses.

Ruing the fact that doctors here get patients at Ruing the fact that doctors here get patients at advanced stages, Dr Toprani said, "Seventy per cent patients that doctors receive in India are generally in advanced stage, while in western countries, doctors receive patients at very early stage."

Stressing that surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy can cure this type of cancer, Dr Toprani said if doctors receive patients here in early stages, the treatment success percentage here can significantly improve.

PTI

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