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Friday, June 05, 2009

Incidence of cancer high in Kamrup

Incidence of cancer high in Kamrup
PRABAL KR DAS
GUWAHATI, May 13 – Scientific data has now emerged that an area of Assam, including Guwahati and parts of its surroundings, has the highest incidence of some types of cancer in the world. Kamrup urban district now has surpassed other regions of the world in cancer of tongue, mouth, tonsil, oropharynx, hypopharynx, oesophagus in males, and in cancer of mouth and oesophagus in females in the period 2003 to 2007.

This has been established on the basis of a study done by Dr Jagannath D Sharma, chief consultant pathologist of Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute. Working as principal investigator for the Population Based Cancer Registry programme of ICMR, Dr Sharma gathered and analysed data spread over several years to identify the incidence as well as the pattern of the disease in the Kamrup urban district.

Comparing data acquired from the area under focus to those available from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, published from Lyon, France, the senior pathologist found that occurrence of some cancers was disturbingly higher in Kamrup urban district than any other area located across five continents.

Oesophagus cancer among males in Kamrup urban district is AAR (Age Adjusted Incidence rate) 34.4, while the second highest recorded in Jislam, China is AAR 20.2.

Incidence of cancer of the tongue in males in Kamrup urban district is ARR 11.2, significantly higher than in Somme in France that has an incidence rate of 7.

Also notable is the high rate of cancer of the hypopharynx among males, which is AAR 19.9, twice than that in region of France that has registered the second highest rate.

Cancer of the mouth in females is also highest in Kamrup urban district, with the incidence rising to ARR 7.2.

Significantly, the incidence of cancer – including all types –is third highest in the Kamrup urban district in the entire country. Among males the AAR is poised at 180.5, while for females it stands at 131.6.

In Kamrup urban district, among males oesophagus is the leading site of cancer contributing about 19 per cent of the total cases with an AAR of 34.4 per cent, followed by hypopharynx (AAR 19.9), lung (AAR 15.0), tongue (AAR 112) and larynx (AAR 9.9).

Among females, breast is the leading cancer site (AAR 17.5) making up 15.4 per cent of total cases, followed by cancer of the cervix (AAR 17.3), oesophagus (AAR 16.5) and gall bladder (AAR 14.3).

Dr Sarma and others acquainted with pattern and incidence of cancer are cautious about pinpointing factors responsible for the high rate of the disease in a part of Assam, but agree that a combination of environmental as well as genetic factors might be at work.

Referring to the current scenario, doctors underline the need for more studies and assert that considering the seriousness of the issue programmes of monitoring and intervention has now become an urgent necessity.



Syeda Jebeen S. Shah

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