With around 300 patients getting registered at the tumor clinic of department of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery and radiation oncology at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, head and neck cancer is emerging as a new challenge.
According to data released by the PGIMER, head and neck cancer, predominantly lifestyle related, is emerging as a major public health concern not only in the region but across the country.
This medical condition has a lengthy latent period and need dedicated infrastructure and human resource for treatment.
As many as 57.5% cases in the world of head and neck cancers occur in Asia, especially in India. Over 2 lakh such cases are reported in India every year.
Nearly 80,000 patients are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the country.
Head and neck cancer account for 30% of all cancers among males.
Experts say tobacco consumption in the form of smoking cigarettes, bidis and hookah is a leading cause of cancer and it carries 17 times greater risk of developing the disease than nonsmokers.Smokeless tobacco has 16 carcinogens and is consumed in the form of zarda, gutka, khaiini along with lime.
Alcohol consumption alone increases the risk two-three folds but when consumed while smoking it increases the risk by 11 times.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection (commonly seen among young adults) may be linked to oropharyngeal and oral cancer.