The burden of cancer cases from 1990 to 2016 doubled in India: The Lancet

The Lancet in its recently published report, has found that five per cent of the number of new cases and deaths due to cancer doubled in India from 1990 to 2016, as did the proportional contribution of cancers to the total Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and deaths in the country

Image source: Google
Image source: Google

The report is titled as, ‘The burden of cancers and their variations across the states of India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 1990–2016’. It mentions that, ‘The substantial heterogeneity in the state-level incidence rate and health loss trends of the different types of cancer in India over this 26-year period should be taken into account to strengthen infrastructure and human resources for cancer prevention and control at both the national and state levels.’

The report mentions ten cancers responsible for the highest proportion of cancer DALYs in India in 2016 were stomach (9·0% of the total cancer DALYs), breast (8·2%), lung (7·5%), lip and oral cavity (7·2%), pharynx other than nasopharynx (6·8%), colon and rectum (5·8%), leukaemia (5·2%), cervical (5·2%), oesophageal (4·3%), and brain and nervous system (3·5%) cancer.

The small decrease in the age-standardised incidence rate of lip and oral cavity cancer in India could be related to the reduction in use of smokeless tobacco in India during the past decade

  • Lip and oral cavity cancer was the most common incident cancer in males in India in 2016
  • The number of incident lip and oral cavity cancer cases in India in 2016 was 113,000
  • Lip and oral cavity cancer was the first or second leading cause of cancer deaths in seven Indian states for males in 2016
  • Crude cancer incidence rate was highest in Kerala and Mizoram, followed by Haryana, Delhi, Karnataka, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Assam
  • Age-standardised incidence rates were highest in the northeast states of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Assam, and in Delhi and Haryana.

The number of deaths due to cancer in India increased from 382 000 (95% UI* 351,000 – 412,000) in 1990 to 813,000 (767,000 – 850,000) in 2016.

The estimated number of incident breast cancer cases in India in 2016 was 118 000 (95% UI 107,000–130 000), 98·1% of which were in females.

The number of incident lung cancer cases in India in 2016 was 67,000 (95% UI 63, 000–72,000), 72·2% of which were in males

*UI – Uncertainty Interval

Dr Prashant Mathur, Director at National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), said, “Such researches will help us in formulating policies for disease control. Many research activities are going on across the country and internationally on cancer, what is important is its prevention and how to manage the disease treatment.”