One in 10 Indians will soon develop Cancer

Every Indian family will have at least one family member with cancer. Bleak times ahead, says WHO. But India loves its khaini, tumbakoo, and areca nut …

One in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 15 Indians will die of cancer, according to a latest World Health Organization (WHO) report.

February 4 is World Cancer Day and the WHO has released two global reports on the occasion.

There are an estimated 1.16 million new cancer cases, 7,84,800 cancer deaths, and 2.26 million 5-year prevalent cases in India’s population of 1.35 billion, said the WHO report on cancer burdens and patterns in India in 2018, released on Monday.

The report aims to set the global agenda on cancer, mobilise stakeholders and help countries set priorities for investing in cancer control and universal health coverage.

According to the report, the six most common cancer types in India are breast cancer (1,62,500 cases), oral cancer (1,20,000 cases), cervical cancer (97,000 cases), lung cancer (68,000 cases), stomach cancer (57,000 cases), and colorectal cancer (57,000). Together, these account for 49 per cent of all new cancer cases, the report notes.

Of 5.70 lakh new cancer cases in men, oral cancer (92,000), lung cancer (49,000), stomach cancer (39,000), colorectal cancer (37,000), and oesophageal cancer (34,000) account for 45 per cent of cases. Of 5.87 lakh new cancer cases in women, breast cancer (1,62,500), cervical cancer (97,000), ovarian cancer (36,000), oral cancer (28,000), and colorectal cancer (20,000) account for 60 per cent cases, the report states.

SEE ALSO  Celebrating the Republic @74

Tobacco-related cancers account for 34-69 per cent of all cancers in men, and constitute 10-27 per cent of all cancers in women in most regions in India, the report notes.

An increasing trend in the incidence of oral cancer has been observed among men in the fourth to seventh decades of life, possibly as a result of increasing consumption of unregulated flavoured chewing products that contain areca nut, such as paan masala. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, deputy director at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, said states must have stringent measures to ensure a curb on smokeless tobacco.