Home / Politics / Policy /  Use of tobacco accounts for about 30% of all cancers in India: ICMR

Mumbai: Cancer of the mouth has emerged as the most common among men, followed by lung cancer; among women, breast cancer and cervical cancer continue to be the most common, according to a report released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Wednesday.

Use of tobacco account for about 30% of all cancers in men and women, the report said.

Data from the north-east is a particular cause for worry, as the highest incidence of cancer among men was reported from Aizawl in Mizoram, and among women from Papumpare in Arunachal Pradesh.

ICMR released the consolidated data for 2012-14 from various population-based and hospital-based cancer registries. The council collected data from 34 sites across India.

Cancer of the mouth is most prevalent among males in western and central India (Barshi, Ahmadabad, Nagpur, Pune, Wardha and Bhopal). In Mumbai and Aurangabad, the second highest number of cases reported are of mouth cancer.

Lung cancer has been reported mostly in 10 other sites and is the second or third most reported type in another nine sites.

“Consumption of tobacco is the main reason for mouth cancer. It is the leading cause among men shows that tobacco is harming our society. It takes away many years from productive life. We need strong measures against it," said G.K. Rath, chief of cancer department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who was involved in collating and analysing the data.

A significant increase was found in the rates of cancers of colon, rectum and prostate in Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi. “These are the diseases of urban lifestyle. We are consuming more junk food and eating lesser vegetables which causes such cancers," said Rath.

The highest age adjusted incidence rate (271/100,000) of cancer of all types among males is seen in Aizawl district in Mizoram.

Among women, breast cancer is the most reported type in 19 sites and second or third in eight.

Cancer of the cervix, which is the most prevalent form in Mizoram, Tripura and Nagaland, is found to be more common in rural areas such as Barshi in Maharashtra.

The highest age-adjusted incidence rate (249.0) among females is in Papumpare district Arunachal Pradesh.

There is a significant increase in cancers of the breast, uterus, ovary and lung among women.

The ICMR also released projections for future rates of various cancers. The estimated total burden of cancer for India for the year 2016 is 1.45 million new patients, out of which 736,000 are estimated to die. If the trends continue, the country will see 1.73 million new cases in 2020, resulting in 880,000 deaths.

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