Cancer awareness is Critical


Millions of cancer cases are reported every year in India as per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that in 2016 the total number of new cancer cases is expected to be around 14.5 lakh and the figure is likely to reach nearly 17.3 lakh new cases in 2020. As it has increased to 14, 51,417 in 2016 from 12,70,781 in 2013 as per the National Cancer Registry data. It is the leading cause for deaths in India

In India, the requirement is 1 cancer care unit per 100,000 populations, which is a far cry from the current scenario.

The northeast reported the highest number of cancer cases in both males and females. Aizawl district in Mizoram reported the highest number of cases among males while Papumpare district in Arunachal Pradesh recorded the highest number among females.

“Cancer of breast with estimated 1.5 lakh (over 10 per cent of all cancers) new cases during 2016, is the number one cancer overall. Cancer of the lung is the next with estimated 1.14 lakh (83,000 in males and 31,000 in females) new cases during 2016 and 1.4 lakh cases in 2020,” according to National Cancer Registry.

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It is important to create awareness among people about common types of cancer and their symptoms.

Passing blood in urine is the first alarming sign and should not be neglected. It is important to know that food plays a pivotal role in cancer prevention.  Among females, breast cancer topped the list and among males mouth cancer, as per the study. Breast cancer is emerging as the leading cancer in women. A large number of factors are identified as risk factors for breast cancer. Late age at first pregnancy (greater than 30 years), single child, late age at menopause etc are some of them. A high fat diet is also identified as a risk factor. Physical activity is found to be protective for breast cancer. The sudden changes towards affluent life styles reduced the physical activities to a minimum and increased the consumption of diets that results fat. High fat diets during the pubertal age and obesity in the post menopausal age are risk factors for breast cancer. Regular breast self examination by women themselves is a very good way of detecting breast cancer in early stages.

Detecting a cancer when it is in the very early stage can improve the cure rate from breast cancer. It is curable or proper recovery can be expected if any type of cancer is detected as it reaches to last stage.

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It is important to have a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment, it’s essential and this has to be made available at all Regional Cancer Centers.  Cancer control programmes is run by the government as now the World Health Organization has promoted National Cancer Control Programmes and India is one of the few countries that has actively taken up this initiative. The International Union against Cancer (UICC) and other agencies are supporting fellowships and India can utilize these opportunities to get the much needed human resource for the country.


Yours Truly

Aakanksha Kashyap, CEMS III, Patna Women’s College

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