Catch 'em young - was the advice that former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had for oncologists here. Expressing concern at lung cancer being caused chiefly by tobacco and alcohol consumption, the people's president advocated that awareness about the evils be spread among children from the primary-school itself.
"Since 90 per cent of lung cancer cases owe their origin to tobacco smoking, there is a need to accelerate the campaign against tobacco and alcohol consumption.
"Cancer awareness should, therefore, start early... in primary school itself," Kalam said at a conference on lung cancer at the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute here Sunday.
This may keep children from falling prey to tobacco consumption who generally adopt these habits from their elder siblings or parents.
In India, about 30,000 new lung cancer cases are registered every year. At present, there are about 50,000 lung cancer cases prevailing in India.