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Staff Correspondent
Experts said awareness of prevention, early detection and screening is necessary to reduce premature mortality from all types of cancer, the leading cause of deaths among both males and women cancer patients.
“If we could raise awareness among the people across the country and ensure proper treatment at the early stage, Bangladesh will be 100 per cent free of cancer, said experts.
The experts also said the preventive measures taken at the right time can avert the development of cancer. And the anatomically accessibility of the cervix to physical examination may be exploited to the effective screening and down-staging the disease, for early stage detection, when definite cure is readily achieved by surgery or radiotherapy.
World Health Organization report said around 59% of the deaths in Bangladesh is caused by non-communicable diseases (NCD), 10% of which are caused by cancer. There is 13 to 15 lakh cancer patients in Bangladesh, with more than two lakh patients newly diagnosed with cancer each year where lung cancer and mouth-oropharyngeal cancer rank as the top two prevalent cancers in males.
Other types of cancers are esophagus cancer and stomach cancer. In women, cervical cancer and breast cancer are most prevalent. Other cancer types, which affect women, are mouth-oropharyngeal cancer, lung cancer, and esophagus cancer, read the report.
Lung cancer patients are about 13 per cent in males while about two per cent in women in Bangladesh.
One of the main reasons for the death of women in the world is cervix cancer. In the present world one woman die in every two minutes due to cervical cancer. It is a major public health concern, and it is the second most common cancer among women worldwide which is the leading cause of deaths of women in developing countries, said expert doctors.
In Bangladesh, 18 per cent of cancer infected women die due to cervical cancer while every year more than 11,000 women die due to cervical cancer. It means, in Bangladesh, every day 28 women on an average die in cervical cancer, said the doctors.
Bangladeshi women aged between 15 to 44 years are in the higher risk of the breast cancer. The rate of breast cancer occurrence is 22.5 per cent per 1,00,000 females of the country.
Prof Dr A M M Shariful Alam, senior consultant and head of clinical oncology, told Bangladesh Post that it is important to raise awareness about cancer so that the patients could ensure proper treatment at the early stage. For that, the government as well as nongovernmental organisations should come forward.
He said, before 1980, due to lack of equipment and proper treatment, cancer patients used to go abroad, but now it is possible to provide treatment within Bangladesh with a comparatively low cost.
“There is a large number of cervical and breast cancer affected women in Bangladesh while most of the male cancer patients suffer from lung cancer,” said Shariful Alam.
Prof Dr Kashi Nath Prasad of department of microbiology of Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical science in India said, “Cancer can be prevented cent per cent in the country if we could ensure the first stage treatment.”
Referring to the scenario in India, he said the Indian government provides vaccine to teenage girls. If it is possible here in Bangladesh, Liver cancer can be cured.
He said the patients come to the doctors at the last stage of cancer; that is why cure from the disease is not often possible.
He however advised that the cancer patients eat healthy food and exercise regularly as part of preventive measures.