Radio talk show on World Cancer Day 2016 on-aired 20 February at the government owned radio channel Bangladesh Betar. This talk shows are fortnightly program titled Bigyan o Poribesh (Science and Environment), hosted (moderator and script writer) by Aminul Islam Sujon.
Being as moderator, I’ve provided background of World Cancer Day and introduction of 2016 theme. World Cancer Day is celebrated worldwide including Bangladesh on last 4 February. One of major non-communicable disease (NCD) is cancer. It is dangerous but preventable diseases. To considering linked between various types of cancer with food habit, life style, tobacco and environmental pollution, the title of talk show is role of life style and environment to prevent cancer.
Cancer expert Dr. Habibullah Talukder Ruskin, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Cancer Epidemiology, National Cancer Research Institute and Hospital of the Government of Bangladesh spoke importance of World Cancer Day, initiatives in Bangladesh and what need to be done to prevent cancer.
He mentioned this year theme was “we can, I can”. Any individual can work on cancer prevention, at the same time we can work together as well – that is highlight this year theme. We know that, cancer prevention or control is more important than treatment. As Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved last year, in which NCDs prevention, including cancer is focused under the goal 3 (health).
Though we don’t have population based national evidence on cancer; but we use information from International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC). According to IARC, every year new 122,000 people diagnosed with cancer every ear and 91,000 died. So providing treatment to huge number of people would not possible. Now we have only 300 bed national cancer hospital, so even if we increase 2000 bed, we would not able to cover increasing new patient. So we have to focus to control cancer and most important to prevent risk factors of cancer. However, we may have still new cancer patient, so early diagnosis system has to be improve.
Primarily, we can prevent one third cancers through changing life style, food habit, and tobacco use and reduce pollution. He also emphasized that early child marriage and teen age pregnancy are linked with breast and uterus cancer in Bangladesh as a major portion girls married and even pregnant before their age of 18. HPV virus is other major causes for cancer. Breast feeding to children can reduce risk of breast cancer, its important children health as well.
Secondly, we have to improve cancer diagnosis system and it have to be available to root level. As soon as cancer diagnosed, less pain and less cost, but possibility is high to cure from cancer. For example, if uterus cancer diagnosed at early stage, within stage 2 (medical professionals divided stage like 1, 2, 3, 4), then operation can cure it. If it goes beyond stage 2, we provide some supportive treatment, but its not be effective as a whole. Even, uterus cancer can be diagnosed at very early stage, which even doesn’t need operation. It takes often 25 years to develop a aggressive uterus cancer, that is why after 2/3 years its good for medical checkup and its very easy.
I think we have to build a regional cancer center at divisional level where people can easily diagnose.
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