Cancer, the biggest public health challenge in India
By Amit Dwivedi
May 1, 2010
Author is a health and development journalist. He can be contacted at:: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancers in all forms are causing about 12 per cent of deaths throughout the
world. In the developed countries, cancer is the second leading cause of
death accounting for 21% (2.5 million) of all mortality. In the developing
countries, cancer ranks third as a cause of death and accounts for 9.5% (3.8
million) of all deaths.
In India, Cancer has become one of the ten leading causes of death. It is
estimated that there are nearly 1.5-2 million cancer cases at any given
point of time. Over 7 lakh new cases of cancer and 3 lakh deaths occur
annually due to cancer. Nearly 15 lakh patients require facilities for
diagnosis, treatment and follow up at a given time. Data from
population-based registries under National Cancer Registry Programme
indicate that the leading sites of cancer are oral cavity, lungs,
esophageal, cervical and colic amongst men and cervix, and breast amongst
women. Cancers namely those of oral and lungs in males, and cervix and
breast in females account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India.
WHO has estimated that 91 per cent of oral cancers in South-East Asia are
directly attributable to the use of tobacco and this is the major cause of
oral cavity and lung cancer in India.
There are TWO major lacunae in India, in the controlling of cancer; first -
lack of knowledge, awareness about compatible healthy lifestyle, evils,
societal practices and second- shortage for Cancer management that caused 70
per cent of its occurrence. Many types of cancers are preventable, life
longevity can be provided with quality (if inflicted), if, we do on both
The Environment conservation & Stress Management plays vital role in
maintaining public health status in acceptable range. Exact cause of cancer
is not yet known. However, there are certain risk factors, which may cause
Cancer. Out of so many factors, the chemicals are one of the responsible
factors. These chemicals are being consumed in form Tobacco chewing Tobacco
smoking, Pesticide, Insecticide, Synthetic manuring, Alcohol,
Electromagnetic radiation, Food, Air, Water, Reproductive hormones &
Emission / Industrial waste from factories. These chemical are responsible
for shooting up oxidative stress level beyond the capacity of natural
management mechanism of human physiological system causes Gene Mutation at
DNA level –lead to cancer. These chemicals are known as carcinogens. Cancer
being a painless disease in beginning, is often diagnosed at very late stage
or accidentally, but this is too late for saving the life, only we can try
to reduce agony of CA patient & dependent.
All too often, when the doctor utters the word "Cancer" or AIDS, what the
patient hears is "you are dying". This is a 1st natural psyche reaction of
an Individual irrespective of class / cast/ religion.
This a fact that everybody contributes in polluting the environment in his
own way rather increasing the stress level leading to incidence of Cancer.
So, this is everybody’s responsibility to repay to cancer patients & his
dependents in the form, he chooses.
Posted on: May 01, 2010 09:10 AM IST