KOHIMA: Over 70 per cent of cancer patients in Nagaland avail treatment outside the state, Director of Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) of Guwahati has said.
Cancer of nasopharynx, stomach and oesophagus in males and cervical and breast cancer in women are highly prevalent in Nagaland , Dr Katki said an outreach programme for management of Common Cancers of the North East organised by BBCI, yesterday.
"Cancer patients in the state are compelled to seek treatment outside Nagaland due to lack of human resources and expertise in the field of oncology and lack of infrastructural and technical facilities here," he pointed out.
He stated that cancer cases have increased in Nagaland and other north-eastern states due to lifestyle changes, population increase, urbanization, industrialization, prevalence of non-communicable diseases and consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
Dr Katki apprised that most of the common cancers in the northeast were amenable to treatment in case of early detection.
Increasing public awareness and human resource in the field of oncology was the need of the hour, he added.
Prioritizing the generation of trained staff, a two year Post-Graduate Fellowship Programme at BBCI selected five candidates from Nagaland and five others from other North East states.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) reported 40 per cent tobacco related cancer among males and 13 per cent among females in Nagaland in 2017.
National Tobacco Control Programme, Kohima, had recently reported during the World No Tobacco Day commemoration that Nagaland's smoking rate has reduced from 31.5 per cent to 13.2 per cent and current smokeless tobacco use has gone down from 45.37 per cent to 39 per cent.
Nagaland, however, still has the highest use of pan masala with tobacco at 21 per cent.
This includes 24 per cent men and 18 per cent women who use pan masala.
Nagaland's status from being the second highest consumer of tobacco (56.8 per cent) in the country has significantly improved and moved down to 7th rank (43.3 per cent) in North East India and 8th position in the country, as per data provided by GATS.