Enumerating cancer cases in rural areas remain challenging and posing a challenge to develop cancer control strategies. SEARCH, Gadchiroli and Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai have collaboratively developed a method to enumerate cancer cases in under-resourced settings under the Population-Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) in Gadchiroli.
The results of the PBCR for years 2015-16 were released today at a function in Tata Memorial Centre.
Gadchiroli, one of the most underdeveloped districts of India, with a population of 10 lakh had an estimated 550 new cases of cancers every year.
The incidence of mouth cancers was one of the highest reported in the country. Cancers of mouth accounted for 40% of cancers in males and 20% of cancers in females. Mouth cancers were the second leading cancers among women which is highly unexpected. Fifty percent of cancers among males and 30% among females were tobacco related.
Dr Abhay Bang, Director of SEARCH, stated that tobacco has emerged as key public health problem in Gadchiroli and SEARCH along with the Government of Maharashtra and Tata Trusts have developed a programme, Muktipath to reduce tobacco and alcohol use in Gadchiroli district. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Deputy Director, TMH attributed this shockingly high incidence of oral cancer to traditional use of chewing tobacco with Supari among the that population. This is compounded with high incidence of alcohol use also.
All the three etiologies of oral cancer have led to this alarming level of oral cancer in Gadchiroli. Needless to say, poor health care services leads to most patients presenting in advanced stages and die with in few months of diagnosis.
Dr Rajesh Dikshit, Director of Centre for Cancer Epidemiology at the Tata Memorial Centre highlighted that this new method of cancer registration could be useful in other under resourced settings in India as well as other developing countries. Dr Yogesh Kalkonde, Mr Mahesh Deshmukh, Dr Sunil Jadhao from SEARCH and Drs Rajesh Dikshit and Dr Atul Budukh from the Tata Memorial Centre were instrumental in setting up this cancer registry.