Click Here to Subscribe For FREE SMS Alerts on Disaster Awareness

Refresher Training of CERT by FOCUS

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

17-year-old gutka user is in the last stage of oral cancer

Teenager Started Chewing Pan Masala At 13 Due To Peer PressureMumbai: Roshan Wankhede is all of 17 years. He is from a small village in the Amravati district. The family lives on farming; money is difficult to come by. Roshan's parents are waiting for him to finish his education and start earning so that their monetary problems can be solved. Roshan would have passed his HSC exams next year, but he will not be able to. Doctors say that Roshan is suffering from last-stage mouth cancer and may not live another year. 

    Roshan was 13 years old when he first started consuming tobacco because of peer pressure. A sachet or two occasionally, soon turned to seven to eight sachets a day. Today, neither Roshan nor his parents know the severity of the consequences of his tobacco-chewing habit. 
    "I wanted to try what all my 
friends did. Out of the 50 students in our class, about 10 had pan masala. It was all for fun," said Roshan. "My parents didn't know that I had this habit. I didn't have it at home. We had it before and after school from the shops nearby," he said. 
    What started as small ulcers developed as a full-fledged cancer on the roof of Roshan's mouth in a matter of months. Local doctors directly advised him to go to Tata Memorial Hospital, as they were sure that it was more than just ulcers. "We are going to remove his upper jaw with a surgery, which will be followed by radiotherapy," said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, oral oncologist at Tata Memorial Hospital, where Roshan is being treated. "He has a slim chance of surviving more than a year as fourth-stage cancers are generally difficult to save anyway." 

    Roshan had, however, given up the habit of chewing tobacco some time before he developed the cancer. He said his decision followed the increase in the font size of the warning on gutka packets. "Earlier, there used to be a scorpion on the packet. We didn't know 
what it meant. Then the price of a sachet increased from Re 1 to Rs 5, because of which our consumption reduced to three packets a day. It was only when the warning 'Tobacco causes cancer' came in a bigger font that we all stopped having tobacco completely."

Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India, 2009-2010, says: 
n 11.9% of teens aged 13-15 currently use tobacco products other than cigarettes 
n Every day, 5,500 children and adolescents below the age of 18 take to using tobacco products 

Early Beginnings 
n Every two seconds, 1 Indian child tries tobacco for the first time 
n As you read this sentence, 4 children would have their first tobacco experience 
n 4 million children below the age of 15 use tobacco regularly 
n A daily intake of an average of 10 pouches of gutka would mean exceeding the recommended daily intake of lead, arsenic and copper. Lead is particularly dangerous for the younger age group, as excess of it lowers the IQ and could affect a child's scholastic performance 
n Almost 50% of 15-year-old street children spend a significant part of their daily income on gutka 

Oral Cancer 
n 20,000 in one lakh individuals suffer from oral cancer 
n It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Indian men n 50% of oral cancer patients die within 12 months of diagnosis 
n A small proportion of patients get cured but live with severe disability n 90% of oral cancer in India is attributed to chewing tobacco and supari 
n Several ingredients in commercially available pan masala and gutka cause oral cancer 

Times View 
The statistics of tobacco consumption are shocking. The government should treat these as eyeopeners. While chief ministers of 10 states, including Maharashtra, have already pledged their support to curb its use, merely signing letters is not enough. The government's attitude seems to be lax when it comes to actual implementation of anti-tobacco measures. It should be more proactive and crack down on the sale of tobacco to minors. A law banning the sale of tobacco within 100 metres of educational institutions is already in place, but needs stricter monitoring. Surrogate bans on products should be implemented better. It's not just the government that needs to act. Youth icons from all fields should stop endorsing tobacco or surrogate brands, which entice youngsters into the habit.


Popular Posts

Slide Presentation


Enter a Youtube URL to download:

Powered by KeepHD.com
Custom Search

Daily Green News


blogger templates | Make Money Online