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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Let Parrikar Recuperate

IT was painful to see the frail Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar chairing the Investment Promotion Board meeting on Tuesday. By releasing this photograph, the Chief Minister’s Office may be trying to quell the rising discontent among the people of Goa. It is a fact that the Chief Minister has not been accessible to the public for months now. Remember that the Chief Minister used to be easily accessible to the people; and once a week, Parrikar used to hold a ‘janta durbar’ where the common man would go and put forth his grievances. But Parrikar has been prevented by the serious health issues from carrying out his tasks in his fullest potential. The photograph released by the government clearly shows that Parrikar is feeble, sick and tired.  It is most inhuman, cruel and callous to make Parrikar run the governance when his energy should be rather used to fight pancreatic cancer and recuperate himself.

VIKAS KAMAT, MARGAO

Root out Lung Cancer

AWARENESS is the key word to prevent and overcome any health disorder.  Cancer is no different, and it is heartening that various health bodies in the world are focusing on certain common cancers every month. October was the breast cancer awareness month and November is set to raise awareness on lung cancer. Contrary to popular belief, the occurrences and deaths due to lung cancer is on the rise in both developed and developing countries. Like diabetes mellitus and hypertension, more and more cancers have become lifestyle diseases and, therefore, modification in habits is crucial to tackle malignant disorders. The causal relation between smoking and lung cancers, the number of cigarettes smoked per day, the age of onset of smoking and the duration of smoking are irrefutably established. The tar and nicotine content of cigarettes’ smoke, and the dangers of using unfiltered cigarettes, have been documented. The innumerable chemicals in smoke, estimated to be above three thousand, of which many are carcinogenic agents, have put the life of smokers in peril. Since radon, asbestos, chromium and nickel are cancer causing chemicals too, some occupational workers are endangered by the disease. Construction workers, painters, mechanics are susceptible to the disease. Interestingly, occupational chemicals and smoke carcinogens are additive.  No doubt, genetics and diet play some role in  lung cancer causation. Spotting the early symptoms of lung cancer will go a long way in early diagnosis and treatment. Cough, breathlessness and chest pain are major symptoms which should draw the attention of relatives towards the disease.  Simple investigative tools like chest X-ray and sputum examination may help in nearly arriving at a diagnosis of the disease though more sophisticated techniques may be needed to confirm the presence of the disease and set up approaches towards planning of treatment. Since chemotherapy and radiotherapy form the nucleus of lung cancer management, and the cost of chemotherapy drugs are prohibitive for the less fortunate,  the government has a duty towards poor patients afflicted by the disease.

GANAPATHI  BHAT, AKOLA

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