Cancer Worry

The number of cancer patients is rapidly increasing, but many of them do not receive treatment.<br><strong>UMA KANTA KHANAL</strong> in Jhapa

March 5, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 05 No.-16 Mar. 02-2012 (Falgun 19,2068)<br>

"When my youngest son was born, my menstruation cycle discontinued and I started having difficulties in the uterus," Goma Thapa, 55, a victim of uterus cancer from Sanischare-2, Jhapa, shared her pathetic condition, sobbing.


Her husband was a public health employee. Even then, the treatment process was not easy for her. When her daughter took her to B. P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, she was told by the doctors about her uterus cancer. She had to spend nearly six months in the B. P. Koirala Cancer Hospital, Bharatpur, during different phases of her treatment.


Goma's husband also had a bitter experience at the time of his wife's treatment in the hospital. “If I were not a staff of public health, it would have been much difficult for me to save my wife." 


Dil Maya Limbu of Sanischare-2, Jhapa, also became a patient of breast cancer four years ago. She was taken to Kolkata for treatment thanks to her son, who is a staff of Indian Army. She said, "I have got good treatment because of my family."


Doctors have said that she is now all right.


As no authentic figures about cancer patients are available, many speculations put the number at more than sixty thousand people in Nepal. According to doctors, more than seventy percent of the victims are deprived of getting proper treatment of cancer.


Doctors say more than twenty thousand people die of the disease yearly.


More than two dozen people are living with cancer in Sanischare-Arjundhara village of a kilometer area. Some of the victims have died of it.


In Nepal, Bhaktapur cancer hospital and B.P. Koirala Cancer hospital, Bharatpur, Chitwan are the two hospitals for the treatment of the disease. But the people residing in the rural and remote areas do not have access to these hospitals.


"The occurrence of cancer in the human body has become dangerous problem now a days," the spokesperson of the Health Ministry said, "The communicable diseases are in the phase of eradication and control but the non communicable diseases like cancer are emerging as serious problems these days."


The victims of cancer say the hospitals do not provide enough services at the treatment of the disease. The victims, some of whom have already gone through several phases of their treatment have bitter experiences.


The cancer mostly occurs in the human body because of the habit of consuming unwanted things that harm the normal functions of the body. The persons who have the habit of chewing tobacco, who are alcoholic, and who are chain smokers have much risk of getting cancer, according to the physicians. 


A consultant physician of Mechi Zonal Hospital, Dr. Pitamber Thakur said, "If any lump of muscle appears in any part of the body and the patient goes to the hospital for the treatment, it can be cured by the simple surgery. But, if the case becomes matured, it would be very problematic."


According to the physicians, the females are at a higher risk of breast and uterus cancer. They say when the women have sexuallyl transmitted diseases, the women have numerous babies, and they have premature sexual relationship, have high risk of breast and uterus cancer.


Cancer is treated through chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Although the disease is treated through the different therapies, the treatment is much expensive for ordinary people. Goma Thapa's expenses in the treatment reached more than thirty lakh rupees which is not possible for the people of rural or remote areas.


The government's aid to the patients of cancer is not sufficient, the patients say. They get fifty thousand rupees after the submission of all documents to the health ministry. The health ministry recommends to the finance ministry for the aid. The spokesperson of Health Ministry said, "The treatment of cancer is going on as per the capacity of the state. But the state should extend its capacity for the victims of the disease."

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