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JK to have first population-based cancer registry

Amid growing prevalence of various types of cancer in J&K, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is going to establish the first population-based cancer registry system of J&K at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura. The registry will collect statistics of cancer prevalence across the state.
This week SKIMS will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) to initiate the program of population-based cancer registry (PBCR) in the state, said an informed official from SKIMS.
Director SKIMS Dr Omar Javed Shah said that PBCR, which is funded by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), would be formally started “within a month”. “For over a decade we have been having the most reliable registry on cancer in J&K at SKIMS,” said Dr Shah. “We’re ready to take a step forward.”
First of its kind in J&K, PBCR will provide an exact measurement of the incidence of cancers as well as map the profile of various malignancies prevalent in the state. There already are 32 PBCRs across India.
The exercise assumes significance given the rising number of cancer patients in the state over the past few years.
Dr Maqbool Lone, head department of radiation oncology at SKIMS, and principal investigator of the ICMR project in the State, said that cancer pattern in Kashmir was changing and PBCR would help give a “correct picture” about the types of cancers most afflicting the state population. “Earlier esophagus cancer and cancer caused due to Kangri were very common here,” said Dr Lone. “Now, we are moving towards the cancer pattern seen in other metropolitan cities, like lung cancer and other cancers.”
The PBCR will also record cancer mortality and provide framework for assessing and controlling the impact of cancer in the community. As per the new data compilation system, records of cancer patients will be sourced from all hospitals, in cities as well as peripheries. Data will also be collected from private hospitals and diagnostic centers of the state.
Till date the only data related to cancers was available from the SKIMS hospital based cancer registry (HBCR). The data was based on registrations at Regional Cancer Center (RCC) of SKIMS, the only such center in the state.
As per SKIMS data, 4600 new cancer patients were registered in SKIMS in 2017 (up to December 30). In 2016, 4300 patients were registered at the institute.
In January this year, the government informed in the Assembly that 3,075 cancer cases were reported in 2011, 3, 288 in 2012, 3,157 in 2013, 3,940 in 2014, and 4,257 in 2015.
However, in absence of the population based registry, patients reporting to other hospitals for treatment were not being included in the overall figures of cancer cases in the state

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