The latest cancer data, released on Wednesday, shows that Aizawl in Mizoram has the highest incidence of cancer in men, while Papumpare in Arunachal Pradesh accounted for maximum cases in women.
While north-eastern States have traditionally reported high incidence of cancer compared to the rest of the country, the latest data reveals that the cancer burden in the north-east is among the highest in the world.
Tobacco problem “The enormity of the tobacco problem in the north-east is reflected in the cancer registry. North-eastern States now have among the highest cancer burned in the world.
In the case of stomach cancer, Chennai had the highest incidence before we set up a registry in Aizawl. Now, we have data showing Aizawl to have 10 times the incidence of Chennai,” said Dr G.K. Rath, chief of the National Cancer Institute.
In terms of sites, lung cancer is the leading cause among men while breast cancer is the leading cause among women. The total estimated burden of cancer for 2016 is 14.5 lakh new cases, going up to 17.3 lakh cases by 2020.
The number of deaths due to cancer for 2016 is estimated to be around 7.36 lakh, going up to 8.8 lakh by 2020.
The data was released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), collected by its Population-Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) programme. “This data is important to help us plan and prioritise health care services for patients.
The north-eastern States have a peculiar burden of cancer and we need to address it with a State-specific intervention,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Director-General, ICMR.
Among men, the top five sites of cancer were lung — which accounted for 10 per cent of the cases; stomach with 7.6 per cent cases; prostate with 7 per cent cases and oesophagus with 6 per cent cases and brain with 5 per cent cases.
For women, breast had 27.5 per cent cases; cervix uteri with 12.3 per cent cases; ovary with 5.3 per cent cases; thyroid with 4 per cent cases and mouth with 3.9 per cent cases.
Lung cancer in women The radical increase in colon cancer for men and cervix uteri for women was noticed. “There is no significant increase in breast and lung cancer but we see a sharp increase in lung cancer among women, clearly a result of more women taking up smoking,” added Dr. Rath.