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4.70 lakh die of head and neck cancer each year, say experts in Noida

Speaking on the occasion of World Head and Neck Cancer Day on Thursday, he said people in India were falling prey to oral cancer because of smokeless tobacco and there was an urgent need to spread awareness.

noida Updated: Jul 27, 2017 23:34 IST
Sohil Sehran
Sohil Sehran
Hindustan Times
Noida,expert,cancer
Clinical psychologist at NICPR, Dr MA Khan, said people who are dependent on tobacco and alcohol need counselling and support after which they can leave it permanently. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

Around 6.52 people die every year of head and neck cancer across the globe and 4.70 lakh of them are from India, said Dr. Ravi Mehrotra, director of National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), Noida.

Speaking on the occasion of World Head and Neck Cancer Day on Thursday, he said people in India were falling prey to oral cancer because of smokeless tobacco and there was an urgent need to spread awareness.

Mehrotra, who has been organising regular discussions and seminars on the prevention of cancer in India, said, “About 80% of head and neck cancer is due to the use of alcohol or tobacco. In India, more than 50% oral and neck cancer is caused by smokeless tobacco. Even the younger generation’s rate of using smokeless tobacco is also increasing, which can be fatal if not controlled in time.”

He said head and neck cancer cancers usually begin in the squamous cells that line the moist, mucosal surfaces inside the mouth, nose and throat. “In 2015, head and neck cancers globally affected more than 5.5 million people. These cancers are more than twice as common among men,” said Mehrotra.

The Head of Centre for Dental Education (AIIMS), Dr OP Kharbanda, said some symptoms should be taken seriously and not avoided. “If an ulcer does not heal within two to three days, one should consult a doctor for treatment. It may lead to oral cancer.”

He said another symptom of head and neck cancer is a lump or a sore throat that does not heal. It is the most common symptom, he added.

Clinical psychologist at NICPR, Dr MA Khan, said people who are dependent on tobacco and alcohol need counselling and support after which they can leave it permanently.

A medical checkup camp was organised on the occasion and the oral hygiene of people was checked.

As many as 165 people were examined by the doctors, who had come from the Centre for Dental Education of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Of the 165 people, the oral hygiene of 45 was found to be alarming after which they were told to go through regular checkups at NICPR.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 23:34 IST