Cancer wake-up call in Punjab
In 2009, a government survey had counted 7,738 people living with cancer across Punjab. Now that a fresh survey has counted 23,874, over three times as high, the government has acknowledged the need to identify the causes and tackle what is clearly a menace.
"Fresh studies will have to be undertaken, especially for areas where cancer incidence is high," says Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal. The nearly 24,000 cases detected was in addition to over 33,000 deaths from cancer-related causes in the last five years — around 18 a day — and 84,453 people who showed cancer-like symptoms but who hadn't yet been diagnosed with the disease.