February 4, 2012: Delhi men and women most prone to lung and breast cancer
NEW DELHI: Cancer of the lung is the commonest cancer among men in Delhi, while that of the breast is way ahead of all other forms of cancer among women in the national Capital. Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) latest data on the 10 leading sites of cancer in Delhi shows that prevalence of breast cancer among women in Delhi stands at almost 27%, followed by cervix, whose recurrence is almost half of breast cancer cases at 14.6%. Among men, lung cancer is the most common at 10%, while 7% of all cancers are of the prostate. According to the ICMR data, cancer of the tongue was the third commonest cancer (6.8%) among men, followed by larynx (5.9%). In women, cancer of the ovary (7.6%) has the highest prevalence after breast and cervix, followed by gall bladder (6.9%). As far as "sites of cancer associated with the use of tobacco" is concerned, the prevalence is high among men in Delhi.

Two in every five cases of cancer among men in Delhi is due to tobacco (39.4%), while it is one in every 10 women (11%). Dr Harit Chaturvedi, director of surgical oncology at Max Hospital, said, "Cancer of the prostate is on the rise among men and that of breast is increasing among women. In northern India cancer of the gall bladder is very common. This could be due to chemicals and fertilizers in the water."

Dr Amit Aggarwal from Fortis Hospital, Noida, added, "We are seeing a major trend of mouth cancer among youngsters due to smoking and chewing of gutka. Oral cancers in Delhi are becoming common."

"It is depressing to see increasing number of young cancer victims. We hope the states implement the Food Safety and Standards Authority law in the larger interest of this generation falling prey to the tobacco menace," said Bhavna Mukhopadhyay, executive director of Voluntary Health Association of India.

FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on sales) Regulation, 2011, mandating prohibition and restriction on sale of food products having tobacco and nicotine as their ingredients.

ICMR has also come out with the "possibility of one in number of persons developing cancer of any site" score. The calculation is age specific - 0-64 years and 0-74 years.

For Delhi, it says that one in 13 men and one in 11 women run the risk of developing cancer by the time they attain 64 years. The probability becomes more acute: one in seven men and one in eight women before they turn 74 years.

In other metros like Mumbai and Kolkata, one in 19 men and one in 14 women run a similar risk of developing cancer before their 64th birthday.

However, while one in 10 men and one in nine women in Mumbai face the possibility of suffering from cancer by the time they are 74 years, and the risk is faced by one in 10 men and women in Kolkata. In Chennai, one in 14 men and one in 12 women are prone to develop cancer before turning 64, while the probability is one in eight men and women before turning 74.

The report looked at incidents of cancer and probability rates for three years (2006-08). Dr A Nandakumar, in charge of the report, says that since the establishment of the national cancer registry programme in 1982, this is the maiden report of 20 population-based cancer registries covering 7% of the population.

India has the highest prevalence of oral cancer globally, with 80,000 new cases every year. National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) says India alone accounts for 86% of the total oral cancer figure across the world.
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