Bengaluru: The cancer projections for 2021-2025 show a worrisome figure and are looking at an increase to 29.8 million in 2025 from 26.7 million in 2021, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) report, with men contributing to 14.7 million Years of Life Lost (YLLs) and women up to 13.6 million YLLs in India, said Dr Sharat Damodar, Chairman Oncology Collegium, Narayana Health on World Cancer Day.
World Cancer Day is observed annually on February 4 to raise awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.
“People above the age of 40 need to be vigilant towards symptoms of prolonged fever, weight loss, abnormal swellings or any bleeding symptoms and get themselves screened immediately,” said Sharat Damodar, who is also a senior consultant and head of Adult Hematology and BMT.
“One should adopt healthy lifestyle, avoid smoking, alcohol, high fatty foods, packaged food, adulterated food, polluted surrounding with unhealthy gases or radiations, etc. Exercising regularly, having natural, non-processed diet made through fresh non-contaminated vegetables and fruits and trying to lead a stress-free life can be key towards a cancer-free tomorrow,” he said.
Most common cancers seen in men include oral, lung, stomach, colon, oesophagus and in woman include breast, cervix, ovary, oral cavity and colorectal, according to some of the past data. The commonest cancer in children is leukaemia which comprises about 30 per cent of cancers and around 80 per cent of these are acute lymphatic leukaemia, with high cure rates, Damodar said.
Though North and North-East India shows the highest vulnerabilities, the ICMR-NCDIR Report, 2021 of cancer and related factors for the Karnataka state showed cumulative risk of developing cancer of any site in 0-74 years of age group was 1 in 7 for males and 1 in 6 for females, he said.
“At Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, Narayana Health City, we are treating 1100 to 1200 new patients a year out of which 500 to 600 are males, 500 females and around 100 children. In last 4-5 years, we are seeing that of all cancers 15 to 20 per cent are breast cancer, 15 per cent to 20 per cent head and neck cancers and around 10-15 per cent of gynaecology-related cancer cases,” Damodar said.
Considering the burden of the disease not seeing any reduction in numbers, we need to pledge towards self-awareness around the disease. The pandemic registered less detection of cases hence lesser number of diagnosed cases, he said.