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Urbanisation behind rise in breast cancer

india Updated: Feb 17, 2007 10:41 IST

THE RISE in cases of breast cancer, to the extent that during the last five years it surpassed the incidences of cervix cancer to become the most reported form of cancer among Bhopal women, points at the growing urbanisation of the capital city. Meanwhile, tobacco-related cancers, especially those related to tobacco chewing continue to top among the cancer list in males of Bhopal.

The latest report (for 2002-03) of the Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) functioning at the Department of Pathology of Gandhi Medical College (GMC) has reaffirmed these trends. Head of Department of Pathology and Principal Investigator of the PBCR, Dr Neel Kamal Kapoor analysed the findings of the latest PBCR statistics for Hindustan Times.

The report shows that 21.6 per lakh women in Bhopal suffer from cancer of breast against 17.4 per lakh suffering from cancer of cervix. This surpassing of cervix cancer by breast cancer is a trend noticed during the last five years and it suggests the increasing impact of urbanisation on women, Dr Kapoor said.

Dr Kapoor said that late marriages, lesser number of children and declining trend of breast-feeding are some of the causative factors for breast cancer and all these causes are related to urbanisation. She highlighted the urgent need of creating awareness regarding this trend among women.

Similarly, the report shows that 12.5 per lakh males suffer from lung cancer, 10 per lakh from tongue cancer, 8.6 per lakh from mouth cancer, 7.1 per lakh from oesophageal cancer and 6.3 per lakh of male population in capital suffer from hypo-pharynx cancer. All these cancers are related to tobacco habits – the last four of them very typically related to tobacco chewing.

The total percentage of tobacco related cancer in males in Bhopal among all forms of cancer is 52.7 pc. Bhopal already has the notoriety of having the highest incidence of tongue cancer in world and the latest report keeps up this notoriety, Dr Kapoor said.

She said that looking at the continuing trends of high incidences of tobacco-related cancers in the City, the Pathology Department has decided to target the adolescent students to create awareness on the issue. Students of class IX and X of various schools would be invited to the GMC every alternate month and an educative slide show and question-answer session organised for them.

The activity was set off at GMC on Thursday when students of local Mayflower School participated in such an interactive session. The latest report of the PBCR was also released on the occasion.

The report also shows that 22.7 per cent of males suffering from cancer in the City are illiterates while among women cancer patients 30.8 per cent are illiterate.

- Tobacco-related cancer in males, breast cancer in females top the list
- Bhopal has the highest rate of tongue cancer in world
- Incidence of cancer higher among illiterates