In the past year, the National Cancer Institute (AIIMS), Haryana, has witnessed a surge in detecting breast, oral, and lung cancers, underscoring the urgent need for heightened awareness and prevention measures.
“In the last year, we identified a total of 80,000 cancer cases at NCI, with breast, oral, lung, cervical, colorectal, and gall bladder cancers having the highest incidence," Dr Jitendra Kumar Meena, Assistant Professor, Preventive Oncology, NCI said.
"Unfortunately, the bulk of these cases were found in the advanced third and fourth stages, and up to fifty per cent of them were attributable to tobacco usage," he added.
Speaking to Drug Today Medical Times during an exhibition on departmental achievements at Delhi AIIMS recently, Dr Meena added, “Tobacco consumption can lead to cancers of the mouth, neck, lung, and intestine. A person who is habitual to smoking and using smokeless tobacco can develop these types of cancers. If they stop taking tobacco, the majority of cancers can be prevented. 80% of cancer cases are preventable.”
Explaining colorectal cancer, Dr Meena pointed out that it can also happen due to smoking and alcohol consumption.
“A lack of physical activity, fibre-rich meals, fruits and vegetables in one's diet, and insufficient dairy product intake can all contribute to developing colorectal cancer. These variables can cause symptoms such as constipation, diarrhoea, and, in rare cases, blood in the stool. As a result, people who follow these lifestyle habits are more likely to acquire colorectal cancer.” Dr Meena said.
“Patients with colorectal cancer present with symptoms such as low abdominal pain, constipation, and weight loss,” he added.
On the prevention front, Dr Meena said, “We are actively disseminating the message of early disease intervention to safeguard against its ominous grasp. To achieve this goal, we are working hard to provide specialised training to Haryana government medical officers and community health workers. This concerted effort seeks to empower them with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and of cancer cases without delay to our care, ultimately championing the cause of timely medical intervention.”
Dr Meena pointed out that the majority of cases of cancer have been reported from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Delhi.
“We are treating 500 patients daily using chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and oncosurgery,” he added.
Regarding the diagnostic services offered at NCI, Dr. Meena remarked, “At NCI, we believe in comprehensive cancer care in which specialists, including surgery, preventive care, and radiology, examine the patients and plan them for further treatment. This helps in disease management better.”
Dr Meena said, “We do community services and organise community camps adjoining areas of Jhajjar, Gurugram, Delhi, and UP.”
“Our facilities include dedicated units for ICU, CCU, palliative care, and pain management for cancer patients. Additionally, we're proud to have India's pioneering fully automated robotic clinical laboratory in the government sector, with a capacity to process up to 60,000 tests daily.,” he informed.
“We treat all types of cancer, including breast, head, and neck, lung and thoracic, gastrointestinal, hepatopancreaticobiliary, gynaecological, sarcomas, peritoneal, skin, and adnexa, renal, and urological,” Dr Meena informed.