AIZAWL, Jan 19 - A weeklong cancer awareness campaign ended with a cancer conclave at the Aijal Club here today.
Titled ‘NEC-Pink Chain Campaign’, it is the first ever cancer awareness campaign in Mizoram. It was organised by the Department of Preventive Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, with the support of the North Eastern Council, Ministry of DoNER, Government of India.
The campaign, which started in different schools and colleges here and in Kolasib district, was aimed at educating more than 2,000 students along with teachers and administrators.
The Pink Chain Campaign comprised Meghal Khanna, Dr Deepak Saini, Dr Anusha Dubey, Priyanka Khanna, Dr Rahul Singh and Nikita Kohli, who talked about the basics of different cancers along with screening, tobacco control and prevention. Learning from this campaign is expected to help the masses develop effective and impactful cancer awareness campaigns.
Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan attended today’s conclave as the chief guest, while Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana and Mizoram Lok Sabha member CL Ruala were the guests of honour.
As Aizawl has the highest cancer incidence among males in India, there is the utmost need of such awareness drives to make people aware of the disease and help them adopt safe practices in prevention. Cancer care needs to be strengthened to minimise expenditure, the organisers said.
The region needs more attention as far as cancer care is concerned due to epidemiological variation in cancer incidence, they added.
With nearly 1,400 new cancer cases and nearly 700 deaths reported every year, Mizoram, with a population of just 11 lakh, continues to be the State with the highest cancer cases in the country.
According to Jeremy L Pautu, head of the Department of Medical Oncology in the State’s only cancer hospital, lung cancer is common among women due to rampant smoking. The habit of consuming smoked food also causes stomach cancer.
“Lung cancer is the highest in Mizoram, whereas other States mainly report cervical, neck and breast cancer. Apart from patients from across Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, we have to cater to Mizo patients from neighbouring Myanmar,” he said.