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    The Increasing Prevalence of Cancer in India: 5 Types to Watch Out For

    By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 09, 2023

    Cancers can arise from inherited mutations, environmental factors, or errors in DNA replication. Unfortunately, certain types of cancer have now become the leading causes of catastrophic health expenses, resulting in a surge in financial burden before death in India.

    According to a recent report by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the number of cancer patients in India is projected to increase by 12 percent over the next five years, with a staggering 1.5 million people expected to suffer from this non-communicable disease by 2025.

    Alarming Rise in Cancer Cases

    Among men, the most common cancers in India include lung, mouth, stomach, and esophageal cancers. For women, it is breast, cervix, and uterine cancers. We have reached an alarming stage with the growing incidence of cancer cases in the country.

    The 5 Types of Cancer on the Rise in India

    1. Oral Cancer

    India accounts for one-third of all oral cancer cases worldwide, making up 30 percent of all cancer cases in the country. Oral cancer encompasses cancers of the throat, mouth, tongue, and surrounding areas. Heavy consumption of tobacco and alcohol, HPV infection, age, and excessive sun exposure are common causes.

    2. Stomach and Gastric Cancer

    Stomach cancer is the seventh most common cancer among females and the fifth most common cancer among males in India. Although diagnosing stomach cancer is challenging, early detection and awareness can significantly improve the chances of fighting this disease.

    3. Breast Cancer

    Breast cancer is widely prevalent among urban Indian women and the second most common cancer among rural women. Lack of knowledge and awareness about this disease, combined with the absence of a comprehensive breast cancer screening program, contribute to the diagnosis of most cases at an advanced stage.

    Breast cancer cases are on the rise in India. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

    4. Colorectal or Colon Cancer

    Colorectal cancer primarily affects older adults but can occur at any age. It often starts as non-cancerous clumps of cells called polyps, which form on the inside lining of the colon. Over time, these polyps can develop into colon cancer.

    5. Cervical Cancer

    Cervical cancer usually does not exhibit signs or symptoms in its early stages. It originates in the cells of the cervix, the lowermost part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. The majority of cervical cancer cases result from the sexually transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV). With over 100 different strains of HPV, certain types like HPV-16 and HPV-18 can lead to cervical cancer.

    An HPV vaccine can help prevent cervical cancer. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

    Reducing the Risk of Cancer

    To reduce the risk of developing cancer, consider these steps:

    1. Early Diagnosis: Cancers detected in their initial stages, before they have spread or grown significantly, have a higher chance of successful treatment.
    2. Self-Examination and Awareness: Stay vigilant and familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of cancer.
    3. Prompt Medical Consultation: If you notice anything unusual in your body, do not hesitate to consult your doctor immediately.

    In many cases, symptoms might not indicate cancer. However, if cancer is detected, early intervention can make a significant difference. Even in advanced stages, various treatment options and therapies, enabled by the latest technology and advancements in medical science, offer hope for recovery and a better quality of life for cancer patients.

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