Sri Lanka: 15,000 cancer patients detected each year

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Head of the Cancer Control Unity Dr. W. M. N. D. Paranagama yesterday expressed dismay that around 15,000 cancer patients were detected each year in Sri Lanka. The most common forms of cancer detected in the country involved lung, cervical, oral, breast, colon and brain. Recently many cases of rectal cancers had also been detected, he said.

The World Cancer Day falls today.

Dr. Paranagama said that though benign forms of cancers could be cured if detected early, most people sought treatment at the eleventh hour. Breast cancers and thyroid cancers could be detected early and cured by modern medicine. The dramatic increase in the incidence of various types of cancer could be attributed to the indifference of the people, Dr. Paranagama said, pointing out that Cancer Early Detection Centres had been set up at the Narahenpita National Cancer Centre, Jaffna Teaching Hospital and MOH offices in the country. More cancer cases were being detected among those addicted to smoking and liquor. The Health Ministry had been spending Rs. 1500 million per annum to treat the cancer patients, he said.

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