India had an estimated 1.16 million new cancer cases in 2018, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), which said that one in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime and one in 15 will die of the disease.
Ahead of the World Cancer Day on Tuesday, WHO and its specialized International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has released two reports: one aimed at setting the global agenda on the disease; the other focused on research and prevention.
The World Cancer Report said that according to the estimated cancer burden in India in 2018, there are about 1.16 million new cancer cases, 784,800 cancer deaths, and 2.26 million 5-year prevalent cases in India’s population of 1.35 billion.
The report said that “one in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 15 Indians will die of cancer.”
In India, the six most common cancer types were breast cancer (162,500 cases), oral cancer (120,000 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 percent of all new cancer cases.
Of the 570,000 new cancer cases in men, oral cancer (92,000), lung cancer (49,000), stomach cancer (39,000), colorectal cancer (37,000), and esophageal cancer (34,000) account for 45 per cent of cases.
The report added that of the 587,000 new cancer cases in women, breast cancer (162,500), cervical cancer (97,000), ovarian cancer (36,000), oral cancer (28,000), and colorectal cancer (20,000) account for 60 percent of cases.
“Cancer patterns in India are dominated by a high burden of tobacco-related head and neck cancers, particularly oral cancer, in men and of cervical cancer in women; both of these cancer types are associated with lower socioeconomic status,” the report said.
The burden of cancer types, such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer, associated with overweight and obesity, lower levels of physical activity, and sedentary lifestyles are increasing and these cancer types are associated with higher socioeconomic status. “During the past two decades, India has had one of the world’s best performing and most stable economies, which has grown by more than 7 percent annually in most years.
“This economic development has given rise to vast socioeconomic changes, with an increased risk of noncommunicable diseases, including cancer, and significant disparities in access to cancer prevention and control services,” the report said.
WHO warned that global cancer rates could rise by 60 pc over the next 20 years unless cancer care is ramped up in low and middle-income countries. Less than 15 pc of these nations offer comprehensive cancer treatment services through their public health systems, according to the UN agency.
“At least 7-m lives could be saved over the next decade, by identifying the most appropriate science for each country situation, by basing strong cancer responses on universal health coverage, and by mobilizing different stakeholders to work together,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The report said that about 80 pc of the world’s smokers live in low and middle-income countries. In addition, 64 percent of the world’s daily smokers live in only 10 countries and more than 50 pc of the world’s male smokers live in three countries: China, India, and Indonesia.