Ninefold increase in Oral Cancer patients in Sri Lanka

Ninefold increase in Oral Cancer patients in Sri Lanka

Ninefold increase in Oral Cancer patients in Sri Lanka

Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi

27 Jul, 2021 | 9:16 am

COLOMBO (News 1st): The rate of Oral Cancer patients in Sri Lanka has increased by ninefold within the past two decades, the National Cancer Control Programme said on Tuesday (Jul. 27).

The 27th of July has been declared as the ‘World Head and Neck Cancer Day’ by the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncology Societies.

Around 2700 Oral Cancer patients are detected in the country every year, Consultant Community Physician Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, the Director at the National Cancer Control Programme told News 1st.

According to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health, Oral Cancer is the most prominent cancer among males, amounting to 15 percent of all male cancers, while it is the 08th most common cancer amongst the country’s female population.

Based on the latest cancer data in the country, there are approximately 20 lip, tongue, and mouth cancers per 100,000 population among the males; among the females, it stands at five per 100,000 population, the Ministry of Health said in a statement issued in line with the World Head and Neck Cancer Day.

Furthermore, Oral Cancer carries one of the highest mortality rates among all cancers in the country, resulting in around two to three deaths per day.

On Tuesday (Jul. 27), Sri Lanka marks the World Head and Neck Cancer Day under the theme ‘Stop Chewing Areca nut Products for Good Oral Health.’

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Areca nut as a carcinogenic substance. As a result, prolonged consumption of Areca nut can lead to a burning sensation in the mouth and difficulty in opening the mouth. Once it reaches this stage, it is very difficult to treat oral cancer,” Consultant Community Physician Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana stressed.

The National Cancer Control Programme has organised several programmes to create awareness among the general public to prevent Oral Cancer on the theme, ‘Stop Chewing Areca nut Products for Good Oral Health’.

“Therefore, we urge the people to avoid the use of Areca nut products. If you do not avoid the use of Areca nut products, then you are putting yourself at the risk of Oral Cancer,” Consultant Community Physician Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, the Director at the National Cancer Control Programme emphasized.

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