Bikers rallying to spread cancer awareness left Guwahati for Tezpur on Wednesday.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, Dr Amal Chandra Kataki, Director of B Barooah Cancer Institute said the ‘Ride and Run Rally’ will have stops at Tezpur, Itanagar, Dibrugarh, Kohima, Imphal, Aizwal, Agartala and it will conclude in Silchar on March 21. The riders will cover a total distance of over 2100 kms.
The north-eastern region with a population of approximately five crores witnesses about 45,000 new cancer cases every year.
The riders have been interacting with people and organizations on the way – at small towns, villages and big cities all across the north-eastern states spreading awareness about cancer, risk factors, sign and symptoms, its preventive measures, research aspects and treatment modalities.
Trustee and Head Tobacco Control, Sambandh Health Foundation Sanjay Setj said, “This rally is going to bear fruits especially when it comes to early detection. We must do everything to prevent our future generations from tobacco which is the main cause of cancer.”
Across India, Aizawl district in Mizoram reported the highest rate of incidence among males, while Papumpare district in Arunachal Pradesh recorded the highest incidents among females.
Among males, head and neck are the most prevalent form of cancer making up to 40 per cent of the total cases, while among females, head and neck, cervical cancer make up to 20 per cent each and breast cancer makes up another 15 per cent.
Furthermore, 70 per cent of the cases are reported at the late stage of the disease which results in a high mortality rate of 50 per cent in the North-east.
The delayed diagnosis is due to a lack of awareness of cancer symptoms, poor access to affordable care and other psychological factors like fear and fatalism. This rally aims to spread awareness.
Organizing partners of the rally are National Service Scheme (North East Region), Rotary District 3240, Sambandh Health Foundation, Doctors For You, NEIGRIHMS (Shillong), Shillong Commerce College, Manbha Foundation, Guwahati Medical College and Hospital, Baptist Christian Hospital (Tezpur), Arunachal State Hospital, Assam Medical College, Naga Hospital, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (Imphal), Mizoram Cancer Institute andTripura Medical College.
Other partners include Silchar Thumpers, Rough It Out, Tata Motors, and Yummy Foods.