150K new cancer cases occur each year in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said on Wednesday about 150,000 new cancer cases occurred and eight percent die each year in the country.

Replying to a question in the senate, the minister said according to WHO, these new cancer cases occurred in both genders and all ages, adding the deadly disease was due to either a genetic factors or environmental factors like food, addictions, radiations and infections.

He said the government was taking serious measures to tackle the cases successfully had constituted a committee on non communicable diseases including cancer.

Recently, she added a survey had also been undertaken in Pakistan in this regard to see the risk factors for these diseases.

She said in Pakistan most non-communicable diseases and cancers were due to tobacco use and to combat tobacco use, there is a tobacco control unit in the NHSRC to monitor and reducing tobacco use through legislation and punishment.

She said Pakistan had placed a pictorial picture and warning on the cigarette packs and was one of the few countries in the world to do so, adding the educational institutions, airlines and most public places had been declared smoke free.

In Punjab, Shisha smoking was banned, she added while use of smokeless tobacco- gutka had been banned in Sindh.

She said most secondary care public sector hospitals and all tertiary care hospitals and 20 atomic energy commission centers were providing diagnostic and treatment facilities for cancer free of cost.

She said media especially TV and newspapers were creating awareness on cancer and No Tobacco day was observed on 31 May every year, with full media coverage.