Sunday, 9 March 2008

Cancer Atlas: Indian women more prone to cancers


March 9, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 8: Women are at more risk of developing cancers than men,
says a study conducted in major cities across the country.
The lifetime risk of developing 10 major cancers in India is 0.04 to 2.4
per cent for women and 0.05 per cent to 0.95 per cent for men. The study conducted by
health experts L Satyanarayana and A Smita based on the data collected from the
National Cancer Registry Programme of India showed significant increasing trends
for breast, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of white blood cells), gallbladder, thyroid and ovary cancers among women. The cancers of cervix, mouth, stomach, oesophagus and tongue showed a reverse trend.
In the case of men, there is increase in the incidence of cancers of white
blood cells and prostate, but decline in stomach, liver, hypopharynx and tongue cancers. Oral cancer in men and breast cancer in women dominated major cancer sites
(types) in Hyderabad. Oral cancer accounted for 25 per cent of all cancers among
Hyderabadi men. Breast cancer made up 35 per cent of all cancers in women. Increasing
trends were observed in oral cancer, throat cancer and lung cancer among men while
there was a declining trend for cancers of colon, rectal, oesophageal, prostate and
lymphoma.
Breast cancer overtook the cancer of cervix among women in Hyderabad. "There's a clear-cut 10 per cent difference between breast and cervix cancers in Hyderabad. Better sanitary practices have led to the decline in the cancer of cervix," explains Dr Vijay Anand Reddy, director of Apollo Cancer Hospital.
The study included 10 major cancers of breast, cervix, tongue, mouth, oesophagus,
stomach, gall bladder, ovary, thyroid, NHL for women and lungs, hypopharynx, liver,
larynx, tongue, mouth, oesophagus, stomach, prostate, NHL for men. Like in Hyderabad, Bangalore too recorded high incidence of breast cancer, but in the case of men there was decline in mouth cancer.
However, cancer of cervix dominated all cancer types in Chennai among women. There
is decline in the cancer of cervix but increase in the cancer of breast. Among men
significant increasing trends were observed for oesophagus and prostate cancers.
Both breast and cervical cancers top the list among women in Mumbai and Delhi. Lung
and oesophagus cancer top the list among men cancers. "The chance of developing breast cancer is higher in Delhi compared to other cities, with the risk of 1 in 40 women likely to develop the disease in her lifetime.
Next to breast cancer was cancer of the cervix, which was high in magnitude, with 1 in 60 women on an average with chance of developing cancer, in different cities," point out Satyanarayana and Smita.
Lung cancer among men occupies the third position in most of the Indian cities, with 1 in 180 males at risk of developing this cancer in his lifetime. Mouth cancer showed
declining trends in Bangalore in both the sexes. Chennai also observed significant
declining trends for this cancer type in females, whereas Delhi showed an increasing
trend in mouth cancer among males. This might be due high tobacco usage in this
region, they added.

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