Aizawl: The construction of a Super Specialty Cancer and Research Centre, a Rs 500 crore project under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is expected to begin soon in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl, an official said on Friday.

Acutely aware of the tag of “cancer state”, the official said Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday reviewed and discussed matters relating to the project with state officials and JICA representatives.

State health minister Dr. R. Lalthangliana and health and family welfare board vice chairman Dr. ZR Thiamsanga also attended the meeting, he said.

The chief minister said Mizoram now has the dubious distinction of having the highest number of cancer cases in the country and the state government was making establishing cancer specialty hospitals its top priority.

Apart from cancer awareness and other measures, focus should be on immediate construction of special cancer hospital to facilitate treatment and good care at local level and avoid treatment outside the state, he added.

The chief minister also urged state officials and representatives of JICA to expedite the process for the early construction of the proposed Super Specialty Cancer and Research Centre on the outskirts of the state capital.

Lalthangliana also informed the meeting that efforts would be made to start the construction at the earliest. 

During the meeting, JICA representatives said apart from construction, emphasis should also be given to human resources development and “soft components” such as training, awareness programme and cancer screening for the general public under the project.

Branded as “cancer state,” Mizoram holds the top position in cancer across all sites for male and female, tongue cancer (male), lung cancer (male & female), stomach cancer (male & female), hypopharynx cancer (male), and gland cancer (male), according to PBCR published in 2016.

It also topped the list in Cervix cancer in women in the country.

It has been estimated that on average at least 725 people die every year due to cancer and 3 people are diagnosed with the deadly disease every day in Mizoram.

According to a report by National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP)-2012-2016, released in 2020, Mizoram as whole recorded 207 and 172.3 cancer cases of all sites per one lakh population among men and women, respectively.

The report had said that the total number of people diagnosed with cancer cases in the state during 2012-2016 was 8,059, including 3,736 females, while 4,080 cancer cases were registered in Aizawl district alone during the same period.

1 out of every 5 persons (both males and females) has the risk of developing cancer in the age group of 0-74 years in Mizoram. 

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