The latest report compiled from cancer registries across India by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed that tobacco accounts for around a third (30 per cent) of all cancers in males and females in India. Besides, with an estimated 1.5 lakh fresh cases in 2016, breast cancer was most prevalent in the country followed by lung cancer and the cancer of the cervix.
The report said that among males, cancer of the mouth was most prevalent in western states of the country. Similarly, lung cancer, for which smoking is one of the triggers, is most common in 10 out of 27 cancer registries. Medical experts are of the view that the cases of lung cancer have risen among females as more and more women have started smoking.
Further among females, breast cancer has topped the chart followed by cancer of cervix, the study revealed. ICMR has also made projections of cancer burden in the country in future. The apex research body said in 2016, the total number of new cancer cases is expected to be around 14.5 lakh and the figure is likely to reach nearly 17.3 lakh new cases in 2020. Over 7.36 lakh people are expected to succumb to the disease in 2016 while the figure is estimated to shoot up to 8.8 lakh by 2020, said the study.
Quite astonishingly, cancer of the breast, with estimated 1.5 lakh (over 10 per cent of all cancers) new cases during 2016, is the number one cancer overall. Cancer of the lung is the next with estimated 1.14 lakh (83,000 in males and 31,000 in females) new cases during 2016 and 1.4 lakh cases in 2020. Cancer of the cervix is the third most common cancer with estimated 1 lakh new cases in 2016 and about 1.04 lakh during 2020.
In addition, the ICMR also conducted a country-wide study from 2012-14 from various Population Based Cancer Registeries (PBCR) and Hospital Based Registeries. It also stated there was a significant increase in cancers of rectum and colon in males in the PBCRs at Bangalore, Chennai, and Delhi and in females in Barshi and Bhopal. Delhi also tops the chart for cancer among children.