Balanced Diet, healthy lifestyle and avoiding smoking key to cancer prevention: Dr Azhar Jan Battoo, renowned oncologist
( World Cancer Day 2024 special interview)
Dr Azhar Jan Battoo, Associate Director, Surgical- Head & Neck Oncology at the Paras Hospitals, Srinagar
Surgical Oncology is an eminent oncologist of Jammu and Kashmir.
On the eve of World Cancer Day 2024, Dr. Azhar Jan Battoo in an exclusive interview with News Kashmir he talks to Rameez Makhdoomi.
How has your short journey been so far in Paras Hospital Srinagar ?
You have answered your question by and large, rightly terming it short journey. Our motive is to improve patient care . We are not stagnant and are progressing in right direction.We are on track in our journey, Day by day the services are improving. We are becoming a full State of Art cancer Hospital.
How has patient feedback been ?
When the whole team including me joined the Surgical Oncology here ,we had no idea how many patient will come. But, to our utter surprise patients have come in large numbers. A patient recently from far flung area ,from poor economic background but for love of his mother and with effective cooperation from hospital authorties was able to get his mother treated. When we can spend lacs on marriage, similarly we need to save money for healthcare. Patients are coming and getting treated efficiently. Nowhere in the world healthcare comes free.
On eve of world Cancer Day 2024, do you believe cancer cases are alarmingly increasing here in Kashmir and situation is bleak ?
The situation is not bleak. The manpower and human resource dealing with diseases like cancer in Kashmir are of world class nature. Here doctors are of par excellence standards.
Cancer cases are increasing globally as population is also increasing.
With increasing diagnostic modalities; we are able to diagnose more patients. Take for example thyroid cancer previously undiagnosed till even 80 years is quickly diagnosed now.
Third reason is smoking and chewing of harming products along with adulterated food is also responsible along with our negative lifestyle for spurt in cancer cases.
The global pulse is diagnosis vise we have moved lot ahead but still lacking on treatment side of cancer disease. Your take?
- Yes it is a truth and mystery. While diagnosis have improved vastly throughout world, the treatment still remains a challenge. We cure patient completely and spend 9 to 10 hours with him or her daily during treatment but suddenly after 8 or 9 months or few years the cancer comes back. Each cancer has got its own signature or nature. Down the line in next 10 to 15 years with advancing treatment each cancer would be having personalized therapies and we would definitely make a big headway on treatment side.
How much prevelant is head and neck cancer cases in Kashmir?
Head and neck cancer cases here are proportionate to the ratio of cases in Sub continent . Be it throat cancer or of skull they are proportionate here . Oral cancer cases here are less.
How much is balanced diet needed to prevent cancer ?
The balanced diet especially consisting of organic food and also vegetables, fruits free from pesticides would go a long way in ensuring cancer free world.
Your message on world Cancer Day 2024 ?
My message to entire humanity is take your health seriously as it is the most important thing in your life. Consume balanced diet, maintaing healthy life style and avoid smoking .