25 Jan 2012
By K Ezhilarasan
CUDDALORE: Doctors practising in different parts of Cuddalore district see a steep increase in the incidence of cancer in the district as compared with the number of cases recorded five years ago. While there was no official study to support the claim, the doctors said that they had arrived at this assessment while exchanging notes with each other in the periodic meetings of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) held in the district.
Based on their observation, the doctors said that the district has a prevalence rate of 30 to 40 per cent, which was quite high compared to other districts of the State or even the country. “A minimum of one cancer case is being detected in some corner of the district everyday. This is a worrisome fact,” said Dr T A Chandralathan, Secretary, IMA-Cuddalore. What was a cause of concern was the fact that there were more cases being detected among men between 25 and 30 years.
“Cases of lung cancer, oral cancer, breast cancer and uterine cancer are mainly being detected. Pollution has spoiled the environment and unwanted elements in drinking water could be one of the reasons,” he added.
Dr P Elanthirayan, Thane Relief Coordinator, IMA-Cuddalore, said that against the national average of five to eight per cent prevalence of malignancy in the total diseased population, Cuddalore district had 30 to 40 per cent cases, which was unusually high. “It is not a collated data but based on the doctors OP records that were presented in our meetings where we share our experiences,” Dr Elanthirayan said. “Doctors practising for the past 20 years in the district said that they did not come across so many cases as doctors practising for the past five years or so are handling,” he said.
“The increase in the pick up rate could also be due to advanced investigative techniques and diagnostics established in the district. For example, there were no MRI or CT scan machines in Cuddalore five years ago. Cases detected then were referred to bigger centres like Puducherry and the statistics went into their data,” he reasoned. However, the doctors have decided to conduct a detailed study in the coming year to analyse the cases to deduct the high-risk groups, the geographical marker and the environmental parameters.
Yet another observation made by the doctors, which could perhaps be related to the high incidence of malignancy, was the higher number of thyroid disorders. “Sea food has the tendency to prevent thyroid-related problems. However, here in Cuddalore, an unusually high number of thyroid problems are also reported,” Dr Elanthiryan said.
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