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India Becomes ‘Cancer Capital’ Of The World 

| Updated: April 8, 2024 15:10

The ‘Health of Nation Report’ highlights that cancer screening rates are very low in the country

The 4th edition of Apollo Hospitals’ ‘Health of Nation Report’, released on World Health Day 2024, has sent alarm bells ringing as it reveals a surge in cancer cases in the country.

The spike in cancer cases, surpassing global rates, has earned India the title of the “cancer capital of the world.” 

The high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health disorders, is significantly impacting the nation’s health, according to the report.

One in three Indians is pre-diabetic, two in three are pre-hypertensive, and one in 10 suffers from depression, the report states. 

Early-onset issues

The report warns of a potential healthcare crisis as conditions like pre-diabetes, pre-hypertension, and mental health disorders manifest at younger ages.

The most common cancers in order of occurrence in India are breast cancer, cervix cancer and ovarian cancer among women. For men, the most common cases are instances of lung cancer, mouth cancer and prostate cancer.

Notably, the median age for cancer diagnosis in India is lower than in other countries, but despite this, cancer screening rates in the country still remain very low, the report states.

Obesity rates up to 20%

The report also revealed a spike in obesity levels, hypertension cases, and the high risk of obstructive sleep apnea among Indians. Obesity rates surged from 9% in 2016 to 20% in 2023. Hypertension cases have increased from 9% to 13% during the same period. 

The report emphasises the role of regular health screenings in reducing the risk of cardiac-related ailments by monitoring blood pressure and body mass index levels. There is a need to combat NCDs through education and personalised preventive healthcare solutions, it says. 

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