Cancer tool in Tripura hospital

Agartala, Dec. 26: Cancer treatment in Tripura has moved an important step forward with installation of a powerful Gamma camera at the Regional Cancer Centre here on Monday.

After Calcutta and Guwahati, Agartala is the third regional capital to have a Gamma camera installed for treatment, diagnosis and monitoring of cancer and other diseases.

Health minister Tapan Chakraborty inaugurated the camera at a simple ceremony in Regional Cancer Centre near GB Hospital.

Member of the Atomic Energy Commission's executive board, A.K. Kohli, appreciated the progress made by Tripura in medical science and in its application for diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

"There is a fear in the minds of the people that atomic energy used in a Gamma camera may cause harm to human body but this fear is baseless because the quantum of atomic energy used in a Gamma camera cannot do any harm," Kohli said.

The superintendent of Regional Cancer Centre, Gautam Mazumder, explained in detail the functional aspects of a Gamma camera and said installation of such a camera would usher in a new era in diagnosis of diseases and treatment. He said that a Gamma camera can carry out static and dynamic scan of crucial organs of a human body, including liver, lungs, brain, kidneys and heart.

"Most important is the fact that this machine can conduct a complete skeletal survey of a human body and test effectiveness and strength of kidney, heart and thyroid," Mazumder said. He added that complicated cases of cancer of bone and thyroid can be diagnosed and treated by the Gamma machine.

Mazumder also expressed grave concern over the high incidence of cancer in Tripura and other parts of the Northeast. He demanded that a ban be imposed by the Centre and states on consumption of tobacco and similar items . "There is high incidence of throat cancer in the Northeast and we can safely assume that consumption of cigarettes and betel leaves blended with tobacco-like substances is responsible for this," Mazumder said.

He said incidence of cancer in Tripura is still on a par with the national average but the level of consciousness of people needed to be raised . Besides, he added, many cancer patients go outside the state for treatment at costly private hospitals and do not register their names at the Regional Cancer Centre.

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