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Cancer cases rise 21% in a year, 45-64 age group most affected

Cancer cases rise 21% in a year, 45-64 age group most affected

Cancer is on the rise with a 21 per cent increase recorded in the number of cases between 2019 and 2020. The majority of cases affected the age group of 45-64. - File photo



Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 25

Cancer is on the rise with a 21 per cent increase recorded in the number of cases between 2019 and 2020. The majority of cases affected the age group of 45-64. The cases rose from 11.5 lakh in 2019 to 13.9 lakh in 2020, according to the national cancer registry data.

The initial analysis of hospital-based cancer cases in the country by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) shows the proportion of cases was 52.4 per cent in males and 47.6 per cent in females, with males more marginally predisposed to the disease than women. Among women, gynaecological cancers (including breast cancer) accounted for over half of the cases. Cancers of the head and neck region accounted for nearly one-third of the cases among males.

Cancer associated with tobacco use comprised 48.7 per cent cases in males, while childhood cancers (0-14 years) comprised 7.9 per cent of all cancer cases. “The age group of 45 to 64 years reported the highest proportion of cancer from all sites except for prostate cancer which affects people over 65 years and more,” says Dr Prashant Mathur, Director, ICMR’s National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru, which conducted the study.

The ICMR report was based on seven-year data of cancer cases from 96 hospital-based cancer registries under the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP). The cancer data pertained to all diagnosed and treated patients of confirmed malignancies who reported for treatment at these centres across all regions of the country. This report included data from 61,00,84 diagnosed cancer cases who were registered in the NCRP between 2012-2019.

It said chemotherapy was the most used treatment for cancers in India and patients were starting on treatment 8 to 30 days after detection.

“Cancer is posing as a key public health challenge for India. In 2020 alone, there were an estimated 1.39 million cancer cases in the country. This report is the first-ever comprehensive analysis of data from a large set hospital-based cancer registry data and will help inform policy,” said Mathur.

Men more vulnerable

  • The ICMR study shows proportion of cases is 52.4% in males and 47.6% in females
  • Cancers of head and neck region account for one-third of cases among males
  • Overall, the cases rose from 11.5 lakh in 2019 to 13.9 lakh in 2020

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