Cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in 30-69 years old Indians says a recent study. Heart, lung, infection and TB are the four major causes of deaths in India. It is a matter of concern that in the coming decades, State of Uttarakhand along with Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, MP, Rajasthan and Odisha will have rising incidents of cancer deaths.
Ensuring clean drinking water and diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits can help control this cancer incidence, suggest the experts from Tata Memorial Centre (TMC). In a study published by Journal of Global Oncology based on study of TMC scientists and researcher of Kings College London, it has been revealed that seven states are estimated to get maximum impact of this deadly disease in coming decade. From 1990 to 2016, the deaths occurring from cancer have doubled in India as a whole, says the study.
The geography of cancer reveals that Gangetic plains of UP, Bihar and West Bengal have gallbladder, head and neck cancer cases because of polluted water sediments in the river and diet rich in animal protein or fish. Same trend is also visible in some mountainous areas of Uttarakhand. In Madhya Pradesh oral cancers are highest because of much use of tobacco and pan masala.
While the northeast region of India has the highest cancer rate of oesophagus because of use of tobacco and household burning of firewood, in West Bengal lung and urinary bladder cancer cases are common because of air and water pollution.
In Southern and coastal India, people’s diet rich in spices and salt leads to stomach cancer while areas where red meat and alcohol and tobacco is consumed more often leads to colon cancer. In Punjab and Malwa belt, kidney, urinary bladder and breast cancer cases are recurrent because of use of pesticides leading to agri pollution and toxins carried through food chain. Making a detailed analysis of cancer cases in India during a workshop organized by Department of Atomic Energy, Dr Venkatesh Rangarajan of TMC Mumbai said, “The graph study by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shows that estimated incidence and prevalence of cancer cases is least in Himachal Pradesh (6.4) followed by Uttarakhand (9.7) and then Delhi (15.5).” Based on the study it is suggested that ensuring clean drinking water and diet full of vegetables and fruits may help keep cancer at bay and reduce the cancer risk, added Rangarajan.
The estimated percentage of cancer deaths attributable to established risk factors show that out of hundred cancer deaths, 30 per cent people die from obesity and 30 per cent from tobacco. The sedentary lifestyle contributes to five per cent while socio economic status, reproductive factors and alcohol contribute to three per cent each. Cancer due to viruses and occupational factors and family history each comprise five per cent each. While the survival rate for early stages of cancer is more than 80 per cent it remains just 20 per cent in the later stage in case of oral and cervical cancer.