By Rohan Gupta
Published on 6, June, 2018
Cancer is a deadly disease. It is a generic term for a large group of diseases characterized by the growth of abnormal cells beyond their usual boundaries. The disease can affect almost any part of the body and has many anatomic and molecular subtypes.
Globally cancer is the second leading cause of death and accounted for 8.8 million deaths in 2015 which is the latest data available. On average, India reports more than 1.5 million new cases every year. With increasing incidence and changing patterns of the disease it is important to know what the actual burden of cancer in India is and who are most affected.
Some facts relating to cancer –
1. Cancer is estimated to be the cause of for 7.6% of all deaths in India. (Government projections from Three-year Report of the PBCRs: 2012-2014, Bengaluru, 2016, Official Death rate data)
2. New cancer cases are projected to rise the fastest in Jammu & Kashmir at the rate of 5.3% annually. There was an estimated 6.7% increase in the cases of Breast cancer in J&K, one of highest rates in India. (Government projections from Three-year Report of the PBCRs: 2012-2014, Bengaluru, 2016)
3. Mizoram has been dubbed as the ‘Cancer capital of India’. New cancer cases have risen by an estimated 89% in Mizoram in the last 5 years according to official data.(Government projections from Three-year Report of the PBCRs: 2012-2014, Bengaluru, 2016)
4. Around 40 lakh people in India are suffering from Cancer according to the latest data. Female patients constitute 50% of all the total cancer sufferers in India. (Indian Council of Medical Research cancer registry data)
5. According to a Lancet report, Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in India, accounting for 27% of all cancers among women. There were 100,000 new cases of breast cancer in 2016.
6. Uttar Pradesh recorded 9,371 deaths due to breast cancer in 2016, the highest in India. And new cases of breast cancer are growing at a rate of 6.37% according to estimates, one of the fastest rates in India. (Government projections from Three-year Report of the PBCRs: 2012-2014, Bengaluru, 2016)
7. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers. Yet it is the second most common cancer among women in India, and accounts for a quarter of deaths among women suffering from cancer.
8. Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh together constitute 26% of all the cancer patients India. Also, 26% of all the cancer-related deaths take place in these two states. (Government projections from Three-year Report of the PBCRs: 2012-2014, Bengaluru, 2016)
9. Oral cancer is the most common cancer among men in India. It’s share being 11.28% of all cancers in men. Around 80% of all oral cancers are attributed to Tobacco use. Also 45% of all cancers among males and 17% among females in India is attributed to tobacco use directly or indirectly. (India against Cancer).
10. Between 30% and 50% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, including avoiding tobacco products, reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly and addressing infection-related risk factors, as per the WHO.