Around 11.6 lakh new cancer cases were reported in India in 2018, while 7.85 lakh people died of the disease, the World Health Organization said in a report released ahead of the World Cancer Day on Tuesday. One in 10 Indians are likely to develop the disease during their lifetime, while one in 15 will die of it, the report said.
The report said that cancer patterns in India were dominated by a high burden of tobacco-related head and neck cancers in men and cervical cancer in women – both associated with lower socioeconomic status. However, cancer types linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles, such as breast cancer and colorectal cancer, are also increasing, and are associated with higher socioeconomic status, the report said.
Of the 11.6 lakh cancer cases reported in 2018 in India, 5.7 lakh were detected in men and 5.9 lakh in women. The most common types were breast cancer, oral cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer, which accounted for 49% of all the new cases. As many as 1.63 lakh cases were those of breast cancer and 1.2 lakh of oral cancer. Of the 1.2 lakh cases of oral cancer, 92,000 were in men.
The report said there was a clear increasing trend in the incidence rates of breast cancer across the country, with an annual percentage increase from 1.4% to 2.8%, and it was more pronounced in urban areas. There was a decreasing trend for cervical cancer.
Globally, cancer rates could rise by 60% over the next 20 years unless low- and middle-income countries improve cancer care, the report said. At least 7 million lives could be saved over the next decade by identifying the most appropriate science for each country’s situation, by basing strong cancer responses on universal health coverage, and by mobilising different stakeholders to work together, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.