Cancer cases are on the rise, admits govt

Jammu: Admitting that there was an increase in the cancer cases in Kashmir over the past seven years, the government on Saturday said that efforts are being ensured to provide affordable treatment to the patients suffering from the dreaded disease.
This was revealed by health and medical education minister Bali Baghat while replying a calling attention notice submitted by National Conference MLA, Ali Muhammad Sagar.
The minister in his reply revealed that the number of cancer cases in state, particularly in Kashmir witnessed an increase from 3075 in 2011 to 4976 in 2016. “However the total number of cases in 2017 was 3521,” he said.
The minister said efforts were made by the government to help the needy cancer patients living below poverty line.
“Such patients are given free investigation, anti-cancer drugs at subsidized rates,” he said.
The Minister attributed the rise in cancer cases with consumption of Tobacco saying it was one of the major risk factor for majority of cancers and leading to increase in the number of patients.
“Poor personal hygiene, unsanitary living conditions and low immunity is related with few cancers like cancer of cervix,” the minister said.
He said the consumption of adulterated food, fruits and vegetables laden with pesticides and environmental pollutions are also a major risk factor.
“Many cancers like breast and colon are increasing due to change in lifestyle, late age at first child birth, obesity, fatty diet low in fiber, increased consumption of red meat and sedentary life style are contributing to it,” he said.
The minister however admitted that the present process to get the funds sanctioned for treatment of cancer patients was cumbersome. He said the patients were made to run from pillar to post.
“The present system in place is so long. The formalities start from the concerned doctor and ends in civil secretariat. Till the time file gets approved, the patients are almost dead by that time,” minister said, and informed the House that they are mulling to keep the corps fund available for treatment of cancer patients at the government medical college Srinagar as well as Jammu.
“We are working on it and matter has been discussed with CM as well. We are working on all the requirements to address the issue,” he said.
Ali Muhammad Sagar demanded that the funds should be also kept available in SKIMS Srinagar as well.
“Most of the cancer patients visit SKIMS, funds should be kept available there as well,” Sagar told minister.

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