Dr. Neelesh Reddy

The recent survey on the Cancer deaths in India revealed that breast, cervical and stomach cancers are the major cause of cancer deaths among women in India. Amongst men lung, oral and stomach cancers were the leading causes of cancer death.

The data between 2010 and 2012 stated that India is estimated to have 14.5 lakh people living with the disease and over 7 lakh new cases being registered every year and 5,56,400 deaths which are said to be cancer related. An estimated 71 per cent of all cancer related deaths are occurring in the age group between 30 to 69 years.

The five most common cancer among men are lung, colorectal, stomach, head and neck, and liver in 2012; and women suffered from breast, cervix, stomach, head and neck and lung. Cancers in India which have significantly increased between 1990 and 2013, are of the mouth, throat and voice box from 55,480 to 127,168. breast cancer among women also increased from 57,374 to 154,261.

Prostate cancer cases grew the exponentially.

The second big killer after heart disease in India which is about 15% of all deaths in 2013 is Cancer. Prevention is better than cure as goes the saying early diagnosis and treatment can prevent cancer deaths. Early detection is crucial as treatment of cancer in the later stages is often difficult.

The rise of breast cancer in India

New figures spell a startling future in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad. Breast cancer accounts for 25% to 32% of all female cancers, more than 1/4th of all female cancers. It’s time we took preventive measures. There’s no escaping the fine print – Breast cancer has overtaken cervical cancer. It is also more common in the younger age group. Almost 50% of all cases are in the age group of 25-50. And more than 70% of the cases present in advanced stage had poor survival and high mortality.

The numbers are staggering and constantly rising. The Indian Council for Medical Research recently published a report which stated that in 2016 the total number of new cancer cases is expected to be about 14.5 lakhs. This figure will likely increase to 17.3 lakhs by 2020.

The survival rates are low because the detection takes place only in advanced stages. The only way to change these numbers is by increasing awareness. Breast cancer is a treatable disease and chances of survival are higher only if it is detected in time. The only way to do so is by bringing awareness of the dangers lurking around breast cancer and how it can be detected and diagnosed early.

This includes leading a healthy lifestyle, being aware of family medical histories – so that if you know you are genetically inclined towards hereditary cancers, you can take preventive drugs or undergo preventive surgery. The simplest way to prevent this is by being able to do a self-breast examination.

Women should be doing this on a regular basis after they turn 20 and yearly mammogram after the age of 40.

CERVICAL CANCER

The second most common cancer in Indian women is Cervical Cancer. It accounts for 22.86% of cancer in women and 12% of all cancer cases. 1,23,000 new cases registered in the past year recorded death were 67,500 in the age group between 21–67 years. In India the 3 rd largest cause of cancer mortality has been Cervical cancer.

Survival depends completely on the stage the cancer is at the time of diagnosis. The survival chance of a person becomes better if the cancer is diagnosed at earlier stages and treated. Therefore, it is important to build awareness and avail regular cancer screening tests and vaccination against human papilloma virus.