Women in Bangladesh have been suffering from different types of cancers, currently one of the leading causes of death in the country, more than their male counterparts.
A recent study found that out of the total cancer patients 59.5% are women and 40.5% are male while women are also more likely to get cancer at an early age than men.
It said, in the last one year, 1,50,071 people have been newly diagnosed with cancer in Bangladesh while among them 1,08,138 died.
Among the cancer patients, 84.8% are adults and 25.2% are children while 31.9% of females have been suffering from cancers of the reproductive system which is 11.2% in male.
Besides, out of the male cancer patients, 10.2% have urinary bladder cancer, 9.9% prostate cancer and 7.5% oral cancer while among the women, 23.3% are affected by breast cancer, 21.5% by cervical cancer and 7.9% by oral cancer.
In another study, conducted on 1657 people based on hospital cancer registry, found that nearly 75% of the patients are adults while girls are being diagnosed as cancer patients from the age of 15 which is detected in male from their age of 20.
Associate Professor at the National Cancer Research Institute Habibullah Talukder Raskin said that a major reason for the increase in the rate of infection among women is the change in their lifestyle as more of them are becoming addicted to cigarettes or alcohol.
Health Directorate officials said Bangladesh has a unique National Cancer Control Strategy and Plan of Action 2009-2015 formulated with the assistance of WHO with an objective to develop and implement continuum of cancer care through a comprehensive cancer control programme.
Preventive measures have been taken to reduce the incidence of cancer include reduced tobacco smoking, change of dietary habit and reduced food adulteration, ensuring reproductive hygiene, increased physical activity, and reduced occupational hazard.
Awareness buildup and media campaigns are going on by organising the general people, opinion leaders of the society, and boy and girl scouts.
Health experts said cancer is predicted to be an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality in Bangladesh in the next few decades as the current estimated incidence of 12.7 million new cancer cases would rise to 21.4 million by 2030.
In Bangladesh, they said, there is a severe shortage of trained oncologists and physicists while oncopathology and cytopathology skills need to be enhanced for better delivery of cancer care.
Technical staff for tissue diagnosis and imaging modalities also needs to be developed, they observed.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), two teletherapy machines and one brachytherapy machine are needed for one million people.
According to this estimation Dhaka city alone needs 20 and the entire country needs around 300 Teletherapy (radiotherapy) machines respectively.
However, in Bangladesh there are 17 radiotherapy centers in the public and private sector; only one is situated in a rural area.