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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Cancer: Facts, Stats and Trends in India

Cancer is one of the most common diseases in the world. It is also dreaded and feared by people for it’s fatal and rapid nature.

cancer cells

Caption: Cancer, Image Credit: pixabay

Here are some facts on the statistics and trends of this disease in India:

  1. India has a population of 1.35 billion, out of which around 1.16 million cancer cases get reported annually along with 784,800 reported deaths. The most common types of cancer in India are:

  2. Breast cancer:

It is the most common cancer that makes up for  27.5% of cancers in Indian women. About 1 in 28 women are likely to develop cancer in their lifetime.

In Urban areas- 1 in 22 women develops breast cancer.

In rural areas- 1 in 60 women develops breast cancer.

  1. Oral cancer:

India has ranked 4th in the highest rates of oral cancer in the world. It is one of the most commonly occurring cancers in Indian men and accounts for 11.8% of cancer cases.

  1. Lung cancer :

Lung cancer constitutes for 10.6% of all new cancer cases in men and 9.3% in both sexes. 90% of the cases are detected in the last or aggressive stages where it is less treatable and almost impossible to cure.

Stomach cancer: It is the 5th most common cancer among males and 7th most common cancer among Indian females.

  1. Colorectal cancer:

It is the 3rd most common cancer in the world with 60% cases reported in developed countries. In India, colon cancer ranks 8th and rectal cancer ranks 9th in the most common cancers.

Together, these common cases make up 49% of all reported cancer cases.

common cancers
  1. According to WHO, every 1 in 10 Indians are prone to develop a type of cancer and every 1 in 15 die from cancer.

  2. It is believed that one of the main environmental factors that trigger cancer patterns in India is the high usage of tobacco, which is mainly associated with oral, head, neck and cervical cancer.

  3. Scientists and researchers also believe that the risk of cancer is closely related to socioeconomic status.For example, a person living in a lower socioeconomic status will develop cancers related to tobacco triggers whereas a person living in a higher economic status will burden with problems of breast and colorectal cancer which is associated with obesity, less physical activity and a more static lifestyle.

Thus, as India continues to progress, being one of the best performing, developing and stable economies in the world, it starts to lean towards a higher socioeconomic status in the community and therefore, further increases the risk to the cancers related to it.

cig, cigarettes

Tobacco can trigger cancer, Image Credit: pikist

  1. In 2018, 1.6 lakh out of the 6.5 crores people who had undergone clinical screening were diagnosed with cancer.The total number of screenings doubled between 2017 and 2018, from 3.5 to 6.5 and experts believe that the rapidly changing lifestyle like food habits, social pressures and consumption of tobacco products and alcohol may have caused this increase.

  2. In 2018, the most number of cases of common cancer was recorded in Gujarat followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Telangana. However, these rankings are not very stable and vary every year.For example, the number of people diagnosed with cancer in Gujarat increased from 3,939 in 2017 to 72,169 in 2018 and the reported cases in  Andhra Pradesh significantly increased in 2018 and then returned back to its normal rate the following year.This is because cancer is not a contagious disease and moreover, the environmental factors that are capable of triggering tumor formation or mutations are almost exposed to all parts of India. This is due to the fact India has a very stable culture and climatic changes everywhere.

  3. According to the National Cancer Registry Programme of the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the mortality rate of this disease increased by 6% with more than 1300 Indians dying every day due to cancer.The deaths reported in the following years are:

  4. In 2012: 478,180 deaths out of 2,934,314 reported cases.

  5. In 2013: 465,169 deaths out of 3,016,628 reported cases.

  6. In 2914: 491,598 deaths out of 2,820,179 reported cases.

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