Cancer day observed to express solidarity and raise awareness on cancer prevention, treatment and care
To express solidarity and raise awareness on cancer prevention, treatment and care in Bhutan, a cancer day was observed with the tagline ‘We can, I can’ in the Capital last Thursday and was graced by Her Royal High- ness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck.
According to the health research and existing data with the Ministry of Health, the most common cancers diagnosed in the country are cancer of stomach and food pipe; cervical cancer; cancer of head and neck which includes mouth, throat and nose; cancer of lung; liver; breast; colorectal and prostate cancers.
According to the press release from Bhutan Cancer society stated that no extensive research has been carried out till date on causes of common types of cancer in the country but press release stated that according to the health experts, twenty five percent of cancers are caused by preventable infections, such as HPV (cervical cancer), Hepatitis B (liver cancer), H.pylori (stomach) etc.
According to the Dechen Wangmo, the Executive Director of Bhutan Cancer Society said that during this day, they not only observed the day to pay solidarity but we also try to do prevention campaign as the second most common cancer in Bhutan were head and neck cancer. She added that this cancer were caused by chewing doma, smoking, drinking and eating of dry fish as these thing are the proven carcinogenic which are cancer causing agent.
Besides that forty percent of the breast cancer are self diagnosis, she added that if women feel something differently to the breast, it is time for the women to go to health care provider and talk to them.
“However, efforts of the government on prevention and control of cancer in the country needs to be harmonized with more personalized care and support interventions for a healthier and effective impact”, said Dechen.
While, the Ministry of Health has initiated various programs to control cancer under Non-Communicable Disease Program (NDC), which includes banning of tobacco products, Vaccination of girls with HPV to prevent cervical cancer; Pap Smear Screening for cervical cancer, Hepatitis B vaccination of all newborn babies and Endoscopy of people with chronic upper abdominal pain etc.
Gynecologist of JDWNRH, Dr. Ugyen Tshomo said that cervical cancer is very common in the country despite of having prevention program like Pap Smear and vaccination. She said that all our young girls when they are reach to class six they are been vaccinated since 2011. But still need to go for Pap Smear screening as vaccination prevent only seventy percent from getting cervical cancer.
He added that if we diagnosed early, they can undergo operation within the country itself but if they are bit late, they have undergo treatment in Calcutta with radiation therapy.
For cancer survival, Dr. Ugyen said that for the cervical cancer, it is always counted in five years, so at the end of five years, we see that if hundred women were diagnosed, we will see that how many of them are survived at the end of five years.
“This cancer is preventable but women are not coming forward for Pap Smear screening and the survival is better than other cancer”, said the Dr. Ugyen,