Women Diagnosed With Cancer More Than Men in India: Lancet
Breast, cervical, ovarian and uterine cancer account for more than 70% of cancers in women in India.
In a devastating post on twitter, actor Sonali Bendre has revealed that she is suffering from a high-grade cancer that has metastasised. She says it started with a niggling pain and further tests led to the diagnosis.
Globally, cancer affects more men as compared to women. There is 25% more occurrence of the disease among men than women but this does not hold true for India.
A study published in the medical journal, Lancet Oncology states that in India, more women are at the risk of getting diagnosed with cancer than men.
The paper which has been co-authored by researchers from the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research-Indian Council of Medical Research (NICPR-ICMR) states that breast, cervical, ovarian and uterine cancer are spreading widely and account for more than 70% of cancers in women in India.
Currently, in India, there are over 1.5 million new cases of cancer for both men and women while the occurrence of cancer in women is estimated to be 1-1.4 million per year.
The number for both sexes is estimated to almost double in the next 20 years.
According to the NICPR data, over 2 lakh men and over 1.9 lakh women die of cancer every year in India. In 2016 alone, India recorded an estimated 3.9 million cancer cases.
Unfortunately, the survival rates in India are very poor - less than 30% of patients survive for 5 years or more post the diagnosis.
One of the co-authors of the study, Dr Ravi Mehrotra, Director of NICPR-ICMR, told the Indian Express:
More than 90% of all female cancers are not inherited, so genomic screening is not a cost effective option. But if we can do a basic screening of 80% of the population, that would go a long way. There was an earlier plan but now work has started for training manpower for screening for cervical, breast and oral cancers.Dr Ravi Mehrotra, Director of NICPR-ICMR and one of the Co-Authors
In 2010, National Program for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardio Vascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) was designed so that women could be screened for cervical, breast and oral cancers but unfortunately, the programme never launched.
The plan was brought back in 2016 and is expected to now cover 165 districts.
Dr Ravi Mehrotra, Director of NICPR-ICMR, told the Indian Express:
The problem is that there are questions about how effective mammograms are for breast cancer screening. In our country, additionally, we don’t have enough machines or trained radiologists to read mammograms. So, it is either a clinical examination or a breast self-examination. For cervical cancer, pap smear is too costly. There is the visual inspection with acetic acid for which people are being trained.Dr Ravi Mehrotra, Director of NICPR-ICMR and one of the Co-Authors
Major Cancers Affecting Women in India
Cervical cancer killed more than 63,000 Indian women in India in 2015. That’s almost a fourth of all cancer deaths recorded amongst women in 2015, according to estimates by the Indian Council for Scientific Research.
It affects about 80% of all women under the age of 50 without them ever knowing about it, the immune system of nearly 90% women will clear the virus on their own.
In India, for every two women diagnosed with breast cancer, one loses her life.
As per 2016 data, nearly a lakh women die of breast cancer every year in India, that’s the highest in any Asian country, twice as much as United States of America, which has an incredibly high incidence of breast cancer.
Statistically it is rare for a woman in her early twenties to develop breast cancer but 5 women in around a lakh get it in the age group of 19 to 25.
As per a study published in the Indian Journal of Cancer, ovarian cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in women in India. The study observed a survival rate of 45% over 5 years among women who were diagnosed with this cancer due to the delayed diagnosis.
Usually, most women are diagnosed in the advanced stages (3rd or 4th) of ovarian cancer as per a TOI report.
As per a study published in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the prevalence of endometrial cancer (a type of cancer which occurs in the lining of the uterus) rates in India are low.
Most cases are diagnosed at an early stage and can be controlled with treatment. The course of treatment is usually suggested basis the pathological state of the disease.
(With inputs from Indian Express.)
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