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Cancer Therapy Vol 8, page 56

Cancer Therapy Vol 8, 56-70, 2011

Cancer Scenario in India with Future Perspectives
Research Article

Imran Ali*, Waseem A. Wani and Kishwar Saleem
*Department of Chemistry, Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi-110025, INDIA

*Correspondence: Imran Ali, Department of Chemistry, Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi-110025, INDIA Tel: 091-9211458226Fax 0091-11-26985507E-mail:, Key words: Cancer, causes, preventive measures, economic effect, future perspectives.

Received: 15 October 2011; Revised: 26 October 2011 Accepted: 26 October 2011; electronically published: 1 November 2011

Among various diseases, cancer has become a big threat to human beings globally. As per Indian population census data, the rate of mortality due to cancer in India was high and alarming with about 806000 existing cases by the end of the last century. Cancer is the second most common disease in India responsible for maximum mortality with about 0.3 million deaths per year. This is owing to the poor availability of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. All types of cancers have been reported in Indian population including the cancers of skin, lungs, breast, rectum, stomach, prostate, liver, cervix, esophagus, bladder, blood, mouth etc. The causes of such high incidence rates of these cancers may be both internal (genetic, mutations, hormonal, poor immune conditions) and external or environmental factors (food habits, industrialization, over growth of population, social etc.). In view of these facts, the present article describes the status of various types of cancers in India and its comparison at global level. Besides, attempts have been made to describe the main causes of cancer along with their preventive measures. In addition to this, efforts have also been made to predict the effect of increasing number of cancer patients on the Indian economy.

I. Introduction
In spite of good advancements for diagnosis and treatment, cancer is still a big threat to our society (Kotnis et al, 2005). This is the second most common disease after cardiovascular disorders for maximum deaths in the world (Jemal et al, 2007). It accounts for about 23 and 7% deaths in USA and India, respectively. The world’s population is expected to be 7.5 billion by 2020 and approximations predict that about 15.0 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed; with deaths of about 12.0 million cancer patients (Brayand et al, 2006). The prevalence of cancer in India is estimated to be around 2.5 million, with about 8, 00,000 new cases and 5, 50,000 deaths per annum (Nandakumar, 1990-96). According to 1991 Indian census data, about 609000 cancer cases have been observed. This number had drastically increased to 806,000 by the end of the last century; with 96.4 and 88.2% age standardized rates for males and females; out of 100,000 cases analyzed (Rao et al, 1998). During last one decade, about 70% cancer cases have been diagnosed and treated with survival of a few patients (Dinshaw et al, 1999). It is believed that in near future the number of cancer patients will increase in

the developing and under developed countries, which may rise up to 70%; a serious issue for all of us. The magnitude of cancer problem in the Indian Sub-continent (sheer numbers) is increasing due to poor to moderate living standards (Wynder et al, 1974) and inadequate medical facilities. Most frequently observed cancers in Indian population are of lungs, breast, colon, rectum, stomach and liver (Nandakumar, 1990-96; Rao et al, 1998; Murthy et al, 2004). Nowadays, India is growing with a good progress rate and probably will become a developed country within a few decades resulting into its participation in the world development. Therefore, it is important to study the status of cancers in India so that advance measures may be taken to control this havoc in near future. In view of these facts, attempts have been made to study the status of cancers in India including its causes, preventive measures, effect on Indian economy and comparison with global scenario.

II. Cancer scenario in India
A data of cancer patients was compiled from 2004 to 2010 in India and shown in Figure 1.


with a total number of 979786 patients in 2010. Thus. (Banker et al. Similarly. Banker et al. 462408 male cancer patients and 517378 female cancer patients were recorded.4% of all cancer types. from six different parts of the country including both rural and urban areas. These trends of cancer patient distribution among discussed metropolitan cities may be due to different levels of environmental pollution. a prediction of cancer patients in 2015 and 2020. These compiled data show that the number of male. female and the total cancer patients in 2004 were 390809. respectively. ICMR. The number of male and female cancer patients increased continuously up to 2009. showed varying degrees of incidence in different areas (ICMR. Delhi. respectively. Chennai stood at the fourth position having 2296 and 2528 as male and female cases. food habits. These cancers were also reported in other cities in the order of Madras > Bangalore > Barshi. it has become almost epidemic resulting in greater number of deaths than those caused by colorectal.The most common forms of malignancies in males during 1989 in Bombay. 1955) reported about 9210 consecutive autopsies of lung cancer patients in 1970. respectively. it is clear from this Figure that the number of cancer cases has increased gradually with time. 2009]. respectively. Total cancer patients were low in Bhopal (1255) with 701 and 554 males and females. respectively. with a total number of 4824 cancer patients. 2000) but later on it was diagnosed in various patients. But. Bangalore occupied the third position with 2262 and 2998 male and female patients. 2001). respectively. Bombay. living style etc. A. with 454842.Cancer Scenario in India with Future Perspectives Based on the increasing trends of cancer patients during the last few decades. female and total cancer patients. Moreover. where they ranked at sixth and seventh positions of malignancies. which were 14. 2006. 57 . The different types of cancers observed in India are discussed in the following sub-sections briefly. respectively (total patients. 507990 and 962832 cases for male. Bhopal and Bangalore) during 2008. These sorts of cancers were rare in females except in Bombay and Bhopal. Mumbai showed the second highest number of cancer patients with 8505 total cases including 4170 and 4335 males and females. 1988-89). Efforts have also been made to find out the total number of cancer cases in five metro cities of India (New Delhi. the population density in these cities may also be a contributing factor towards increasing number of cancer patients. Chennai. Besides. 428545 and 819354 respectively. breast and prostate cancers (Khuri et al. Lung cancer It was observed that lung cancer was rare in the beginning of the last century (Parkin et al. The data collected by the National Cancer Registry Program of the Indian Council of Medical Research. the numbers of cancer patients have been predicted by the end of 2015 and 2020 in India. It is clear from this Figure that Delhi has the highest number of total cancer cases among the five metropolitan cities studied. nowadays. 5250). has also been made. These data have been plotted in Figure 2. Figure 1: Year wise total cancer prevalence in India [ICMR. bronchi and lungs. Total numbers of cancer patients reported in Delhi was 13920 having 6815 and 7105 males and females. and Bhopal were cancers of trachea.

respectively. A survey carried out by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in the metropolitan cities viz.000 new patients are being detected every year (Yip et al.1% per 100 000 population of males and females. According to the reports.4/105). which were expected to confirm the presence of benign gall bladder diseases (Misra et al. A 12% increase has been registered by cancer registries from 1985 to 2001.4/105) and Barshi (1. 2003). E. Michael et al. has shown that the incidences of breast cancer have doubled. Approximately. 2003). 2008]. WHO.4/105) as compared to other parts of India. it has been observed that the number of cervical cancer cases in women has decreased in India. Bhopal (3. from 1982 to 2005. the incidences of breast cancer in India have steadily increased and as many as 100. Bangalore and Chennai. Mumbai. Delhi. followed by Bangalore (9. 2006.2/105). AAR of stomach cancer has been found to be high in both males (39. which frequently gets cancer and stands at fifth position (Parkin et al. 1997). However. 2006).5 and 10. 2006. 2004). the prevalence of stomach cancer was found to be quite high in Mizoram. Breast cancer has been described as an alarmingly health problem in India (Yeole et al. Reports from the National Cancer Registry Programme suggested that stomach remained the leading site of cancer in males in Chennai from 1990 to 1996 with Age Adjusted Rate [(AAR) =13. An incidence rate of 4. Over the years.5/105). has been reported by the Indian Council of Medical Research Cancer Registry in some northern parts of India (ICMR. During last few decades.Cancer Therapy Vol 8. In Mizoram. The highest incidence of GBCs in India has been reported along the Ganges delta (Kaushik et al. Stomach cancer Stomach is one of the most essential organs of human body. Breast cancer Breast cancer is the most common malignancy type diagnosed in women in developed countries and the second most common type diagnosed in developing countries.1/105) and females (14. Gallstones associated with gallbladder carcinoma have been reported in 70-90% of patients with GBC. 2000-01). 2004). 58 . 0. Delhi (3. D. South East Asian countries including India were reported to have lower rates of stomach cancers (Rao et al. page 58 Figure 2: Cancer prevalence in five metropolitan cities of India [Marimuthu. 1997). Cervical cancer The most susceptible site of cancer in women in the developing countries is cervix (Parkin et al. 1999). 1992).9/105). 1998. breast cancers have badly attacked women population in India. Moreover. Hadjiiski et al. B.4% of all patients with gallstones have GBC (David et al. On the basis of the prevalence of stomach cancer Mizoram occupied the first position among Indian states. Gall bladder cancer is the most common abdominal malignancy in northern parts of the country (Singh et al. 1996).6/105]. which represented 57% rise of cancer burden in India (Yip et al. 1997). Gall bladder cancer Gall Bladder Cancer (GBC) was first diagnosed during laparotomy or laparoscopy procedures. North East India. Almost 2% gall stone patients were diagnosed with GBC. this state comprised fifth position globally (Figure 3) (Phukan et al. C. Mumbai (6.

According to the reports 41% cases per 100. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) reported that oral cancer is very common in India (ICMR.0% in 1991 and 2005. Delhi. West Bengal while it stands at third position in females of Punjab. 1992).000 women population were reported in Delhi. respectively.0 and 10. The five year survival of the disease varied from 20-90% depending on the sub-site of origin and the clinical extent of the disease (Mehrotra et al. Gall bladder cancer is not frequent in India but it has been diagnosed in certain parts of Punjab.4% cervical cancer cases per 100. A perusal of this Figure clearly shows that lung cancer is the most common cancer in various states.9 in 1998 and 2005. Maharashtra. prostate and brain have been reported only at some places in Rajasthan. West Bengal. Similarly. Accordingly. It is the second most common cancer in Andhra Pradesh and Nagaland and the third most common type of malignancy in Jammu & Kashmir. Jharkhand.000 populations in 1982 followed by 12. Rajasthan. esophageal cancer is the second most common cancer among males and the fourth most common cancer among females (Gajalakshmi. and the second most common form of malignancy in females of Punjab. associated with diets and lifestyles. 2004). which further increased the incidence of the oral cancer (Gupta et al. In 1982. 1998).000 populations were reported in Chennai in 1982. India is known to have the world’s largest reported incidences of HNN in women (Sankaranarayan et al. Head and Neck Neoplasia (HNN) are major forms of cancers in India. In Tripura. some other sorts of cancers have been observed in India. which decreased to 33. This Figure also shows that some other types of cancers viz. The most effected states of India due to this cancer are Jammu & Kashmir.7% in 2005. The prostate and brain cancers were also found in males of Rajasthan. G. Tongue cancer is the most common type of cancer in Madhya Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 2001. in 1988. Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) Kerala reported about 14% oral cancer patients out of which 17. Uttarakhand. respectively (ICMR. Allahabad. According to a data from cancer registries in India. especially in Bhopal while it stands at second position in Goa. Varanasi and Moradabad belt of Uttar Pradesh (Wahi et al. 2000). 32. Himachal Pradesh. laryngeal and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are rare in India but some cases have been diagnosed in Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. It is also clear from this Figure that cervical cancer is the second most common form of malignancy in female population of Himachal Pradesh. Mumbai recorded 17. Maharashtra and Gujarat. 18. and 17. which decreased to 19. It is the fifth common cancer after cervix. 1997). stomach and lung cancer in females (Park. Miscellaneous cancers Besides these. Goa.1 and 18. Indian states and cancers The state wise distribution of different cancer patients in India is shown in Figure 3. stomach and liver in males.2. breast cancer represents the third most common form of cancer in women folks. There has been a substantial increase in the incidences of oral sub-mucous fibrosis. Haryana. Mizoram and Goa sates.000 populations were reported every year in Bangalore. oral cancer is the fourth common type of malignancy after lung.5 million globally.0% in 1991. Nagaland and Goa. skin.2. Tamil Nadu. Rajasthan.4 and 22. and 2005 years. Colorectal cancer is a disease that usually affects individuals of age 50 years or more (Anthony. Cancers of ovary. Of course. Tamil Nadu. 25. Assam and Karnataka. which account for nearly 23 and 6% in males and females. 1998). breast. 2001). Andhra Pradesh. Kerala. Oesophageal cancer is a common type of malignancy after lung cancer in Jammu & Kashmir.Cancer Scenario in India with Future Perspectives One case study of Bangalore city supported this observation. There is a sharp increase in the incidence rate of colorectal cancer after the age of 45 years and 90% of cases are found in persons over the age of 50 years (Lawrence et al. The incidence of esophageal cancer in India is moderately high. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the women of Himachal Pradesh. respectively. which decreased to 27. respectively. 1998).5% cases were in males and females. Oropharyngeal cancer is prevalent in Haryana and Meghalaya. Arunachal Pradesh. respectively (Padmakumary. Rajasthan. Nearly 0. 1965). 1992). This Figure also dictates that stomach cancer is the third commonly reported cancer in Sikkim. A significant number of oral cancer patients have been reported in Agra. Oral cancer stands at second and third positions in Goa and Assam states. During these 24 years (1982-2005) Chennai recorded a fall of about 50% in cervical cancer cases. 2005).2 million head and neck cancer cases are diagnosed in the country annually and approximately 4. F.9 new cases of cervical cancer per 100. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Delhi. Tripura and Manipur.9% new cervical cancer cases per 100. III. especially among youngsters. 59 . Oral cancer In 2003. Head and neck cancer patients have been observed in Tripura. Presently. Mainipuri.

1998). For example. (b) http//]. hormones. Das. cancer agencies and institutes and plotted in Figure 4. indicating a clear relationship of carcinogenesis with food habits and living styles. Some important causes of cancer in India are discussed in the following sub-sections briefly. Malothu. The causes for cancers can be both either internal factors like inherited mutations. The chemical. It is interesting to mention here that the rates of these cancer incidences increase substantially when Asians migrate to the Western countries. IV. and other infectious agents. page 60 Figure 3: Statewise depiction of the most incident cancers in India [Koul. 2005. respectively. 1993). Cancer causes in India The cancer causes in India are almost same as in other parts of the world. biological and other environmental identities are responsible for uncontrolled and unorganized proliferation of cells (carcinogens). 2009. and immune conditions or environmental factors such as tobacco. 2001. diet. Gaur. 2006. as compared to Western countries which may be attributed to comparatively simple life styles adopted by Asians.Cancer Therapy Vol 8. radiation. Prasad. Sumathi. Asians have 25 and 10 times lower incidences of prostate and breast cancers. 60 . ICMR. A significant variation of cancer has been reported due to life styles and food habits (Helbock et al. 2009. and safe sexual practices. 2008. 2010. 2010. Sharma. Somdatta. under special circumstances carcinogens interact with DNA of the normal cells resulting into a series of complex multistep processes responsible for uncontrolled cell proliferation or tumors (Carmaeia. Basically. 2005. The various cancer causes have been compiled by visiting various hospitals.

2001. 2007). 2008. The heavy consumption of red meat is the main cause of several cancers including gastrointestinal tract and colorectal (Binghamet al. 2007). As per the International correlation studies. breast (Tappel. 2007). Almost 20% of total mutagencity of fried beef is due to the presence of PhIP (2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenyl-imidazo [4. red meat consumption and colorectal cancer incidence and mortality have been observed.Cancer Scenario in India with Future Perspectives Figure 4: Etiological factors for the prevalence of different cancers in India [Koul et al. 2008. 2009. 2010. Chao et al. 2005. 5-b] pyridine). A low intake of fresh fruits and high cooking temperatures in Indian dishes may account for low levels of vitamin C. About 70% colorectal cancer cases are believed to be due to imbalanced diet. Willett. 2006). it is due to the production of heterocyclic amines(most potential carcinogens) during cooking of red meat. 2007) and prostate (Ho et al. Dietary habits Our survey dictates us that improper diet is one of the main causes of cancer prevalence in India. which is the most abundant mutagen by mass in cooked beef. Sharma et al. 2006) and oral cancers (Toporcov et al. bladder (Garcia-Closas et al. gastric (Hanlon. prostate (Rodriguez et al. Most probably. Pyrolysates are produced by charcoal cooking or smoke curing of meat. which exert a cancerous effect on our body cells (Lauber et al. Malothu et al. 2002. 2009. Gaur et al. Prasad et al. 2007). Hogg. 2005. Sumathi et al. resulting into the risk of breast (Durando et al. 2004). (b): http//]. ICMR. A. 2000). Somdatta et al. 2010. resulting into 61 . Food kept in plastic containers turns out to be carcinogenic because bios-phenol from the plastic containers gets dissolved and migrates into the food. 2006)cancers. overwhelming positive associations between dietary fat. The role of diet towards cancer varies greatly according to the type of cancers (Anand et al. 2006.

(Nafae et al. Similarly. Alcohol Alcohol consumption has been considered as one of the major causes of colorectal cancer as per a recent monograph of WHO (Baan et al. Himachal Pradesh. Furthermore. The severe carcinogenic nature of bidi has been proved by the studies of Jussawalla and Jain (Jussawalla et al. ovarian and pancreatic cancers (Wu et al. (Gupta et al. lung. Oral cancer being the common malignancy in Allahabad is attributed to the chewing of Dohra. hydrogen cyanide and benzopyrene) as produced by one puff per minute of unfiltered cigarette (Pakhale et al. which is responsible for 65 to 85% cancer incidences in men and women. Middle class people in India and some of the rural areas have a high intake of ghee. Bidi and cigarette smoking are thought to be etiological factors for the causation of cancers in Andhra Pradesh.5%. 1999). 2003). 2000). practiced by a large population of Indians (particularly Hindus). Tobacco The consumption of tobacco is the leading cause of cancers in India. B. Similarly. oral (Roa et al. which continuously acts as an irritant to the buccal mucosa (Mehrotra et al.K. mouth. tied with a string at one end) (Behera et al. It was observed that vegetarians have a lower risk of esophageal (Roa.000). The salted tea made by adding sodium bicarbonate has shown to possess a high methylation activity and may lead to the endogenous formation of nitrosamine (Malkan et al. 1973). bidi and hookah smoking are responsible of oropharyngeal cancers in male population of Haryana. 2009). al. Nut. and cervical cancers (Chandalia et al. larynx. the case control studies carried out in Asian Indian immigrants to U. snuffing etc. and pulses have been significantly associated with reductions in cancer (Jain et al. 2004) and cigarette in India (Notani et al. The Indian diet containing adequate quantities of vegetables. Bidi smoking at two puffs per minute produces about equal amounts of carcinogens (steam volatile phenols. 1997). 1999) and the frequency with which a bidi needs to be puffed per minute may be responsible for its relatively higher carcinogenic effects as compared to cigarettes (Bano et 62 C. In some north-eastern states of India such as Arunanchal Pradesh. 2007). pancreas. 1999.S. It has been observed that women in Bangalore are known to have the highest rates of cancers of esophagus in the world (around eight per 100. 2001) reported 80 and 33% lung cancers in men and women chain smokers. Nagaland and Sikkim. has been associated with lower risks of prostate cancer (Rajaram et al. Uttarakhand. and fibre rich grains provides protection against the increased risk of colon and breast cancers (World cancer research fund. respectively. 1998). Besides. 1997). One of the most important factors responsible for the oropharyngeal malignancy in Agra and Mainpuri belt of Uttar Pradesh is the chewing of beetle nut (Wahi et al. high incidences of oral cancers in Orissa and Madhya Pradesh are owing to the consumption of beetle leaves and tobacco in different forms. Mills et al. The relatively high incidences of oesophageal cancers in certain parts of Karnataka are because of heavy consumption of tobacco in various forms. esophageal. 1965). page 62 higher risks of stomach. esophagus.000) (Bobba et al. 2003). 1989). Gupta et al. Dohra and Zarda.Cancer Therapy Vol 8. Tripura and some parts of Sikkim. 1958). as reported by Nafae et al. 1994) and breast cancers (Jain et al. Manipur. Figure 4 depicts that improper life style and poor dietary habits. The daily consumption of the number of beetle leaves by an individual is about 15-25 in Allahabad and Varanasi districts. found high levels of homocysteine as a risk factor for the breast. which are the key factors for the prevalence of breast and cervical cancers in the female population of Goa. 1998.5 to 3. 2003). 1990). Figure 4 shows that cigarette smoking and Hookah are the main causes of lung cancer in Indian states. pharyngeal. Hookah (a special cigar used in India using raw tobacco) smoking causes lung cancer. 1997). Recently. 2000). high incidences of stomach cancer are attributed to the consumption of smoked meat and chewing of tobacco. chewing. Recently. Similarly. High incidences of throat and food pipe cancers in Andhra Pradesh and Assam were attributed to improper diets (Lammers et al. especially in Jammu and Kashmir. and U. Pan Masala. fruits.a rich source of proteins. chickpeas and lentils are the principal components of vegetarian diet. respectively. Contrarily. An increased risk of cancer has been observed with diets with high saturated fats. 1979) and (Pakhale et al. 87 and 85% males and females have been found to have lung cancer due to tobacco smoking in the form of bidi (a thin South Asian cigarette type structure filled with tobacco flake and wrapped in a tendu leaf. pharynx. 2002). Figure 4 also depicts that the exceptionally high incidences of oral cancer in some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are due to the consumption of Pan Masala. . as compared to controlled subjects where these numbers were 60 and 20%. an indigenous preparation of tobacco and slaked lime. A comparison of non-vegetarian and vegetarian diets and alcohol and tobacco uses in India was carried out through case control studies. betel quid chewing carries a relative risk of 1. 1974). Figure 4 shows the regular use of tobacco via smoking. 1985). The various cancers produced by the use of tobacco are of oral cavity. Approximately. High incidences of stomach cancer in Mizoram are the result of the excessive use of tuibur (water filterate of tobacco). Among various risk factors for the occurrence of esophageal cancer in India. which may create an increased cancer risk (Ghafoornissa. in some areas of the country. Smoking is the most notorious factor for the causation of lung cancer (Hammond et al. Beans.A. They observed that the unrefined form of tobacco used in bidis (WHO. Opium and Bhang (leave and flower powder of female cannabis plant) has been recognized as the major cause of mouth cancer in Rajasthan. Law. Vegetarianism. lungs and urinary bladder. the consumption of Beetal. men in Bhopal have the highest rate of tongue cancer in the world (nine per 100.

The predicted results were not materialized in most of the programmes except RCC programme in Trivandrum as the health service system could not support such activities due to deficiencies in health system management and non-availability of human resources (Cytologists /Pathologists) and absence of integration with multi-sectoral groups. Ewing’s sarcoma and germ cell tumors. The major sources of radiations are radioactive compounds. 1981). which destroy foliate leading to secondary hyper proliferation (Anand et al.1% (Doll et al.4% new colorectal cancer cases are attributed to the consumption of alcohol. The main series of cancers induced by exposure to the adequate doses of the carcinogenic radiations include thyroid. immunization against hepatitis B virus and safe sexual practices for avoiding cancer genesis (Dinshaw et al). larynx and esophagus as well as liver. avoiding obesities. however. supported the purchase of teletherapy machines. a little population got aware of cancer havoc. Indoor environmental pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and pesticides increase the risk of leukemia and lymphoma. 1990). Several state wise programmes like Kerala (Ten year action plan). radium and uranium are found to be associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer in rats. pancreas. Figure 4. Tamil Nadu (Kancheepuram Cancer Screening Programme) and opportunistic programmes in social regions have been implemented by some State Governments and Regional Cancer Centers (RCCs) for an early detection of different cancers in India. liver and kidney cancers. ultraviolet (UV) and pulsed electromagnetic fields. 2004. N-Nitroso compounds (mutagenic in nature) are formed from nitrates present in drinking water and increase the risk of lymphoma. Besides. we should create awareness among public about physical activities. a study revealed that an increased risk of colorectal cancer was limited to consumption of more than 30. Radioactive nuclei of radon.Cancer Scenario in India with Future Perspectives Annually. globally (Parkin et al. E. Radiation In the developed and developing countries. The mechanism of carcinogenesis due to alcohol consumption is not exactly known. both ionizing and non-ionizing (Belpomme et al. 1979. basal cell carcinoma. which is a radioactive element. An increased risk of cancer has been observed in people using chlorinated water for drinking purposes for a long time. poor diet or infections of viral origin are also responsible for various types of cancers (Mehrotra et al. High risk of breast cancer among girls at puberty is due to chest irradiation of X-rays (used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes). Doll et al. reducing alcohol uses. Moreover. healthy dietary practices. which is a non. The risk of lung cancers is increased by a number of outdoor pollutants such as poly aromatic hydrocarbons. Various types of cancers are believed to be due to ill . Miscellaneous pollutants It is estimated that about 90% cancer is owing to the environmental contaminants (Anand et al. 1981). 2003). which suggests a causative role of alcohol consumption in colorectal cancer (Toriola et al. leukemia. Preventive measures of cancer in India As per the proverb. The underground testing of nuclear weapons may be the major cause of digestive system.0 g/day intake of alcohol by a woman increases its relative risk of breast cancer by 7. The education should focus on harmful effects of tobacco and discourage its use. 2002). Maier et al. This approach offers a great public health concern and inexpensive long term method of cancer control. it is thought that ethanol being a co-carcinogen might play a crucial role in the carcinogenesis (Poschl et al. 2008). brain tumors. 2000). Figure 4 clearly shows that nuclear pollution is the main cause of lung cancer in Jharkhand. The free radicals are responsible for alcohol assisted carcinogenesis through their binding to DNA and proteins. Wilm’s tumors. Unfortunately. 2007). However. 2007). Long term exposure to PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) in air was found to increase the risk of deaths associated with lung cancer. “prevention is better than cure” the prevention strategies are crucial in cancer eradication. A 10. The major risk factor for various types of skin cancers viz. 2000). Relationship between alcohol consumption and high risk of oesophageal cancer was first known in 1910 (Tuyns. skin. lung and breast carcinomas. V. hypopharynx. as radiations have been reported in ground water of the nuclear weapon testing area. The same approach should be included in adult education programme. 1979). also shows that high level of air pollution is responsible for the prevalence of lung cancers in Delhi and some other parts of West Bengal including Calcutta. The metabolic products of ethanol are acetaldehyde and free radicals. Recently. mouth and breast cancers (Tuyns. leukemia. chronic alcohol consumption has been found to be a risk factor for the cancers of the upper respiratory and digestive tracts. effects of the polluted environment.0 g of alcohol per day (Longnecker et al. which might be spread to the population of the whole country (National Cancer Control Programme). Seitz et al. the radiations are also notorious carcinogens. 2000). 2004). about 9. lymphoma. The most common source of ionizing radiation exposure is Radon. 1994. The low socio-economic conditions related to poor hygiene. An increased risk of 10% was observed with consumption of more than two drinks per day.ionizing radiation (Anand et al. About 10% cancer occurrence is due to radiation effect. squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma is the exposure to ultraviolet light. and colorectal cancer and bladder cancers (Belpomme et al. including oral cavity. District Cancer Control Programme was also initiated but could not result into sustainable and productive activity (National Cancer Control Programme). National Cancer Control Programme (started in 19751976 in India) led to the development of Regional Cancer Centers (RCCs). a number of oncology wings in Medical Colleges. 63 D. reducing occupational and environmental exposures.

cloths. calculated the effect of cancer deaths on Indian economy. lodging while the indirect costs are loss of income during treatment. Nuclear reactors should be well constructed with good quality shields to provide more protection to the people at work. Seminars and public health camps should be conducted to create awareness of alcoholic harmful effects among Indians. tobacco use. It has been predicted that a ban on tobacco use can prevent up to 30% cancers in India (Central Statistical Organization. The economical loss was calculated by considering all the factors viz. fabric dressing. pathological tests. In 2007. The healthy and proper foods are important aspects to control different cancers. at least in the metropolitan cities of the country to avoid air pollution. The use of such items may cause different sorts of cancers. 2009). the strategies that reduce the exposure of people to these notorious radiations should be fully practiced to reduce the incidence of cancers. digestive. carbohydrates etc. fibers. Indians are at high risk of acquiring cancers due to high rates of smoking. Environmental pollution is a serious issue and has become a challenge for all of us as it is responsible for the genesis of various types of cancers. minerals. India is a developing country and gradually adopting modern life styles involving the use of various kinds of chemicals in terms of medicines. farmers are compelled to produce more cereals and vegetables to meet out public requirements. The effects of various foods on the prevention and eradication of different cancers are given in Table 1. premature death and affect on the income of other family members etc. education and communication (IEC) strategies for cancer prevention in this nation. Government needs to impose a ban on the public sale of alcohol. The government and other NGOs should come forward to initiate the above programs for controlling this havoc so that the present and coming generation of the country may lead healthy life. India should give the highest priority to tobacco control programme due to its acute carcinogenic nature (WHO. Air pollution is the most notable cause of lung cancer in the metropolitan cities of India. The consumption of whole grains. mobile phones and other luxurious items. Effect of cancer on Indian economy As per nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP). methyl halides. Briefly. About 25% population is consuming alcohol in India. both direct medical and non-medical costs. the economy of India stands on eleventh position in the world. Furthermore. Radiations are silent and serious carcinogens that cause a number of cancers and. respiratory. It is urgent to emphasize that Indians should be aware about their life styles particularly the use of synthetic products. This 64 . while it is fourth largest by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) (CIA-The World Factbook. they assessed the economic impact of mortality from chronic diseases on Gross domestic product (GDP) (Abegunde et al. The data on the effect of cancer on Indian economy is not available. The prevalence of cancer in India is affecting the economy of the country. which protects us from the harmful UV-rays. cause lung cancer. (2001) assessed the impact of cancer of diet related health conditions in terms of health spending and on income losses experienced by households (Popkin et al. vegetables and fruits antagonize the development of some cancers. 2002). respectively. which must be increased on urgent basis. The estimation of expenditures of cancer patients includes both direct medical and non-medical costs. Briefly. and unhygienic residential living conditions. and mode of sex. travel. page 64 As discussed above tobacco is the most notorious agent for cancers. which are being transported into our body via food and water causing various sorts of cancers. Alcohol consumption is responsible for the occurrence of colorectal cancer. cosmetics. ocular and skin carcinomas. India being one of the nuclear power nations needs to build safe equipped nuclear plants with greater protection from the hazardous nuclear radiations. these wastes should be treated prior to their discharge to land or river. Besides. limited diagnostic and treatment infrastructures in the country are the serious issues. abuse of drugs and excessive use of mobile phones. The use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). however. carbon tetrachloride and carbon tetra fluoride is the main cause of the depletion of ozone layer. Due to over growth of Indian population. 2003-04). The sewage discharged by several industries and municipalities is polluting Indian water resources due to insufficient water treatment plants. VI. proteins. Farmers should be encouraged to use eco-friendly organic manures and biocides to reduce cancer incidences. 2007). occupational risks. The use of such chemicals should be minimized in order to reduce the incidence of skin cancer caused by the harmful effects of UV-rays. which must be banned to eradicate the prevalence of tobacco related cancers. an increased fashion of fast food in this country is also responsible for this havoc. Indians should adopt a healthy food habit having sufficient quantities of vitamins. Automobiles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) should be encouraged. Popkin et al. there are no uniform standardized information programs. The harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) produced by combustion of fuels in automobiles and several industrial processes. An estimation of the effect of cancer on the Indian economy has been carried out and the data is given in Table 2. hence. Therefore. utensils. It is still being affected due to continuous increase of cancer patients. That is why during past few decades the incidences of cancers have increased. Besides. This pressure forces farmers to use excessive fertilizers and pesticides. Abegunde et al. which must be minimized or avoided to eradicate this havoc. 2001). medical practitioner consultancy. It is clear from Table 2 that there is a steady rise in the number of cancer cases in India. Nuclear tests should be carried out at safe places away from human populations to avoid exposure to these radiations. leading to various types of cancers. Indian economy has been affected by the alarming rise of cancers in the last decade. The direct costs include buying medicine.Cancer Therapy Vol 8. hospitalization.

which have become 962832 and 274.Cancer Scenario in India with Future Perspectives Table also shows that the total number of cancer patients in 2004 was 819354 with a total loss of 215. the total cancer patients in 2010 were 979786 with total economic loss of 270.06 million US $. 65 .16 million US $. Clearly a direct relationship between the number of cancer patients and the economic loss may be seen from this Table.10 million US $ by the end of 2009. respectively. Similarly. India would not have suffered from such a big economic loss. This amount of money would have been used somewhere else for the development of the country. The number of cancer patients and economic loss are continuously increasing. It is interesting to mention if these cancer incidences would have been avoided. by adopting the preventive measures cited above.

2 for males and females per 100000 populations. 4. Conclusion A careful reading of the above discussion in this article clearly indicates an increased number of cancer patients every year in India. High rates of lung and colon cancers were reported in USA in comparison to India.0 and 2. Spain. India is a growing country playing a crucial role in the development of the whole world. 64.2 and 0. 1993). medical practitioners observed a very high prevalence of stomach cancer (Hadjiiski et al. which were quiet higher than the incidences of the same type of cancer in males and females in USA (6.4 and 5. In US. Various factors responsible for cancer genesis have been discussed.000 were in the metastatic stage (stage IV) and another 70. We should create awareness among public about the cancer havoc and its prevention. WHO. Comparison of cancers in India with global scenario It is interesting to observe from the above discussion that cancer prevalence patterns have been observed to vary among different population groups within the same country (WHO. which is playing an essential role in the development of the whole world. The worldwide incidences of lung cancer are 14% whereas it constitutes 6. Briefly.6 and 5. Canada. Zarda etc. Lung cancer is the single most devastating cause of cancer related deaths (Khuri et al. A comparison of cancer cases in India with USA has been carried out for the year 2002 as shown in Figure 5. in Mizoram a North-Eastern part of India. Some countries like USA. 3.1 of oesophageal cancer (in a population of 100000 persons) of males and females were observed in India as compared to USA (4.7.8% of all cancers in India (Nandakumar.3 and 2. respectively.5. page 66 VII. However. respectively. which were lower than the incidence rates of the same cancers in USA i. cancer is disturbing the growing economy of the country. 1999. 1999). In United States the age specific incidence of colorectal cancer appears to rise gradually from second to ninth decade of an individual’s life. Similarly.2 and 0. The diet and living style are important factors to control the spreading of cancers and. kidney and skin cancers in USA as compared to India. and. 4. A slightly high incidence rate of stomach cancers was reported in USA (7. Japan. 2000-01). Let us hope for the best future of this country. 2001).5 persons per 100000 populations. VIII. 1999). The Figure clearly shows that the incidences of oral cancer in Indian males and females were 12.e. It was also observed that incidence rates of 7. which need to be controlled for their eradication. of which 70. This Figure also clearly shows that the incidences of lung cancer in USA being 58.2 and 6.2 and 1.0. Iceland. Indians should be careful about these facts. which is much greater than India (9. 2006). A high incidence of stomach cancer has been reported in countries like China.9/105 (Parkin et al. In view of these facts. hence. This Figure also depicts high incidence rates of liver.3 and 0.4. 2005). 4. 2001). bladder. New Zealand (Maori population) and Europe have high incidences of cancer (>50 per 105 population) followed by China.7 and 2.7.0 for males and females per 100000 populations).e. But it is very interesting to note that World Health Organization has reported that the current cancer incidence rates in India are considerably lower than those in developed countries including USA (Fenley et al. Republic of Korea. Ireland. Australia and New Zealand (non-Maori population) while moderate incidences (35-50 per 105 population) and low incidences (<35 per 105 population) countries include Latin America. hence. Gutka.6 and 34.3 and 3. The incidence rates of liver.0.6 and 30. Norway and Sweden (Zelenuich et al. 11. Malta.3 and 3. respectively. Similarly.0/105 was reported among males of Changle. The different programs should be started by Government and NGOs for creating awareness among Indian public. It is predicted that by the end 2020. needs special attention on this issue. Parkin et al. high incidences of oesophageal cancer in Indian populations were observed as compared to USA. Lung cancer is the most frequent tumor in males. bladder. and second or third most common in females.0. respectively. over 10 million people would die globally each year because of cancer with 70% deaths from the developing countries only (Murray et al.8 in males and female per 100000 populations).6 in males and females per 100000 populations) as compared to India (5.100 new cases in 2000. Nearly ten million new cancer cases are diagnosed annually in the world and out of these about half cases are from developing world only. Belarus and CostaRica whereas the highest age adjusted rate (AAR) of 145. in males and females per 100000 populations. A great variation is observed in the prevalence of lung cancer in different geographical areas.Cancer Therapy Vol 8. incidence rate of colon cancer (40.9 and 1. which can be saved by proper handling of this disease.427 and 13.8 and 7. 66 . High incidences of these two types of cancers can be attributed to the extensive use of tobacco by Indians in the form of Pan. genetic and familial etiologies accounted for less than 20% of colorectal cancers while the remaining 80% of cases are random with dietary factors significantly affecting the risk (Alabaster. it is very important to eradicate this havoc.2 respectively. 0.000 were locally advanced stages (IIIA and IIIB) (Khuri et al. South East Asian countries including India were reported to have lower incidence rates of stomach cancer (Parkin et al. The incidence of rectal cancer in men is proportionately higher as compared to women (Parkin et al. 1. respectively. In US alone. 23. 2002). kidney cancers and melanoma of the skin in males and females in India were 2. there were about 1.092 in men and women. Contrarily. 2001). Masala. respectively (Mohandas et al.2 and 1.7 and 3. China and among females of Japan with age adjusted rate (AAR) of 38. 1999.7 for males and females per 100000 populations) in USA was greater than in India i.7 per 100000 populations in males and females. the numbers of colorectal cancer patients in India by the end of the last century were 18. most Asian countries with India.7 persons per 100000 populations). 1996). 2001).4) for males and females. 1972).

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