Nagaland has highest nasopharyngeal cancer cases; Cases treated at NEIGRIHMS in Meghalaya!

Nagaland has highest nasopharyngeal cancer cases; Cases treated at NEIGRIHMS in Meghalaya!
A large number of patients from Nagaland suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer go to Shillong for treatment and most are referred for radiation therapy at the government civil hospital. (In September this year,at a workshop in Kohima, a three-year report of Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) 2012-14, showed that Nagaland has the number one prevalence of nasopharynx cancer or nasopharyngeal carcinoma in male and female, with an alarming rate of 15.2% and 6.8% rate per 100,000 populations respectively).
Patients from Nagaland are generally referred to North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) Shillong.
It may be also noted that as part of the central government tie up with state governments, patients from government hospitals are referred to NEIGRIHMS, a designated Postgraduate Medical Institute in lineage of AIIMS, New Delhi and PGIMER, Chandigarh.
However, NEIGRIHMS in turn, refers cancer patient to the government civil hospital Shillong for radiation therapy.
In an interview to Nagaland Post at the NHAK Thursday, senior cancer specialist at the Civil Hospital Shillong Dr. Judita Syiemlieh, estimated that around 90% of cancer patients who go to Shillong were from Nagaland and that a majority suffered from cancer of the nasopharynx.
The magnitude could be understood from the figure that Dr Syiemlieh cited for the period 2015 when around 400 patients from Nagaland had gone for treatment for various types of cancer. The age group of the cancer patients ranged from 18 years to 60 years of age.
Dr Syiemlieh also estimated that during the current year out of 98 cancer patients, around 40 were from Nagaland and most of who were suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer.
After nasopharyngeal cancer, the next was throat, cervix and breast cancer, she said. Dr.Syiemlieh also expressed regrets that many patients do not complete the course for treatment of cancer which usually takes around five years owing to various reasons and that it was not possible to trace such patients.
Dr. Syiemlieh rooted for a networking among all hospitals in the region for collection of status of cancer survivors in order to be aware of the risk of cancer and also to make patients realise that follow-up was as important as the treatment.
She also highlighted the general procedure for treatment of cancer ranging from radiation where 85% of all cancer patients need it, to chemo therapy or surgery. She also added that Cobalt Teletherapy Machine, used for the treatment of localized cancers was necessary for any cancer institute.
She also said a Linear Accelerator Machine was crucial for external beam radiation treatment for patients as they are used to treat all areas of the body from head to toe.
Dr. Syiemlieh also owing to lack of needed equipments doctors were unable diagnose cancer in time. In this regard, she pointed out that detection of nasopharyngeal cancer was among the most difficult owing to its location.
Dr. Syiemlieh's contention that Nagaland lacked equipments for treatment of cancer was not based on facts. It may be noted that Eden Medical Centre in Dimapur possesses the latest state of the art medical equipments among private hospitals that included Linear Accelerator (ELEKTA) for delivering conventional, 3-D CRT and IMRT radiation for treatment of cancer.
She also said NEIGRIHMS was not a cancer institute. However NEIGRIHMS has its oncology (cancer) wing and would soon be having its own 250-bedded cancer institute.
(Source: Nagaland post)
(Image: internet/representational) 

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