Cancer causes 11.11 percent of deaths in Nepal

Published On: February 5, 2024 11:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Health Ministry admits cancer is spreading at an alarming rate in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 5: Cancer causes a total of 11.11 percent of deaths in Nepal while 20,000 new cases related to the fatal disease are reported every year in the country.

Organizing a press meet on Sunday, the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) informed that cancer is spreading at an alarming rate in the country. Speaking at the program, Rudra Prasad Marasini, director at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, said notable incidences of lung cancer and cervical uteri cancer are found in the patients ailing from the disease.   

As per a report of the World Health Organization (WHO), every year 3,000 new cases of cervical uteri cancer are detected in Nepal. Of these, 1,800 infected people die from the disease. It is caused by Human papillomavirus. Likewise, over 13 percent of the cancer patients suffer from lung cancer.     

Marasini said cancer is detected in more than 20,000 people every year in the country. In 2020, a total of 16,629 individuals died from cancer. Apart from lung cancer and cervical uteri cancer, large numbers of incidents are also seen related to breast, abdomen and intestine cancer.

According to him, lung cancer, stomach cancer and oral cavity cancer, among others, are mostly seen in men while cervical uteri cancer and breast cancer are common in women. Consumption of tobacco related products, alcoholic beverages and low physical movement have been identified as the major causes of cancer in the country.

The WHO report shows that about one million people died due to cancer in the year 2022. About one-third of cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use, obesity, alcohol consumption, low consumption of fruits and vegetables, and lack of physical activities.

Nepal achieves breakthrough in blood cancer treatment with Cost-effective CAR T-cell Therapy

Nepal successfully tested the use of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Therapy, which is found to be effective in treatment of blood cancer including leukemia and lymphoma.

The Center for Regenerative Medicine Nepal (CRMN) confirmed to have successfully tested the therapy last week. A team led by Sanjivan Gautam, a Nepali scientist working in the US-based Estrogens Pharmaceuticals’s Department of Oncology achieved the success in testing the CAR T-cell Therapy in Nepal, according to the CRMN.  

As of now, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy, among others, are being used for the treatment of cancer patients. According to the CRMN, CAR T-cell Therapy is a new type of treatment in the segment globally.

Speaking at a press conference, Gautam said they are preparing to provide the therapy at up to one-tenth of the cost incurred globally. The therapy is estimated to cost Rs 30-50 million in the international market.  

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