Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], August 12 (ANI): The Radiation Oncologists and alumni of IGMC gathered in the north Indian hill town Shimla to make a roadmap for the future treatment of cancer patients in Himachal Pradesh. Nearly 100 doctors practising across the country gathered in Shimla for a two-day conference and have shown concern over the increasing number of cancer patients in the state. They are suggesting and demanding to stop the use of pesticides and chemicals in crops and are demanding that lawmakers form law to shift towards organic food crops.

Lung cancer among males in Himachal Pradesh is higher than the National perspective. The head and professor of Shimla Cancer Hospital at IGMC said that the use of pesticides is a serious concern as the cancerous elements are getting into groundwater and are being supplied to the people.

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The IGMC will soon have new radiation technologies to treat patients. The two-day conference is planning a road map in the north Indian hill town of Shimla for future treatment of patients in the region.

"Cancer is considered a lifestyle disease, lifestyle is going from bad to worse. We are getting everything including floor, fruits and vegetables not in original form. People are using pesticides. Our people are not doing exercises, using more mobile and other technologies, people are becoming lethargic. The number of patients is increasing each year, out of 6000 new patients of cancer each year in Himachal Pradesh 3000 come to IGMC, another 3000 go to Tanda Medical College and Hospital in Mandi and HPCR hospital Patient Case register data also says it is increasing. We had 2500 cases each year and now it is reaching 300 per year,” said Dr Manish Gupta, Head of the Department of Cancer Hospital at IGMC Shimla.

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He said that the conference is planning a roadmap for the future use of technology in cancer treatment.

"We have organized this conference so far. 85 people have registered today and over 100 practicing oncologists are participating in it. We have organized this with the thought that 56 students from IGMC have passed out and they are working at different hospitals across the country. Once we talk to them and with this interaction with their experience we shall use the new Radiation oncologists by the end of this year here in IGMC," Gupta added further.

He said that the use of fertilizers and pesticides is getting into groundwater and the produce is being used by people and is causing cancers. He also said that the diagnostics have improved and data is also increasing. He said the lung cancer cases are increasing each year in Himachal and it is higher than the national data among males in the state.

"Oral cancer is more as per data but here in Himachal Pradesh the lungs cancer patients are increasing each year we have 350 patients annually of lung cancer that is because of the use of smoking habits common in the region, here we don’t have much population of tobacco chewing, and in female patients, we have Breast cancer cases that too is increasing and here we have diseases caused by lifestyle,” said Dr Gupta further.

The IGMC Cancer Hospital will get the benefits of new technologies.

"Practicing radiation oncologists who have been using linear accelerators and CT simulators will help us here. We will be using the latest technology with these machines for the treatment of cancer with radiation. IMRT (Intensity –Modulated Radiation Therapy), IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy), and SRS (Stereotactic Radiosurgery) these therapies cost one lakh to two lakhs to each patient. After we establish these techniques in our hospital we would be able to treat patients free of cost, we are expecting to start it by year-end,” he further said.

The doctors treating other patients of cancers in other parts of the country said that it is high time that the lawmakers should come forward and stop the use of pesticides and take India towards an organic food-producing country and it will help to prevent cancer in the country.

“I practice in Delhi-NCR. We studied the local river there and the chemicals from the factories are polluting the water. A content of lead-arsenic was found in the fruits and vegetables after we did a survey and conducted tests. The pesticides and chemicals need to be replaced by the organic. The doctors and society can draw attention that there is a need to make Law to regulate it,” said Dr Kanika Sharma Sood, delegate and MD Oncology.

“The cancer cases are on the rise, the contribution should be to create prevention. We will have to cure and identify the cases and for that, we need new technologies as there are some cases where lifestyle and tobacco do not have any role. Our oncology society is planning a roadmap for the future to use the new technology. We should be able to save the organs at risk with these machines. Twenty years ago I joined the training. We had basic machines called Cobalt, today we have three hospitals here, now we will be having linear accelerators, and CT simulators and it is going to change in our state,” Dr Kanika said further. (ANI)

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