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Despite High Prevalence Rate Cancer Death Record Unavailable

IMPHAL, Feb 20: Owing to apparent lack of communication between authorities of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and State’s Health Department record of casualties from cancerous diseases could not be maintained.

While a RIMS official cited alleged inefficiency on the part of Vital Statistics Department of the Health Department for lack of precision on the number of cancer death cases, a top official of the Health Department contended that issuance of death certificate without mentioning cause of death impairs the Statistics Department from pro- per maintenance of the said record.

According to a RIMS source, taking into account high prevalence of cancer-related cases in Manipur, a population-based cancer registry was set-up at RIMS in 2003 under the National Cancer Registry Program of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

With the establishment of the said Registry and maintaining record of patients coming for treatment it came to light that cancer cases are very high in Manipur, disclosed the source and informed that in 2009 alone there had been 1379 fresh cases out of which 700 cancer infection were female patients compared to 679 number of prevalence of the disease among the males.

As the situation merited proper maintenance of re-cord about casualties from cancerous diseases RIMS proposed to the State Health Department to initiate necessary processes for official notification on the disease, claimed the source while conceding that the re-cord, however could not be maintained as the Vital Statistics Department has failed to undertake appropriate action.

It is also informed that among males, cancer infections of the lung, stomach, nasopharynx, oesophagus, liver, NHL, rectum, urinary bladder and myeloid leukaemia are very common whereas infections of lung, cervix uteri, breast, ovary, thyroid, stomach, gall bladder, nasopharynx and skin are common among the females.

Regarding children in the age group of 0-14 years prevalence of leukaemia is very high, with NHL (Lymphoma) and thyroid common cancer diseases among 15-34 years old.

Moreover, infection of the rectum and urinary bladder are common ailment of male patients who are over 35 years of age compared to skin and gall bladder cancer suffered most often by the females.

In a significant disclosure that also indicates food habit and lifestyle causing cancer, the source said 57.1 percent of the cancer patients are Hindus, compared to 34.1 percent cancer infection among Christians with 8.8 percent being patients from the Muslim community.

When contacted the Health Department official clarified that cancer neither falls under ‘notified disease’ of the country nor is the ailment communicable.

The official further contended that as documents such as death certificate issued by the doctor concerned do not mention cause of death the Vital Statistics Department faces procedural hurdles in maintain the record.

However, for precise recording of number of cancer-related casualties, the Department has proposed to authority concerned for appointment of a Nosologist.

Monthly entitlement for the first five years of the said post would be borne by the Central Government, added the official.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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