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Even though he recognizes that they are substantially less harmful than traditional cigarettes, Dr. Anil D’cruz, director at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, professor and surgeon at the department of head and neck surgery says he would not recommend the use of e-cigarettes as the true risks of this habit are still not clearly defined.
While at the 10th UAE Cancer Congress in Dubai, both Dr. Anil and Dr. Subbiah Kannan, fellows at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, tackled the overall problem of cancer that plagues their country. With a rising population, currently numbering more than 1.3 billion people, this is one of the biggest social and economic problems facing India. It is estimated that as many as 2.500 people die each day due to tobacco-related diseases.
Dr. Kannan reiterated the importance of making better lifestyle choices, recommending more exercise and a focus on consuming healthy and natural products. He stressed that even moving is preferred to sitting for long hours at a time. When comparing head and neck cancer incidence, Dr. Kannan pointed at the noticeable difference of 10% occurring in Asia and India, as opposed to only 4 – 5% in America.
Anil D’cruz, who will be taking over as president of the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) in 2020, stated that he sees three areas that require immediate attention, advocacy, capacity building and improving the ability to convene. He commended the small drop in tobacco-related cancers as a good start, but urged for more measures, both in the legislature and at a public level.
According to the World Health Organization, heart and pulmonary problems continue to be the biggest causes of death worldwide, and in most cases, very small life changes (like quitting smoking or proper nutrition) could make a considerable difference.