Cancer is swiftly becoming a global epidemic, with millions of new cases reported each year across the globe. The severity of this disease can be gauged by the fact that not only does it claim lives, but it also exhausts a lifetime’s worth of savings on prolonged treatments.
The Global Burden of Cancer: Insights from WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released its latest estimate on the global burden of cancer. According to this report, insufficient funding for cancer patients is prevalent in most countries.
In 2022 alone, there were two million new cases of cancer worldwide, resulting in the deaths of 9.7 million people solely due to cancer-related complications.
The Cancer Scenario in India
According to the World Health Organization, India witnesses a staggering 1.4 million new cases of cancer each year. Interestingly, the number of female cancer patients surpasses that of males. In 2022, while 691,178 men were diagnosed with cancer, 722,138 women fell victim to the disease.
Breast cancer remains the most prevalent form of cancer among Indian women, with 192,020 new cases reported, comprising the highest proportion.
Other Common Cancer Types in India
Following breast cancer, oral cavity and lip cancer cases are prominent in India, with 143,759 new cases, accounting for 10.2% of total cancer diagnoses. Additionally, cervical and uterine cancer cases stand at 127,526, constituting 9% of the total cancer burden.
Lung cancer (81,748 cases) and gastric cancer (70,637 cases) also contribute significantly to India’s cancer statistics, with 5.8% and 5.5% shares, respectively.
The Alarming Rise of Cancer Cases
Globally, the incidence of cancer is skyrocketing, with approximately one in every five individuals developing cancer. Moreover, one in every nine men and one in every twelve women succumb to this ailment.
The Projected Surge in Cancer Cases by 2050
WHO projects a staggering 77% increase in global cancer cases by 2050, with annual cases expected to reach 35 million. Factors such as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, and obesity are identified as primary contributors to this surge. Additionally, air pollution is emerging as a significant risk factor.
Tobacco: A Leading Cause of Cancer
A report by the Indian Council of Medical Research revealed that tobacco usage contributed to 3.7 million cancer cases in India in 2020, constituting 27.1% of all cancer cases. Thus, tobacco stands as the leading cause of cancer in the country.
Cancer Prevention Strategies
Experts emphasize the importance of quitting tobacco to prevent cancer. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, smoking, chewing tobacco, and exposure to secondhand smoke pose the greatest risk. Therefore, immediate cessation of tobacco consumption is crucial to combatting the rising cancer rates.
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