Today's Paper | July 19, 2024

Published 04 Jun, 2024 06:48am

Govt urged to set up hospitals to treat oral cancer cases

KARACHI: A health expert has asked the government to set up oral cancer hospitals separately in the country in view of the prevalence of the disease.

Speaking at an awareness lecture, Prof Dr Shahjahan Katpar said that oral cancer was one of the major health problems in Pakistan which is ranked amongst the top three countries with the highest prevalence of the disease in the world.

The public awareness lecture on Oral Cancer and Dental Health was held in the lecture hall of the LEJ National Science Information Center at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi.

He said that an extensive use of smokeless tobacco products, like paan, gutkha, chaalia, naswar, mawa and tobacco cigarettes, is one of the major causes of oral cancer in Pakistan.

The lecture was jointly organised by the Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD) and the Sindh Innovation Research, and Education Network (Siren).

Prof Shahjahan said that early detection in the treatment of oral cancer, and oral cancer screening were crucial, as mouth cancer could strike in several places, including the lips, tongue, gums, and cheeks. The screening of oral cancer starts with a clinical exam of a patient’s mouth and throat, he maintained.

Talking about oral submucous fibrosis (OSF), he said that OSF resulted in marked rigidity and an eventual inability to open the mouth.

Talking about the symptoms of oral cancer, he said some major symptoms included a lump in your neck, loose teeth, swelling or a sore on your lip that won’t heal, difficult or painful swallowing, changes in speech, bleeding or numbness in the mouth, white or red patches on the mouth, tongue or gums, and unexplained weight loss.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2024

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