India to see 21 pct increase in cancer cases, women more vulnerable than men: Report

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 19 2014, 17:03pm hrs
Cancer casesOver the next six years, India will see a 21 per cent increase on average in the incidence of cancer. Reuters
Over the next six years, India will see a 21 per cent increase on average in the incidence of cancer. Women are already more vulnerable than men; the increase in incidence will also be higher in women.

The National Health Profile 2013, released on Thursday, projects a 19 per cent increase in cancer among men, and a 23 per cent increase among women by 2020. Among men, the incidence of mouth cancers will increase the most; among women, the sharpest spike will be in the incidence of cancers of the gall bladder.

The total number of all cancers in men will rise to 6,22,203 for the year 2020, from 5,22,164 for 2013. Despite the countrywide ban on gutkha, the incidence of mouth cancers will rise by a massive 51 per cent. Cancers of the brain, hypopharynx and oesophagus will dip very marginally. All other cancers will be up, including a 48 per cent increase in the incidence of prostate cancers, 31% for liver cancers and 22% for lung cancers.

The NHP projects the number of cases of cancers in women to be 6,98,725 in 2020, up from 5,64,619 for 2013. Gall bladder cancers will increase 45 per cent, and ovarian cancers 28 per cent. All cancers are projected to rise in women, including cervical and breast cancers, which will continue to be the two most common types.

Data from 25 population-based registries across the country was analysed and extrapolated to reach the projections. Indias existing programme against non-communicable diseases, the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke, has an element of screening for cancer, but has been a virtual non-starter because of the lack of trained personnel, Health Ministry officials said.

The incidence of coronary artery disease in 2015 will rise to 6,15,22,343, up 30 per cent over 2010, the report says. The 2015 projection for diabetes is 4,58,09,149, up 21 per cent since 2010.

The NHP has been prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI) annually since 2005, and covers demographic, socio-economic, health status and health finance indicators. It also contains comprehensive information on health infrastructure and human resources in health.

The latest report was released by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday. At the release, Vardhan talked about the importance of reliable data in health policy and planning.

The report reveals an abysmal shortage of health infrastructure in the country: only 6.28 lakh hospital beds and 9.18 lakh allopathic doctors for over 1.25 billion people.

There are also dramatic disparities in health indicators among states: infant mortality rate in Manipur is 10 per 1,000 live births, but 49 in Meghalaya and Rajasthan.

Delhi has seen the most cases of swine flu (1,511), but Gujarat has reported the most deaths (196) from the disease.