Cancer statistics in India are alarming. A report reveals that one in 10 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime and one in 15 will die from cancer. There are an estimated 1.16 million new cancer cases registered each year in India and around 7,84,800 people die from it each year.
The total cancer cases in India were about 979,786 in the year 2010, but by the end of 2020 it might go up to 1,48,757cases. The number of tobacco-related cases for males was 190,244 in the year 2010, this might go up to 225,241 in the year 2020. Likewise, the female cases will go up from 75,289 in the year 2010 to 93,563 in the year 2020.
Tobacco has been identified as the main cause of oral and lung cancer. 30 to 50% of men suffer from it and among women, it is about 10 to 15%. Cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco are made from dried tobacco leaves. To add flavour and to make smoking more pleasant some thousands of chemical substances are added to them are. Out of these at least 70 chemicals cause cancer. They are known as CARCINOGENS. Some of these chemicals are -Nicotine, Hydrogen cyanide, Lead, Carbon monoxide, and so on. Today E-Cigarettes and other electronic nicotine are used as substitutes for cigarettes. The manufacturers claim that they are safe, but it is not so as they also contain nicotine, flavours and chemicals. The long term effects are still under study. The nicotine in any tobacco activates the brain and affects the brain. Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes can have a miscarriage, stillborn or premature infants. Passive smokers, who inhale tobacco smoke can suffer from lung cancer and heart disease.
Benefits of quitting smoking- The brain functions normally after a month of quitting; Will keep the hearing sharp; Improves night vision; Keeps the mouth clean; It can lower blood pressure and the heart rate, risk of heart attack can decline within 24 hours. Muscles and bones can become stronger and healthier.
Digestive system cancer cases, in both males and females, will go up from 75,289 in 2010 to 93,563 in 2020. The reason for the increased number of deaths in India is because of population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation, changes in lifestyle, and increasing life expectancy. The digestive tract is a major site of cancer in humans. In India, oesophagal cancer is highest in the Northeastern region of India in both males and females. Gastric cancer is prevalent in the Indian subcontinent. Among all the cases 33.54% were stomach carcinoma, 44.72% rectal carcinoma,6.83% esophagal carcinoma. The mean age for these was 53,37,78,43,10 and 60 years respectively.
Some of these cancers can be treated with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But some can’t be cured. If operable, surgery can cure if all the cancerous tissues are removed. Many stomach cancers lead to digestive cancers. Symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation with no cause, and bloating of the stomach.
Overall, 200,000 cases of head and neck cancers occur each year in India. In India, this is because of lifestyle, personal, family history, poor dental hygiene and food habits. Around 6.4 million head and neck cancers are diagnosed worldwide every year. Out of which 1,5 million cases are from India. 57.5% of pf HNCs occur in Asia, they account for 30% in the Indian subcontinent. HNC in India is the commonest cancer in men. COVID-19 has deteriorated the situation in India with a high rate of HNC patients. Due to the current pandemic, delaying surgery for a couple of months can lead to extensive surgery or cannot be operated at all. Treatments include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy.
By 2020, lymphoid and haematopoietic cancer is expected to increase to 77,190 for males and 55,384 for females. This cancer is one of the important cancers in India. Irrespective of the malignancy of this cancer, lifestyle negatively affects the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Compared to the West, these cancer cases are less in India. This cancer is treatable if diagnosed early.90% of them survive for more than 5 years.
BREAST CANCER IN INDIA: The number of breast cancers cases in India are fast-rising. Especially in younger women, between the age groups of the 30s and 40s. In India alone, by the end of this academic year, the breast cancer cases may go up to 17,79,900. Better health awareness, cancer screening programmes and treatments can bring about some positive results. This cancer occurs both in men and women. Every four minutes, an Indian woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, both in rural and urban areas. After the operation, 60% of the Indian women survive compared to 80% of women in the US. Kerala has the most number of cases, followed by Mizoram, Haryana, Delhi and Karnataka. One in twenty- eight women develop breast cancer in India. The survival rate is low in India because it is diagnosed late. If detected early survival is possible.
To reduce breast cancer the following to be followed -Regular exercise for 150 to 300 minutes; To maintain one’s weight and eat fresh and nutritious food; Reduced or completely avoid tobacco and alcohol; Having many pregnancies and childbirth after 30 years are at a higher risk. Do not avoid breast feeding; Usage of birth control methods also increases breast cancer after 30; Usage of hormone replacement therapy after menopause; Exposure to chemicals also increases breast cancer; Women who work at night are also prone to cancer.