The Indian Cancer Scenario
Cancer is a huge threat to human beings around the world. The incidence of cancer keeps increasing with more and more people being diagnosed with the disease. The Indian census data indicates that the rate of cancer mortality is one of the highest in the world. Cancer has emerged as the second most common disease in India and it is responsible for around 0.3 million deaths every year. This is mostly because of lesser awareness about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment options available.
Most common cancers
All types of cancer occur in India like breast, lung, stomach, liver, rectum, cervix, prostate and blood cancers. Other common cancers are of the skin, mouth, bladder, and oesophagus. According to WHO data, oral, lip, lung, neck and throat cancers are widespread among men while women are prone to suffer from breast, cervical and ovarian cancers.
Causes of high incidence and mortality
There are no known causes of cancer. However, there can be a number of reasons for its occurrence. These can be both internal and external. The former include genetic factors and hormonal imbalances, unhealthy lifestyles, and poor immune systems, which all cancers are known to attack. External or environmental circumstances are population overgrowth, industrialization, etc. Public ignorance about the disease, delayed diagnoses and lack of adequate medical facilities for the masses has made cancer a “killer disease”, especially in India.
The need for the hour is to create public awareness about the common types of cancer and their symptoms. The importance of early detection of cancers cannot be overstated. Early detection can prevent cancer from progressing to its advanced stages. Access to timely treatment can be the difference between life and death.
We now have better diagnostic techniques and chemotherapeutic drugs in India today than ever before. Early screening and prompt diagnosis are crucial in conserving the affected organ and ensuring a good quality of life for the patient. It is a fact that if cancer is detected in its early stages, it can be effectively treated and the patient can lead a longer and healthy life.