By Sumiya Shah
SRINAGAR: The prevalence of once common and specific to Kashmir Kangri cancer is on decline though other forms of cancer have shot up considerably, experts say.
“Kangri cancer cases have fallen considerably mostly because more new heating gadgets are in use and people now use more effective warm clothing,” Prof M Maqbool Lone, Head of the Radiation Oncology at SKIMS said.
The condition that later was established as Kangri Cancer was first described by Dr Arthur Neve during his travels to Kashmir in late part of 19th century. Various studies later linked it to the usage of Kangri.
A type of squamous-cell carcinoma of the skin, kangri cancer occurred mostly in lower abdominal region and inner thighs.
“We are receiving minimal cases of kangri cancer, as the trend has changed now. People now prefer to use wear thermals which keeps them warm and they use electric heater in their houses,” Dr Lone said.
However the present data according to experts reveals that cancers of lung, esophagus, stomach, breast, JE Junction, thyroid, colon, ovary and rectum are on rise.
The data compiled by SKIMS, shows that the leading type of cancer among men is lung cancer (16.3 %), while as among women cancer patients, breast cancer (14.5 %) has been most prevalent in Kashmir in the year 2015-2016.
“Earlier we have trend of food pipe cancer and stomach cancer which had been usually found in poor people but from last four years this trend has been changed. Now leading cancer among men is lung cancer and among women it is breast cancer which is same as in metropolitan and western cities,” Dr Lone said.
Dr Lone identifies some of the reasons for leading cancer among men and women in Kashmir “Obesity, late marriages, late child birth and no breast feeding, are some of the reasons that causes breast cancer in women, and in men smoking is the primary reason for increasing prevalence of lung cancer among men in Kashmir,” he said.
Around 300 patients are added annually to the number of cancer patients in Kashmir. “In 2014, 3687 cancer cases are registered, in 2015, 4001 cases are registered. However in 2016, 4336 cases have been registered,” Dr Lone said.
A major study from “World Cancer Research Fund” found that 39% of 12 major cancers could be avoided by adopting a healthy lifestyle. About 38% of breast cancer cases could be prevented by increasing physical exercise and reducing body fat. Lung cancer cases could be cut by 33% by getting people to stop smoking.