HYDERABAD: Tobacco-related cancers contribute highest to the cancer burden in India. Despite the Covid pandemic, there were 3.7 lakh new cases or 27.1 per cent.
This will further increase by 12 per cent by 2025 as the use of tobacco and tobacco-related products continues to be high. The impact on passive smokers and those working in the related industries, wholesale and retail sectors also get impacted due to constant exposure to tobacco.
With 268 million or 28.6 per cent of adults in India using tobacco, the incidence of tobacco-related diseases and cancers are high. Together they account for 12 lakh deaths every year.
Dr K Sreekanth, senior consultant surgical oncologist at Yashoda Hospitals says, "We see young cancer patients dying due to use of tobacco and its products. The risk of putting others at risk through passive smoking is also high and many of them are unaware. These cases often come late."
The National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020, released by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research estimates that in 2020 cancer cases in the country will be at 13.9 lakh and it is likely to increase to 15.7 lakh by 2025 based on current trends.
With 28 population-based cancer registries and 58 hospital-based cancer registries, cancer data in India is showing trends of higher incidence. There is also a rise in gastrointestinal tract with 2.7 lakh new cases estimated to be 19.7 per cent of the total cancer burden.
Changes in lifestyle, increasing burden of obesity and use of more additives in foods and food products the digestive system cancers have seen a rise too. Breast cancers report two lakh new cases with 14.8 per cent and cervix cancer are 0.75 lakh at 5.4 per cent.
Women suffering from cancers in reproductive age groups have also seen a rise.
Dr Gauri Agarwal, senior gynaecologist explains, "Those under 40 years of age are suffering from cancers. This affects their reproductive system. Many of them are now being advised to opt for egg freezing. In this manner they can opt for children later. The cancers in younger women are due to multiple causes and lifestyle does have a major role to play."...