Among various diseases, cancer has posed a big threat to human beings across the country. The disease denotes a horrifying sight in each and every person as most people perceive cancer means death.
Cancer occurs in people of all ages and can affect any part of the body while the disease is a leading cause of death for children and adolescents worldwide.Physicians say it is also important to know that cancer as a disease mostly affects the senior population, higher life expectancy means higher cancer rates.
It is afflicting that the number of cancer patients has been increasing day by day due to food habit, bad lifestyle and negative impact of industrialization and technology.
Such situation underscores the importance that if left untreated, cancer generally expands, invades other parts of the body and causes death.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), in the country, the number of cancer patients is more than 15 lakhs where children and teenagers are mostly affected by the deadly disease.
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, among the cancer affected people, about one-third is children and adolescents in city areas. And their age is between one and nineteen years. Of them, children aged between 15 and 19 are mostly affected.
On the other hand, about 13 percent children are affected by cancer before reaching the age of only four years.Besides, one percent children are affected between 10 and 14 years and two percent between 5 and 9 years.
Experts said environmental challenges in city life, chemical reaction in foods and impact of Genealogy are the main causes of cancer in cities.
Assistant Professor of Child Hematology and Oncology Department of Dhaka Medical College Dr SM Rezanur Rahman said gene is the mostly reason of cancer. If there is any cancer patient in a clan, it would be a problem for the next generation.
Besides, he said, environmental pollution, food habit and indiscipline lifestyle are also main reasons for cancer.
As per the survey, mostly men are affected by the cancer after their birth while the women are affected when they become old.
The differences of cancer affected children and teenagers between cities and villages are also alarming. The rate of affected children in city areas is about 27 percent more compared to villages. And it is about six percent in villages while the cancer patients aged between zero and four years are 3.33 percent. And the cancer patients aged between 10 and 14 are 2.28 percent.
Head of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Department of DMC Professor Dr AKM Amirul Morshed Khasru conducted a research about the types of cancer of children and teenagers.
As per the research, they (children and teenagers) are mostly affected by leukemia. Thirty-one percent cancer patients are affected by leukemia. And 26 percent children and teenagers are affected by brain and spinal cancers while 10 percent patients are affected by lymph cancer.
Besides, five, six and seven percent patients are affected by renal, neuroblastoma and soft tissue cancers respectively. On the other hand, the children are also affected by bone, germ cell and other cancers.
Doctors said if identified early, cancer is more likely to respond to effective treatment and result in a greater probability of survival, less suffering and often less expensive.
They said prolonged-fever, weight loss, night sweats, painless swellings, early morning headache with vomiting and abdominal mass may be an indication of cancer.
The physicians underlined the need for diagnosis and treatment services to be more accessible to families all over the country. Currently, a number of the major cancer hospitals or those have the requisite facilities are concentrated in big cities.
They said an active lifestyle is important to avoid cancer, some of the other non-negotiating rules are—no smoking, no tobacco chewing, avoiding processed foods, daily exercise and last but not the least, meditation.