HYDERABAD: IF you haven’t been paying attention to messages screened in cinema halls about tobacco-related cancer, this study done at MNJ Institute of Oncology and Regional Cancer Center in Hyderabad might help understand the gravity of the problem. A retrospective study of 258 cases of oral cancer reported in one year at the city hospital has shown that 97 per cent of those patients regularly consumed smokeless tobacco, alcohol or smoking tobacco. Of the 258 patients, 205 were addicted to smokeless tobacco — 82 patients reported to using gutka, 32 paan, 20 zarda, 4 khaini and 67 others used more than one of these.
Alcohol and smoking were not far behind; 118 were addicted to alcohol and 93 smoked cigarettes, beedi or chutta. Around quarter of the cases — 65 of them — were addicted to smoking as well as alcohol. Of the 205 smokeless tobacco consumers, 126 were found to be suffering from stage-IV cancer. Meanwhile, 58 of the 93 smokers and 44 out of 65 alcohol consumers had stage-IV cancer. Overall, in 55.8 per cent of them cancer had progressed to stage-IV and tumour spread to other parts of the body.
Dr AVS Suresh, Medical Oncologist and Hematologist says, “It is the higher exposure time and deposition of cancer causing elements on buccal mucosa in smokeless tobacco which makes it more dangerous than smoking tobacco.” MNJ Institute of Oncology Regional Cancer Centre- in association with the department of Biotechnology, Osmania University, held a 5-kilometer Cancer awareness walk in the university’s campus on Sunday morning.