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Kerala leads in head and neck cancers

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has one of the highest reported incidences of head and neck cancers, which constitute over 30 per cent of all cancers in the Indian subcontinent, said experts here in a press release on Saturday.

Dr Subramania Iyer

Dr Subramania Iyer, director of the Head and Neck Institute at Kochi’s Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, identified tobacco use as the major cause of head and neck cancers.

“It is well known that cigarettes and tobacco use constitute the major cause of head and neck cancers,” said Dr Iyer.

“The type of treatment depends on the site and stage of cancer and the patient’s overall health condition. For cancers in early stages, surgery and radiation therapy are generally used.”

Head and neck cancers may manifest as non-healing ulcers or growth in the mouth, slurred speech, persistent change in voice, foreign-body sensation in the throat, difficulty in swallowing and swelling in the neck, among others.

Dr K Ramadas, professor at the Regional Cancer Centre here, said that although most head and neck cancers could be cured if detected early, the reality was alarming as most tumours are detected in very advanced stages.

“Considering that avoiding tobacco can prevent extremely debilitating head and neck cancers, users would do well to quit. Family members, especially children, can encourage and counsel male members to stop this addictive habit,” said Dr Ramadas. [Source: IANS]

One Comment

  1. Prof. Manoj Sharma Prof. Manoj Sharma Sunday, June 24, 2012

    This is an Iron that while Indian Govt. and NGOs are fond of observing cancer dates that are fixed by west and for the cancers that are not prevalent in India , there is no specific date for creating awareness for head and neck cancers and Gynecological Cancers.

    Like minded oncologists have accepted new dates for a cancer calendar, 12th September being the National Date of Head and neck Cancer awareness fixed on the birth Day of Father of Oncological Seiences in the Country who carried out first Head and neck cancer survey in 1954 or so and then achieved major break through in the treatment and cure of Head and neck cancers in Mid sixties and mid seventies. This was he who first declared that the Conquest of Cancers lies in taking challenge ofr late d stage diseas and later , himself being an ENT surgeon, Declare mutilating surgery a memory of past. The famous Chemoradio sensitizaton trial series.

    Dr. Subramainya Iyyer has heard my lecture on preventive oncology in head and neck cancer when I Introduced him to this national Day of Head and Neck Cancer. Because his role exists only when the disease is caught in an early stage where organ conservation will be possible.

    Ironically my presentation was looked and frawned and even attempted to be interrupted and cut short by the organising secretary of the conference an ex ENT surgeon of AIIMS. because I was not talking hi fi in the management of Head & Neck cancers. Thanks to Dr. Subrhamaniya Iyer and Dr. Ranga Rao who were there as chairman and who not only did not respond to hoodwinking but also commended my lecture to send a good message across to younger generation of ENT surgeons.

    Indian Society of Oncology has Accepted this National DAy of Head and Neck Cancer in principle and it is variously called as ISO National Day of head and Neck Cancers.

    It is high time that people like Subramaniya Iyyer Get Cancer Declared as a Notifiable Disease in Kelara also, banning Gutka is not enough for Kerala. A highly educated state studded with drinking and smoking habit certainly needs a better treat.

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