Collected data of 2019, National Health Profile states a 324% increase in cases of common cancer, including oral, cervical and breast cancer, between 2017 and 2018 which was diagnosed at state-run NCD clinics.
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The figures showed, compared to 39,635 cases detected in 2017, in 2018 from a total of 6.5 crore people who visited these clinics for screening, 1.6 lakh were diagnosed with one of the mentioned common cancers.
Though the total number of people visiting NCD clinics doubled between 2017 and 2018, experts claimed factors such as rapidly changing lifestyles, including stress, food habits and consumption of tobacco products and alcohol making an increase in the incidence of the disease.
The highest number of cases of common cancer was reported in Gujarat, followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal.
There was a significant rise in cases as compared to the previous year, recorded in most of these states. Considering Gujarat, where the number of people diagnosed with common cancer jumped from 3,939 in 2017 to 72,169 in 2018, all in all, 68,230 new cases. And, there was a 24% increase in the number of people visiting clinics.
States where the numbers of diagnosed cases were comparatively less(Andhra Pradesh and UP), also reported a significant jump in 2018 as compared to the previous year.
The senior consultant oncologist at Action Cancer Hospital, Dr. Harpreet Singh said “Consumption of tobacco products is a major factor contributing significantly to oral cancers, especially when it is coupled with alcohol, the risk and incidence is much higher. Besides, a sedentary lifestyle and the rising rate of obesity are causing a rapid increase in all kind of cancers.”
To counter the incidence of breast cancer doctors strongly recommend breastfeeding.
The chances for successful treatment increases if cancer is diagnosed early. The consequences of delayed cancer care reduce the likelihood of survival and higher costs of care, resulting in avoidable deaths and disability from cancer. Early diagnosis and care at the earliest stage improve cancer outcomes, therefore it is an important public health strategy.
A systematic mammography screening in women aged 50-69 years is recommended by the World Health Organisation. The timely mammography has shown to reduce breast cancer mortality by approximately 20% in high-resource populations.
So far cervical cancer is a concern, it says almost all deaths could be avoided if known effective interventions and implementation were available to all women, includes immunizing adolescent girls against human papillomavirus and cervical screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.
For quite a few years, the health ministry has been focusing on the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Stroke. With the aim of preventing and controlling these diseases through awareness generation, behavior and lifestyle changes, besides early diagnosis.
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