Cuttack: The pattern of cancer cases in Odisha has changed in the past few years, according to Dr Lalatendu Sarangi, director of Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) here.
“Earlier, we used to notice cervical cancer cases as the most common form among women in the state. But now, breast cancer is the most prevalent,” Dr Sarangi said in a media interview on the occasion of World Cancer Day on Tuesday.
“Among men, oral cancer is still a problem. But, more cases of stomach, colon and rectal cancer are being reported these days,” he added.
Dr Sarangi blamed the emergence of the new forms of cancer on changing lifestyle and habits. “Stomach cancer is also linked to food habits with people consuming more spicy food, chilly, dried salty fish and others these days,” he said.
“On the other hand, rising cases of breast cancer could be linked to changes in breastfeeding habits, sexual habits, late marriage, late child bearing and adopting to urban lifestyle,” he added.
Stating that the incidences of cancer are rising in the state, Dr Sarangi informed that AHRCC, the only tertiary cancer hospital of Odisha, sees 80,000 patients every year, including around 20,000 new cases. “On an average we see around 350 cases per day. People from across Odisha come to us for treatment, surgery and palliative care,” he said.
The AHRCC chief, however, praised Odisha for being one of the pioneering states to offer all facilities to cancer patients free of cost, ranging from admission, all indoor facilities, surgery, treatment, drugs and chemotherapy.
On the future of cancer care in Odisha, Dr Sarangi informed that the construction of a new building adjacent to AHRCC has started in order to expand the hospital’s bed strength. “The new building is likely to be completed in the next four years and add 400 new beds. Tata Trusts is also building a new cancer hospital near Barang while another specialist hospital is being planned in Bargarh,” he said.