There has been a surge in the number of lung cancer cases reported at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) from the neighbouring states.
PGI doctors said that the number had gone up over the last few years and preventive steps were needed to keep a check on the disease.
“We have been witnessing an increase in the cases of lung cancer at this hospital,” said Dr D Behera, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGI. “Patients come from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu&Kashmir and parts of Haryana.”
As per PGI, the number of lung cancer cases recorded at the hospital in year 2011 was 357. In 2012, the number jumped to 381, while in 2013, the number stood at 521. The number of cases reported at the hospital in 2014 is expected to be made available soon, said PGI officials.
According to doctors at the hospital, several factors contribute to the increase. “One of the factors is smoking, including passive smoking. Pollution and exposure to indoor activities like cooking also lead to lung cancer,” said Dr Behera.
The doctor said that stubble burning in the region was also a contributory factor. “The suspended particulate matter in case of stubble burning is very high,” he said.
The figures provided by the department of pulmonary medicine on the lung cancer clinic run every Tuesday at the PGI also point to an increase. As many as 427 lung cancer patients visited the clinic in 2013, while 441 turned up in 2014. This year, as many 490 cases have been reported.
The Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32 has also recorded an increase in the number of lung cancer cases. “The number of lung cancer cases has gone up,” said Dr A K Janmeja, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, GMCH. “Most patients who come to us are in advanced stages.”