Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Tobacco-related cancer on the rise in Delhi

40.9% of cancer in males and 11.4% of cancers in females in the capital tobacco-related.

New Delhi: Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among women in Delhi, followed by cancers of the cervix, ovary and gallbladder, cancer registry data show. Among young women aged 15-24, ovary cancer is most prevalent. Among men, lung cancer is most common, followed by tongue, prostate and mouth cancers.

High incidence of tobacco-related cancers continue to show a worrying trend, according to the latest data from the cancer registry of Delhi for the year 2010, published on the eve of World Cancer Day on 4 February.

The data was collected from 167 government hospitals, 250 private hospitals and nursing homes and Delhi’s municipal corporations.

A total of 17,176 new cases of cancer were registered in 2010. Out of them, 8,994 were males and 8182 were females. This is population-based cancer registry, in which people who had cancer and were staying in Delhi for a year or more were included. Patients from other states were excluded.

“We started collecting data for 2010 in 2013. It took two-and-a-half years to analyse it and do away with duplication of cases because many patients visit more than one hospital for treatment," said P.K. Julka, cancer specialist at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which is the nodal agency for Delhi Cancer Registry.

Breast cancer constitutes 30% of all cancers among women. Cervical cancer accounts for 14.3% cases, while ovary and gallbladder cancers are responsible for around 8% of cases each.

Among women aged 15-24, ovarian cancer is most prominent accounting for nearly 3% of all cancers in that age group.

Lung cancer constitutes one-tenth of all cancer cases among males. Cancers of tongue, prostate, mouth and larynx each constitute nearly 6% of all cancers.

Children below 15 years were found to have maximum number of lymphoid leukaemia.

Tobacco-related cancers constituted for 40.9% of all cancers in males and 11.4% of all cancers in females. Cancers of lip, tongue, mouth, oesophagus, larynx, lung and urinary bladder are considered related to tobacco use.

Seeing such high incidence of tobacco-related cancers, the World Health Organisation named Noida-based Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO) a knowledge hub in India for “Smokeless Tobacco Use" earlier this year.

ICPO, an institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research, will work out modalities for prevention, screening and treatment of cancer caused by smokeless tobacco like gutkha and chewing tobacco.

The findings are similar to those for years 2008 and 2009, data for which was released in 2013. The data largely follows the trend seen the world over.

Julka said the cancer registry helps in allocation of funds in the right direction.

“When the Delhi branch of cancer registry started in 1988, cervical cancer was most prominent among women. Latest trends show that breast cancer has overtaken that. Thus, governments and hospitals in the capital have to shift focus," said Julka.

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