CUDDALORE: Doctors practising in
different parts of Cuddalore district see a steep increase in the incidence of
cancer in the district as compared with the number of cases recorded five years
ago. While there was no official study to support the claim, the doctors said
that they had arrived at this assessment while exchanging notes with each other
in the periodic meetings of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) held in the
Based on their observation, the doctors
said that the district has a prevalence rate of 30 to 40 per cent, which was
quite high compared to other districts of the State or even the country. “A
minimum of one cancer case is being detected in some corner of the district
everyday. This is a worrisome fact,” said Dr T A Chandralathan, Secretary,
IMA-Cuddalore. What was a cause of concern was the fact that there were more
cases being detected among men between 25 and 30 years.
“Cases of lung cancer, oral cancer,
breast cancer and uterine cancer are mainly being detected. Pollution has
spoiled the environment and unwanted elements in drinking water could be one of
the reasons,” he added.
Dr P Elanthirayan, Thane Relief
Coordinator, IMA-Cuddalore, said that against the national average of five to
eight per cent prevalence of malignancy in the total diseased population,
Cuddalore district had 30 to 40 per cent cases, which was unusually high. “It
is not a collated data but based on the doctors’ OP records that were presented
in our meetings where we share our experiences,” Dr Elanthirayan said. “Doctors
practising for the past 20 years in the district said that they did not come
across so many cases as doctors practising for the past five years or so are
handling,” he said.
“The increase in the pick up rate
could also be due to advanced investigative techniques and diagnostics
established in the district. For example, there were no MRI or CT scan machines
in Cuddalore five years ago. Cases detected then were referred to bigger
centres like Puducherry and the statistics went into their data,” he reasoned.
However, the doctors have decided to conduct a detailed study in the coming
year to analyse the cases to deduct the high-risk groups, the geographical
marker and the environmental parameters.
Yet another observation made by the
doctors, which could perhaps be related to the high incidence of malignancy,
was the higher number of thyroid disorders. “Sea food has the tendency to
prevent thyroid-related problems. However, here in Cuddalore, an unusually high
number of thyroid problems are also reported,” Dr Elanthiryan said.