While the world was battling corona and its successive damages, India was being silently debilitated by cancer. According to the ICMR’s National Cancer Registry Programme, the disease has spread its malignant tentacles with greater viciousness in women than men. It is likely to strike 1.57 million in 2025 from 1.46 million this year, as shared by the bi-annual report. Significantly the estimated data for 2025 does not include statistics from populous states, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Sharing the figures in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya briefed on the national average of cancer cases for 2022 being 100.4 per 100,000, with a large number of women (105.4 per 100,000) being diagnosed with breast cancer, a preventable disease.
By comparison, 95.6 men per 100,000 were diagnosed with lung cancer.
In Gujarat, cases stood at 69,660 in 2020, 71,507 in 2021 and 73,382 in 2022. In a written reply, the minister added: “Treatment for the poor in government hospitals is either free or highly subsidized. Cancer treatment is also covered under PM-JAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana).”
The study was conducted at ICMR’s National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research, Bengaluru. It concluded that one in nine Indians is at risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. The report pointed that age 74 is a threshold stage into watch-out-for symptoms.
Among women, the highest numbers reported breast cancer. This was followed by cancers of the cervix, ovary and corpus uterus. Lung, mouth, and tongue cancers were more common in men, all associated with smoking and use of tobacco.
“The new estimates are helpful for cancer prevention and control activities through the intervention of early detection, risk reduction and management in India. Appropriate research is, however, needed to delve deeper into the reasons of cancer burden and provide affordable solutions,” said the report.
According to Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN) estimates, there were 19.3 million cancer cases worldwide in 2020. India ranked third after China and the US. GLOBOCAN predicted that cancer cases in India would increase to 2.08 million, a rise of 57.5% in 2040 from 2020.
According to WHO data for 2020, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer and 685,000 deaths globally. At the end of 2020, there were 7.8 million women alive who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past five years, making it the world’s most prevalent cancer.
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