ISLAMABAD, Oct 9 (APP):Concerned over increasing cases of oral cancer, medical expert Wednesday called for raising public awareness towards increasing ‘Guttka’ usage among teenagers as number of cancer patients, particularly mouth cancer, is increasing due to gutka with the each passing day in the country.
Talking to a private news channel, Dr Muhammad Usman stressed the need for launching a comprehensive and massive awareness campaigns with a special focus on educational instructions.
He said seminars and workshops to be organized to raise awareness against oral cancer besides involving social media to get the message across board properly.
He also expressed his concern that mouth cancer was spreading among young population at an alarming rate.
Most of the cancer patients in Pakistan present very late due to lack of awareness about the early symptoms of any cancer, he added. He said use of gutka was extremely injurious to health, adding that we are trying to warn people about the dangers of gutka, but the people have become addicted to it.
He lauded the Sindh High Court decision for introducing law to ban manufacturing, promotion and sale of guttka, carrying punishment and fine who violating the present law.
Hailing the decision of the Sindh government, he said that the collective efforts of the civil society, NGOs and the general public have paid dividends.
Strict legislation is also needed in this regard as despite a ban on smoking in public health facilities, colleges, parks and hospital, the rule is not being implemented,” he added. Expert said this ban could only be helpful if the law was strictly implemented.
He explained that the Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away.
Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, and pharynx can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
It is important to note that oral cancer may occur in people who do not smoke or take Paan, Chalia and Gutka occasionally.
Dr Usman said, they were seeing oral cancer patients as young as 18 years and that’s a very productive age, it means that the disease is having a huge impact on society in terms of contributing to the health burden, loss of productivity as well as affecting individual families. Treatment, however, was successful only if the lesion was diagnosed early, he said.