12% rise in cancer in India by 2025: ICMR-NCDIR

  • Cancer cases- Aizawl district highest in India

BANGALORE, Aug 19: The National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020, released by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research (NCDIR) here, estimated that 13.9 lakh cancer cases in India  in 2020 is likely to increase to 15.7 lakhs by 2025, based on current trends.

These estimates are based on information related to cancer collected from 28 Population Based Cancer Registries (PBCRs) and 58 Hospital Based Cancer Registries (HBCRs).

In 2020, tobacco related cancers are estimated to contribute 3.7 lakh (27.1%) of total cancer burden. Among women, breast cancers are estimated to contribute 2.0 lakh (14.8%) and cervix cancers are estimated to contribute 0.75 lakh (5.4%), whereas for both men and women, cancers of the gastrointestinal tract is estimated to contribute 2.7 lakh (19.7%) of the total cancer burden. The cancer incidence rate for male population ranges from 269.4 in Aizawl district (highest in India) to 39.5 in Osmanabad & Beed district per 1,00,000 population. Similarly, the cancer incidence rate for women population ranges from 219.8 (Papumpare district) to 49.4 (Osmanabad & Beed district) per 100,000 population.

Cancers related to use of any form of tobacco were highest in NE India and in higher proportions in men. Cancer of lung, mouth, stomach and oesophagus were the most common cancers among men. Cancer of breast and cervix uteri was the most common cancers among women. A significant increase in the incidence rates of breast cancers in women, and lung and head & neck cancers in both men and women was observed in most of the registries; however, a declining trend was seen in most of the registries for cancer of the cervix.

Cancers of lung were diagnosed at a stage of spread to distant sites, while cancers of head & neck, stomach, breast and cervix were in higher proportions with loco-regional spread. Multimodality treatment (a varied combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy) was administered for cancers of breast and head & neck, while cancer cervix was treated mainly with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. For cancers of the lung and the stomach, systemic therapy was the mode of treatment. The entire report can be accessed at https://ncdirindia.org/All_Reports/Report_2020/default.aspx

ICMR set up the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) in 1982. The programme is overseen by the ICMR’s NCDIR. A network of population and hospital-based cancer registries (PBCR, HBCR) systematically collect data related to cancer incidence, mortality and clinical aspects to estimate burden, trends, survival and management. These results then facilitate efforts to strengthen cancer prevention and control throughout the country.

It may be mentioned here that ICMR-NCDIR is one of the institutes under the apex medical research body – ICMR. It aims to provide baseline information and support the designing, monitoring and evaluating disease control programmes and activities. The NCDIR focuses on specific non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke. NCDIR also designs, undertakes and implements multi-registry/centric collaborative aetiologic research studies in keeping with recent advances in epidemiological research and facilitates programmes on patterns of patient care and survival in cancer. NCDIR works for technology, product development, distribution and maintenance of IT solutions of each of its programmes.

However, New Delhi-based ICMR, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world. Its research agenda align with the national health priorities. During COVID-19 pandemic, ICMR has been instrumental in guiding public and private laboratories for testing, ensuring India’s response to pandemic is scientifically informed, and finding potential solutions for prevention and treatment of the disease.

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