CHENNAI: More than 7.8 lakh died due to cancer in 2018 and every year over 11 lakh people are newly registered for cancer as per the records under National Cancer Registry Programme. Despite being a curable disease, late detection and lack of affordability of treatment procedures makes it a major challenge in health care.
On World Cancer Day, medicos discuss how early detection and proper management can significantly reduce the death rates from cancer. Estim-ates suggest that more than 22.5 lakh people are living with cancer, while the risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 years is more than nine percent.
Cancer registries reveal that the cancers of oral cavity and lungs account for over 25 percent of cancer deaths in males and cancer of breast and oral cavity account for 25 percent cancers in females. Though major responsible factors such as smoking cause cancer, lifestyle such as dietary habits and lack of exercise also account for one out of 10 cancers in India.
“According to recent data, while only 5 percent to 10 percent of cancer cases are due to genetic defect, remaining 90 percent to 95 percent of cancer cases can be attributed to sedentary lifestyle and food habits and obesity is the major factor among all. One-lakh cancer cases every year are linked with obesity shows a recent study by the American Institute for Cancer Research,” says Dr Neha Prashant Shah, lead consultant, weight loss and bariatric unit, Westminster Healthcare.
Fat tissues produce excess amount of estrogen, high level of which is associated with the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and more. Endometrial cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney, gall bladder, breast, colorectal cancers are all related to obesity, adds Dr Neha.
When identified early, cancer is more likely to respond to effective treatment and can result in a greater probability of surviving. Oncologists stress on early screening for all types of cancer as it can increase the survival rate.
“Most of the common cancer types, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, oral cancer, and colorectal cancer have high cure rates when detected early and treated according to best practices. Even when cancerous cells have travelled to other areas of the body, such as testicular seminoma and leukaemias and lymphomas in children, can have high cure rates if appropriate treatment is provided at an early stage,” said Dr S Rajasundaram, director, oncology, Gleneagles Global He-alth City.