Jammu: It may sound shocking but it’s true that every second infected patient loses his or her life due to deadly Cancer in Jammu and Kashmir.
Going by the official statistics, the Union Territory has witnessed a disturbing trend of high mortality rate in cancer cases as over 20,000 cancer-related deaths were reported due to deadly disease between 2018 and 2020.
What is more worrisome is that the number of Cancer is on constant rise in J&K despite mass awareness campaigns and corrective measures taken by the government. Nearly more than 37,000 incidence of cancer cases have come to surface across the UT for the period (2018 to 2020). In Ladakh Union Territory too, Cancer has also taken a heavy toll on human lives where as many as 374 Cancer patients lost their battle to the disease.
“In the year 2018, as many as 12071 cases of Cancer were reported which further increased to 12,726 cases in 2020. The mortality rate also remained high in Jammu and Kashmir as a total of 6,670 patients of Cancer died in 2018 while this number went up to 7,027 in 2020,”statistics revealed.
“Cancer is not a region-specific problem now. Faulty lifestyle, bad food habits, high number of ageing population and various environmental aspects can be attributed to the main reasons for the increasing incidences of cancer in J&K”, an expert in the health department told The Dispatch.
The expert said the incidences of lung, breast, cervical and oral cancer was predominant among the patients across the UT.
“We have been facing a severe space crunch here. On a daily basis, we receive over 100 OPD patients, while the number of Chemo-therapy patients is 30-40 per day. This number is in addition to the old patients,” a doctor at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Jammu said.
Sources said that the much-awaited Rs 120-crore State Cancer Institute (SCI) in Jammu is expected to be made fully functional by the end of this year as construction work and other infrastructural development has been expedited.
Sources said the procurement of ultra-modern equipments including high energy Linear Accelerator, PET Scan, High dose rate Brachytherapy, modular operation theatres has also been undertaken on a fast-track basis.
In September 2019, the then J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik had laid the foundation stone for 100-bed SCI at Super Speciality Hospital (SSH), Jammu. The SCI is being established under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, CVD and Stroke (NPCDCS).
Pertinently, the Oncology Department of GMCH Jammu recently got shot in the arm when the state of art Radiation Simulator granted approval for commissioning after successful installation by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Installed with a cost of Rs 3 crores, the Radiation Equipment has been funded by grant received from Government of India for establishment of SCI.