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Eating In Standing Position Could Be Trigger For Colon Cancer

We all know that in most households our ancestors used to eat while squatting on the floor. Today we have got into the habit of eating while standing, in office canteens, fast food restaurants and at marriage and other parties. What we perhaps don’t realise is that the food we eat while standing travels faster in the digestive system than when seated giving little time for it to be broken down into smaller and smaller components, until these can be absorbed and assimilated into the body. Doctors have identified this as one of the possible reasons for increasing incidence of colon cancer, which was nearly non-existent in the country before the advent of modern India. Their hypothesis has also hinted at increased anal cancer being linked to greater societal acceptance of gay population.

This and many other noteworthy observations were made by senior doctors at a news briefing to announce a one-day National CME On Cancer Registries For Cancer Control to be organised at the PGI on Wednesday. The CME is being organised by the School of Public Health, PGI Chandigarh, in partnership with the World NCD Federation, Tata Memorial Centre Mumbai, Department of Health & Family Welfare Punjab, Health Department Chandigarh Administration and Indian Association Of Preventive & Social Medicine (North Zone).

Eating In Standing Position Could Be Trigger For Colon Cancer, Lifeinchd

The CME will highlight population based cancer registries (PBCR) as an effective tool to improve programmes and policies for cancer control. It will also accord an opportunity to medical personnel working in the public and private sector to improve their knowledge and orientation towards screening, diagnosis and management of common cancers.

To increase awareness about cancers, a public forum is also being organised at the fag end of the CME where cancer survivors and members of the general public will be able to get their doubts addressed from experts regarding prevention, control, management of cancers and myths circulating around them.

Addressing the media persons, Prof (Dr) JS Thakur from the School of Public Health at PGI informed that the PBCR, which has completed five years in Chandigarh, has shown that incidence of cancer among both men and women in the Union territory was higher than the national average (96.1 males per 1,00,000 population against national average of 92.4 and 104.7 females per 1,00,000 population against national average of 97.4). Same was the case in SAS Nagar (Mohali), he added.

The PBCR found breast cancer as the leading cancer in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Sangrur, while oesophageal cancer was the predominant cancer in Sangrur and Mansa PBCR. Cancers of the lungs and prostate were found to be predominant in urban male population.

Nationally, cancers of the oral cavity and lungs accounted for over 25% of cancer deaths in males. Similarly, cancers of breast and oral cavity caused 25% of the deaths in female cancer patients.

Prof (Dr) Rakesh Kapoor from the Department of Radiotherapy, asserted that at the first stage 80-85% cancers of head and neck, breast, prostate, cervical, uterus and colon were curable, but doctors were still struggling with cancers of the liver, oesophagus and lung, in which most patients reported to hospitals when their cancers were in the third and fourth stage.

Prof (Dr) Pankaj Malhotra from the Department of Internal Medicine shared that the treatments for multiple myeloma (a blood cancer related to lymphoma and leukemia) had also made much headway and patients were able to prolong their life by up to 10 years. As many as 15-20 percent patients also got cured, he added.

The senior doctors were emphatic in saying that timely screening and healthy lifestyles were the cornerstones in the fight against cancer. Mere modifications in sedentary lifestyles could help prevent primary cancers in most cases, they emphasised.

A final word of advice from the doctors: Practice of yoga, which strengthens the immune system, can help provide relief even after detection of cancer in patients, and regular use of traditional and natural antioxidants like haldi, adrak and lasoon in our meals can help keep cancer cells at bay.


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