THE UT health department is working to make cancer a notifiable disease here in the city, said a top health official on Saturday. By making the disease notifiable, all health institutions in Chandigarh will have to inform cancer cases to the Chandigarh health department.
The development is significant as several reports have indicated that Chandigarh has been witnessing an increase in cancer cases. A report, prepared by Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), Mumbai, and PGIMER, in its population-based cancer registry (PCBR) for 2013-14 released on Friday, revealed that cancer cases and deaths were on the rise.
“We are working towards making the disease notifiable in the city. It will be mandatory for every hospital to report to health officials about any cancer patient that they may identify. By making the disease notifiable, the registry (cancer) will work much better,” UT Health Secretary Anurag Aggarwal told Chandigarh Newsline.
In its Friday’s report, the PGI-TMC experts found that the age incidence rate of cancer for men in Chandigarh was 96.1 per one lakh population and 104.1 per one lakh for women in 2013-14. The age adjusted mortality rate for men was 43.7 per one lakh population and 33.9 per one lakh population for women. It also said that the risk of cancer among men in the city was 1 in 8 and women, 1 in 7. The risk of death (0-74 age group) is 1 in 14 for men and 1 in 17 for women.
Aggarwal further stated that the health department has identified high cancer-risk areas, too. “We are going for door-to-door screening to identify people suffering from cancer and those at risk,” he added. Dr G Dewan, Chandigarh Health Director, said the department was already working to identify cases of breast, oral and cervical cancer in the Union Territory. Lung and breast cancers were the leading cancers in men and women in 2013- 2014 as per the PGI-TMC report.