Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, has the highest incidence of cancer in India. This is true for both men and women. The Northeast as a whole is most susceptible to the disease, according to data from the national cancer registry’s consolidated report for 2009-11.
According to the report, which is likely to be released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in the next few months, the Northeast takes the top three slots for the incidence of cancer among both men and women.
The age adjusted rate — a statistical tool to compare incidence among different communities at particular ages — for all cancers among men is 273.4 per 100,000 population in Aizawl, followed by Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district (216), the rest of Mizoram state (189.5), and Kamrup Urban in Assam (185.7).
For women, Aizawl reported the highest incidence at 227.8 cases per 100,000 population, followed by Kamrup Urban (156.3), Mizoram state (153.7), and Bangalore (137.2).
Data from state population-based registries show that cancers of the lung, mouth, oesophagus, stomach and nasopharynx are the most common among men. Among women, cancers of the breast, cervix, uterus, oesophagus and lung are the most common.
Sources said the data shows that the Northeast has the highest incidence of stomach cancer in both men and women, besides a very high rate of oral cancer.
“High incidence of smoking, which has been found to be higher than the national average among both men and women, and habits like using angeethis that produce a lot of smoke in closed spaces are possible contributing factors,” Dr P K Jhulka, radiation oncologist and dean at AIIMS, who is also in charge of the Delhi cancer registry, said.
“Consumption of other tobacco products is also very high. Eating habits like consumption of smoked and fermented meats could also have a role to play,” Dr Jhulka added.
Among the metros, Delhi is on top of the list for men with 125.2 cases per 100,000 population; Bangalore tops for women (137.2). Delhi is tenth on the all-India men’s list; Bangalore fourth on the all-India women’s.
Lung cancer is the most common