Alarming increase of liver and cancer diseases in Kerala – An Analysis

Among the various states of India, Kerala occupies an enviable position in the healthcare field as its facilities in this area are at par with the developed countries of the world. But the recent times showed an alarming increase in fatal diseases like cancer, liver and kidney ailments and it has put the reputation of Kerala in peril.

If we consider the statistics of life harming diseases in Kerala, we will be indeed alarmed to know that about 2, 50, 000 persons undergo cancer treatment in the hospitals with the addition of 42,000 adding to the group every year. Liver and Kidney transplants are becoming common in the super speciality hospitals of the state, which are mushrooming fast in this highly literate part of the country. Every year about 120 to 300 liver transplants occur in the state which make us really desperate regarding the condition of the health field of Kerala.

Even though it is an acceptable fact that infrastructure is expanding to meet this health crisis, all experts point out to the reality that prevention is always better than cure. All these killer diseases are termed as lifestyle diseases and a change in the modern hi tech lifestyle can prevent this to a large extent. According to experts, increasing prosperity leading to new age food habits, change in the lifestyle, vegetables and fruits soaked in pesticides, , obesity and rising incidence of diabetes are the major reasons for the increase of these killer diseases.

After being stuck by these fatal diseases, there has been widespread awareness among the people of Kerala regarding the causes and treatment of cancer, liver and kidney diseases. People has also turned to organic farming instead of buying pesticide induced vegetables and fruits from the nearby states. But people working in the health care field says that this is not enough and much more is needed to be done.

The new age Keralite try to avoid physical labour and other exercises which in turn has led to obesity, which plays an important role in the alarming rise of these lifestyle diseases. Higher liquor consumption is a major problem in the state as 45 percent of liver diseases are alcohol related. But 55 percent of the liver diseases belong to non-alcoholic fatty liver ailments and obesity, junk food, lack of exercise etc. are triggering it.

Another life threatening disease that is on frightening increase is cancer with about 42,000 people adding to the cancer affected group every year. This number may increase if we add the cancer patients reporting to private hospitals.  Also, the increasing incidence of diabetes among younger generation is triggering kidney ailments in the state.

Doctors and health workers are of the opinion that public campaigns and mass based preventive methods are the best ones to eradicate this lifestyle diseases from Kerala. Let’s hope that this most beautiful state may again shine in perfect health with the awareness and preventive measures.

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