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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2783

Sri Lanka No: 1 in the prevalence of oral cancer in the South - Professor W.M. Thilakaratne.

By Manjari Peiris
Colombo, 28 July, (

Sri Lanka is in the first place of oral cancer prevalence in South, says the Dean of Dental Faculty of the University of Peradeniya, Professor W.M. Thilakaratne.

The most recent data reveals that there are 2422 oral cancer patients in Sri Lanka and of them, 78 percent are men. Professor Thilakaratne stated that it is pathetic that knowingly or unknowingly they have become victims.

A media program was organized at the Information Department to celebrate the World Head and Neck Cancer Day which fell on 27th of July. Professor Thiilakaratne also stated that oral cancer is mostly prevailed among poor people.

Oral cancer is caused due to chewing tobacco and tobacco smoking and the rural people without knowing and due to their ignorance; the society is gulped down by the disease. It was the opinion of Professor Tilakaratne that media could do a massive service to eradicate this disaster.

The Deputy Director General (Dental Services) Dr. Jayasundera Bandara stated that in the past betel chewing was not approved with tobacco, lime and areca nut, but with herbal ingredients such as nutmegs, cloves, ginger, etc. which (betel tray) devotees offer in traditional manner to Maha Sanga at religious events.

Therefore, the present President, Maithripala Sirisena, while he was the Health Minister offered a betel tray to Maha Sangha with the herbal ingredients, instead of tobacco and areca nut or lime. Accordingly the betel tray should be changed according to time and the culture should also be changed according to time, said Dr. Jayasundera Bandara.

"Certain provinces in India, who had realized the seriousness of oral cancer have banned cancerous products such as babul which is manufactured using areca nut. It is not strange, but pathetic, that Sri Lanka which is the highest oral cancer prevailing country in South Asia, still has not been able to draw its attention to this matter.

Consultant Surgeon Dr. Kanishka de Silva of the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama, stated that money and time being spent in treating on oral cancer is an utter waste as they are caused due to people's negligence.

- Asian Tribune -

Professor W.M. Thilakaratne.
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