Bangladesh witnessed a significant increase in the number of new cancer patients during the period from 2015 to 2017, according to a latest government report.
Out of 76,543 outpatients attended at National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH), a total of 35,369 had confirmed diagnosis of different types of cancer from January 2015 to December 2017.
Of the patients, some 54 per cent are male while 46 are female, unveiled the report.
The NICRH prepared the three-year report from the hospital's cancer registry in December 2020.
Talking to The Financial Express, Dr Md Habibullah Talukder Ruskin, associate professor and head, Department of Cancer Epidemiology of NICRH, said lifestyle, food habit, free mixing, unplanned urbanisation, use of tobacco, addiction to alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, infection like Hepatitis B, Human papillomavirus (HPV), child marriage and late marriage are the main causes of cancer.
The main objective of the report is to produce statistics on the occurrence of cancer and to provide a framework for assessing and controlling the impact of cancer in the community.
The report revealed in 2015, a total of 22,108 patients attended at the Outpatient Department (OPD) of NICRH.
Of them, 10,310 (46.63 per cent) patients had confirmed diagnosis of some sorts of cancer.
A total of 27,085 patients attended the OPD of NICRH in 2016. Of them, 11,015 (40.70 per cent) new patients had confirmed diagnosis of some sorts of cancer.
In 2017, 27,350 patients attended the OPD of NICRH. Of them, 14,044 (51.3 per cent) new patients had confirmed diagnosis of some sorts of cancer.
The report also said the top 10 cancers in both sexes were lung, breast, cervix, esophagus, stomach, liver, lymphoma, rectum, cheek /buccal mucosa and gallbladder.
Of the top 10 cancer patients, some 16.6 per cent, which was the highest, were infected with lung cancer while some 14.1 per cent, the second-highest was breast.
Some 1.4 per cent of patients, lowest among the top 10 cancers detected by NICRH, were infected with gallbladder cancer, according to the report.
The report also recommended that Bangladesh should have a National Cancer Control Strategy and Plan of Action to reduce mortality and morbidity from cancer effectively.
The country lacks the essential strategy, plan and programmes like National Cancer Registry Programme and National Cancer Screening Programme which are two essential components of it, as per the report.
Dr Habibullah says a project is now in the implementation phase for the establishment of eight 100-bed multidisciplinary comprehensive cancer centres in eight administrative divisions of the country.
After completion of these projects, these centres will work as hubs for all cancer control activities including hospital-based and population-based cancer registries, integrated community-based organised cancer screening programmes, modern treatment and palliative care, and mass cancer awareness programmes, he insists.
"From January 2021, the NICRH will include treatment and follow up data in our registry. Both institutional and departmental reports will be published together in upcoming years," Dr Ruskin added.
First annual report of the Hospital-Based Cancer Registry (HBCR) for the year 2005 was published in 2006.