M A I N   N E W S

Spurt seen in cancer cases in India
India to have 13 lakh cancer patients by 2020
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

A cancer patient sits on the pavement near a temporary shelter set up outside Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.
A cancer patient sits on the pavement near a temporary shelter set up outside Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai. — AFP

New Delhi, Aug 22
As many as 10 lakh cancer cases have already been detected in India in current year with the case load set to shoot to 11.48 lakh by 2015 and 13.20 lakh by 2020. A whopping 27 pc of these cancers are associated with tobacco and increase in incidence of cancers of lung, thyroid and brain tumours is rising among the young.

The latest findings of National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) show that among males cancers of lung, mouth, oesophagus and stomach are the leading cancers sites across all registries while in females the breast and cervix cancers are the leading conditions.

National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research, a dedicated Govt institute which collects cancer data, operates through 219 centres across India comprising 28 Population Based Cancer Registries which have 250 major institutions contributing to data base. The 25 PBCRs that comprise the basis of new findings cover 7.45 pc population of India. ICMR experts said cancer incidence rate is expressed as age adjusted or age standardized rate (AAR) according to world standard population) per 100,000 persons. As in the earlier 2006-08 ICMR cancer report, in the latest report from 2009 to 2011 Aizawl district in Mizoram shows the highest AAR in both males and females. All PBCRs in Gujarat and Maharashtra and Bhopal PBCR have revealed mouth as leading site of cancer while cancer of oesophagus leads in registries in Assam and Meghalaya. Stomach cancer is largest cancer in Sikkim and Mizoram while cancer of the nasopharynx is leading cancer in Nagaland.





Punjab to ask Centre for foreign help
Sarbjit Dhaliwal/TNS

Chandigarh, August 22
The Punjab Government is all set to make another attempt to solve the cancer puzzle. The state plans to ask the Centre to engage an international agency to pinpoint the cause of high incidence of the disease, especially in the Malwa belt.

stark figures

  • A survey in January confirmed 23,874 cancer cases in the state with at least 18 deaths every day
  • Cancer has claimed 33,318 lives in the state in the past five years
  • With 90 cases per lakh population, the state’s figure is more than the national average of 80
  • The Malwa belt has 107 cancer cases per lakh population in comparison to 88 in Doaba and 64 in Majha

The state has high incidence of cancer compared to the national average, with Malwa being the worst-hit region. A door-to-door survey, a first of its kind in the country, conducted in January had confirmed 23,874 cancer cases with at least 18 persons dying because of cancer in the state every day. Over the past five years, cancer has claimed 33,318 lives in the state. Besides, 84,453 persons have developed cancer-like symptoms.

“I will urge Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to engage some international agency to ascertain the exact cause, especially in the Malwa belt,” said Madan Mohan Mittal, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab. “Some say it is because of high use of pesticides, while others blame it on the presence of toxic metals in subsoil water used for drinking, etc,” the minister said. During the survey, the overall figure stood at 90 cases per lakh population in the state, more than the national average of 80 cases.

In the Malwa belt, the figure was much higher at 107 cancer cases per lakh population, as compared to 88 cases in Doaba and 64 cases in Majha regions.

Muktsar district in the Malwa belt recorded 136 cancer cases per lakh - the highest in the state. Mansa came a close second with 134.8 cases and Bathinda third with 125.8 cases. A few years ago, a team of doctors from the PGI with the help of the State Health Department had conducted a comparative survey of two blocks — Talwandi Sabo in the Bathinda region and Chamkaur Sahib near Ropar. The incidence of cancer was found to be higher in the Talwandi Sabo block. The high incidence of cancer in the state is sometimes linked to the green revolution. To enhance production, farmers recklessly used chemicals, including pesticides and fertilisers.


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