Mitigating Cancer Mortality in Punjab: A Challenge for Development
Lavjit Kaur and Shalini Sharma
Punjab, once known for its prosperous agricultural and hard-working peasantry, has now infamously got the label of cancer capital of India. A spate of environmental factors in the post green revolution period contributed towards the development of cancer, apart from the genetics and dietary factors. Punjab recorded the highest cases in cancer among the states of India. Realizing the grim health scenario prevalent in Punjab, the present study was undertaken with specific objective to gauge the prevalence of and mortality due to cancer in all three regions of Punjab. The study was based on the secondary data procured from various government sources. The study analyzed the region wise data pertaining to cancer. In Punjab, Malwa region which once was known as cotton belt has been renamed as cancer belt with highest prevalence per lakh (93.4) compared to Majha region (64.7) and Doaba region (88.1). So was the scenario of mortality with highest in Malwa (143.9), followed by Majha (101.2) and Doaba region (136.4).To mitigate the problem, Punjab state government had initiated a three pronged approach for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Under Mukh Mantri Punjab Cancer Raahat Kosh, Government of Punjab earmarked Rs. 50.00 crores for the treatment of all cancer patients.