Meghalaya Health Minister AL Hek on Thursday said East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya has the highest tobacco related cancer and is the second among the highest cancer incidence rate in the country.
“Yes, it is a fact that as per National Cancer Registry Program, Cancer statistics 2020, East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya has the second highest cancer incidence rate. It is a fact that East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya has the highest relative proportion of cancers associated with the use of tobacco for both males and females,” Hek told the Assembly during the on-going budget session.
He said tobacco related cancer of 66.9 per cent in men and 43.1 per cent in women in the district is the highest in the country.
The Health Minister also informed that the total number of cancer patients from East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hill, Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi district is 7014 in the past five years with 4350 of them is men.
According to senior health officials, there were 3281 deaths due to cancer from the four districts in the past five years with 2068 of them being men.
Among the risk factors listed are tobacco and betel nut use, alcohol and the food habits of consuming roasted/smoke food, fermented food and consuming traditional liquor, the official said.