To draw the world's attention to effective care and control of head and neck cancers, the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies, (IFHNOS) has marked July 27 World Head and Neck Cancer Day (WHNCD).
Dr Sourav Datta, head and neck Oncologist, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah and Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) patron said, “Head & Neck Cancers are the biggest source of cancer burden in India. Nearly half of the newly diagnosed Head & Neck Cancers die within 12 months of diagnosis.”
“Paradoxically, two-thirds of head & neck cancers are related to known agents such as tobacco, areca nut and alcohol. Unfortunately, these causative agents are freely available either due to a weak policy or implementation or absence of it,” he said.
India witnesses 1.75 lac new cases of head and neck cancers every year. Of these 76 percent are males and 24 percent are females.
In India chewing tobacco is more compared to smoking form. 90 percent of oral cancers, throat cancers are due to tobacco use. India has the dubious distinction of having largest amount of chewing tobacco consumption in the world. It is a cheap and easily available addiction and its growing consumption in the last two decades has contributed to alarming rise in oral cancer.
Experts believe that there will be a billion deaths due to tobacco use by 21st century. If there is no intervention then 80 percent of these deaths will be from the developing countries.
According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017, of the 28.6 percent of overall prevalence of consumption of tobacco, 21.4 percent use chewing tobacco in India, while 10.7 percent smoke cigarettes and bidis. (UNI)