Tripura is set to get eight cancer screening centres, starting this month, to enable early detection of the disease and boosting life expectancy of patients.
Speaking to reporters at an event to mark World Cancer Day, at the Astabal Grounds in state capital Agartala on Thursday, Goutam Majumder, renowned cancer surgeon and chief of Atal Behari Vajpayee Regional Cancer Centre, said that there are plans to open eight cancer screening centres across the state, along National Highway-4, from this month.
“These will be centered around Dharmanagar, Dhalai and Udaipur district hospitals, Kumarghat and Jolaibari community health centres (CHC) and the regional cancer centre. The centres would be opened from February in a phased manner,” he said.
Majumder said that a team of cancer centre personnel has been formed to oversee the operations at these facilities and a separate team has been put together for a household survey in all eight districts to collect data on high-risk persons and bring them in for diagnosis at the screening centres. “According to our estimates, around 150 in every 3,000 people, who are screened, could be diagnosed with cancer. Early detection would help boost the life expectancy of these patients,” the oncologist said.
As per reports, around 70 per cent cancer patients in the state are admitted for treatment at an advanced stage when not much can be done. The specialist said 2,500 fresh cancer cases are registered in Tripura annually, against an estimated 3,000 cases. It is understood that the remaining 500 do not register themselves with the health services due to lack of awareness, the oncologist said.
Tripura has 60-70 cancer patients for every 1 lakh people, against the national average of 100 cancer patients for every lakh people.
Neighbour Mizoram has 200 cancer cases for every 1 lakh people, one of the highest in the country. Many people in Northeast states are in the habit of consuming tobacco in liquid form, often since childhood. Tripura ranks the lowest in terms of cancer cases in the region.
The Atal Behari Vajpayee Regional Cancer Centre is recognised as a regional cancer hospital in the Northeast. It started offering cancer surgeries from this month.