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Tobacco-related cancer cases rising in Kolkata

Kolkata: Tobacco-induced cancer cases are on the rise in the West Bengal capital, growing at over seven per cent in the past 10 years, according to a recent study.

The study, conducted by the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute here, said that in 2001, 13.4 per cent of all cancer-induced patients were tobacco takers in Kolkata city areas.

Alarming figures

“The figure now (in 2011) reaches 21 per cent and it is extremely alarming,” it said.

The institute's medical director, Dr. Ashis Mukhopadhyay, said official warnings notwithstanding, smoking habits have not gone down in Kolkata compared to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

Women users

“Our study reveals that more and more persons are getting used to cigarettes or bidis and tobacco in Kolkata. We have found that there has been a six per cent rise (65 to 71 per cent) in the number of male tobacco users, while over 20 per cent women tobacco users have been spotted in our study,” Dr. Mukhopadhyay said.

New patients

He said that every year there is an increase of 75,000 new cancer patients in West Bengal and 40 per cent of them are directly related to tobacco use.

“The major two cancer incidences in the State, lung and buccal mucosa, are directly related to use of tobacco,” Dr. Mukhopadhyay said.

Tableau launched

The Institute, he said, launched a tableau in the city on Tuesday to spread the campaign for increased awareness about hazards of using tobacco on “World No Tobacco Day”.

Acute disorder

According to experts, tobacco use is responsible for causing acute stomach disorder and malfunctioning of the urinary bladder system.

Chewed tobacco consumption like gutka, khaini, etc., can cause oral cancer.

Persistent skin lesion, lump or ulcer in mouth area, lump on the neck, pain in the neck or throat, numbness in the face, frequent headaches and difficulty in swallowing or chewing should be taken note of by medical personnel, experts say. - PTI

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