Pointing out that there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of cancer cases in the state, director of Margao-based Aster Hospital Dr Sujoy Das said that back in 1990, about one cancer case was detected per week in Goa but within the next ten years, this has drastically changed and now every day a new cancer case is detected.
Dr Das, who is also a practicing laparoscopic and general surgeon, was speaking to media persons in Margao during the inauguration of cancer day-care centre at the Aster Hospital.
He also said that in Goa, among the women the incidence of breast cancer is high while in men, cases of colon, rectal and lung cancer are on the rise.
The centre has been opened in order to bridge the gap and provide treatment for the increasing number of people suffering with cancer in the state.
The new daycare centre was inaugurated by Dr Kumar Prabhash, head of the department of oncology at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai on Friday evening.
Speaking about the increase in cancer cases, Dr Kumar said, “Goa is a fairly prosperous state where the median average age is better than the rest of the country and is one reason why the cancer cases are high. There are also lifestyle changes that have contributed to the increase in cancer cases. And then there is the economic factor as well.”
In the past people may not have spent so much on treating cancer but today treatments are available and people are not afraid to get treatment for cancer, he added.
Dr Kumar also said that with the new cancer centre at Aster Hospital, the long waiting list at Tata Memorial Hospital would be reduced.
“Currently, we have a tie up with the state government for cancer treatment, but there is a huge waiting list and our aim with this new centre is to provide local treatment and care to the patients,” said Dr Kumar.
The hospital aims to start services for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. “Currently, consultations are available twice a month at the hospital but we aim to increase this and begin an online joint clinic where the patient won’t have to leave his city but through video conferencing, doctors can give their expert opinion. We also aim to introduce surgery, chemotherapy and radiation step by step,” said medical oncologist Dr Ashay Karpe adding that the hospital is also working on roping in more surgeons and introducing an advanced chemotherapy technique called immunotherapy.