Ensure facilities for early diagnosis of cancer at UZ level
Pointing out the inadequate treatment facilities of cancer, experts at a roundtable discussion yesterday emphasised on ensuring facilities of early diagnosis tests of the disease at district and upazila level hospitals.
They also stressed the need for creating awareness among the people to prevent cancer.
In Bangladesh every year around 2 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer and 1.5 lakh die of the disease, they told the discussion at the National Press Club in the city.
Referring to the Cancer Control Act enacted by some developed countries, they urged the government to formulate such an Act as the disease is caused by exposure to air pollution, water pollution, consumption of adulterated food etc.
Bangladesh Cancer Society and Bangladesh Cancer Hospital and Welfare Home organised the discussion on the eve of the World Cancer Day 2010 to be observed on Thursday (Feb 4).
The day will be observed in the country, as elsewhere in the world with the theme 'Cancer can be prevented too.'
Though earlier cancer was considered as deadly and not curable, now the WHO says 40 percent of the cancer can be prevented, Mollah Obayedullah Baki, director of the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital, mentioned.
"As diagnosis of cancer and its treatment are highly expensive, we should pay attention to boost preventive measures against cancer, " he said.
Bangladesh has found highest number of lung cancer among men. Such cancer could be prevented by avoiding tobacco, as 90 percent of the lung cancer is caused by consuming tobacco.
Cervical caner of women could also be prevented by making them aware of getting married after 20 years of age, avoiding taking babies frequently and extra marital sex as well as maintaining personal hygiene, Prof Mollah, also the president of Bangladesh Cancer Society, said.
While presenting the keynote paper, Prof Shah Mohammad Keramat Ali said tobacco is responsible for 30 percent of cancer in the world while 50 percent of cancer is diet related but causes behind the 20 percent are yet to be identified.
Prevention measures include cancer prevention, detection of the disease at early stage and relief to the terminally ill patients from pain, said Prof Ahmed Sayeed, secretary general of the society.
He said cancer awareness messages can be included in school textbooks to prevent the disease.
They suggested dissemination of awareness messages on consumption of balanced diet and more vegetables and fruits, doing regular exercise, reducing intake of foods that are high in fat and sugar, avoiding mental stress etc to prevent cancer.
Prof Abdul Awal Rizvi, director of NITOR, Prof M A Hai, Dr M Mostofa Zaman, Dr AM Nuruzzaman of the Directorate General of Health Services, Ahad Chowdhury, chairman of Muktijoddha Command Council and Abu Naser Khan, among others, spoke at the discussion.