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Goa’s Cancer Scenario: Positive Trends in Breast Cancer Survival, High Incidence of Colon Cancer, and Government Support to Curb Tobacco-Related Malignancies

Leading oncologist Dr. Shekhar Salkar highlights key findings on National Cancer Survivors Day



In an insightful statement on the occasion of National Cancer Survivors Day, Dr. Shekhar Salkar, Chief of Oncology Department at Manipal Hospitals in Goa, shed light on the prevailing cancer landscape in the region. The renowned expert shared some remarkable trends and initiatives that are shaping the fight against cancer in Goa.

Breast cancer, one of the most common types affecting both men and women, sees a positive prognosis in Goa. Dr. Salkar revealed that out of the approximately 1500 new cancer cases diagnosed annually, breast cancer accounts for 300 to 350 instances. Encouragingly, an impressive 60 to 70% of individuals with early-stage breast cancer survive, primarily due to increased awareness and early detection efforts.

Dr. Salkar also touched upon colon cancer, which has a significant incidence rate in Goa. He attributed this high prevalence to the dietary preferences of meat eaters in the region, who often favor a Western-style diet. Despite this, Goa boasts the lowest rate of cervical cancer, which can be attributed to the successful implementation of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) clinics and an emphasis on personal hygiene.

Highlighting the impact of tobacco-related cancers, Dr. Salkar emphasized that approximately 40% of lung tumors and 20 to 25% of all newly diagnosed cases in Goa are tobacco-related. However, he highlighted the relatively low incidence of tobacco-related malignancies in the region compared to North Indian states. Dr. Salkar cited the lower tobacco consumption prevalence in Goa, estimated at 9 to 10%, in contrast to the significantly higher rates ranging from 35 to 45% in North India. He applauded the collaborative efforts of the government and various organizations in raising awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco, particularly among students and the wider community.

Dr. Shekhar Salkar’s remarks provide valuable insights into the current cancer landscape in Goa, shedding light on positive trends in breast cancer survival rates, the challenges posed by colon cancer, and the ongoing efforts to combat tobacco-related malignancies. The concerted endeavors of healthcare authorities, government bodies, and organizations are crucial in driving awareness and facilitating early detection, ultimately contributing to improved outcomes for cancer patients in Goa.

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