On the occasion of World Cancer Day, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday released a report which projects North East India at high risk of cancer.
Per the report, the number of new cancer cases in the north east region (NER) is likely to increase to 57,131 by 2025, in comparison to the estimated 50,317 in 2020.
ICMR along with National centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru, released the report in which the estimates are based on cancer data compiled by eleven Population Based Cancer Registries (PBCRs) in all the eight Northeastern states.
The report titled ‘Profile of cancer and related health indicators in the Northeast Region of India’ was launched by Professor Balram Bhargava, secretary DHR and director general, ICMR which also includes data from seven Hospital Based Cancer Registries (HBCRs) in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura from 2012 to 2016.
“North-East, the eight sisters, is the jewel in the crown of our nation. The NE cancer registries have done commendable work. It is pertinent that we preserve the ethnic diversity of the region. The report from ICMRNCDIR, Bengaluru highlights the magnitude of the problem and its diversity in NER,” said Prof Balram Bhargava
He further added that, “The National Cancer Registry Program has played a vital role in NER towards mapping cancer burden over several years. The Region is a thrust area for ICMR to augment research to address cancer prevention and control activities. The scientific evidence generated from the registries has led to strengthening of health infrastructure in the region and will provide the guidance for future policy decisions.”
The report found that in all the states, the incidence of cancer was higher in males than in females except in Manipur and Sikkim.
The report also provides insight into the prevailing cancer risk factor profile capacity for treating cancer and death statistics for each state from various sources. Many of these factors influence cancer outcomes and survival.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, is one of the oldest medical research bodies in the world.
Probability of developing cancer over a lifetime is as high as one in every four men and one in every six women in Kamrup Urban of Assam. This was revealed in a report titled, “Profile of cancer and related health indicators in the Northeast Region of India”. The report is a collaborative study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru.
The report also included data from seven Hospital Based Cancer Registries (HBCRs) in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura from 2012 to 2016.
“The National Cancer Registry Program (NCRP) has played a vital role in NER towards mapping cancer burden over several years. The region is a thrust area for ICMR to augment research to address cancer prevention and control activities,” said Prof Balram Bhargava.
“We need to focus on early diagnosis and prevention of cancer. The report has given us valuable insights into the prevailing risk factors of cancer – all the stakeholders must now come together to fights its increasing incidence,” said Prof GK Rath, head of AIIMS, BRAIRCH and NCI, Jhajjar.
- The commonly occurring cancers among men were cancer of the oesophagus (13.6 per cent) and lung (10.9 per cent), while in women, cancer of the breast was the leading site (14.5 per cent), followed by that of cervix uteri (12.2 per cent).
- The highest incidence rate in men (269.4 per 100,000 persons) was recorded in Aizawl district in Mizoram while among women the highest incidence of cancer (219.8 per 100,000 persons) is found in Papumpare district in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The proportion of tobacco-related cancers was 49.3 per cent in men and 22.8 per cent in women.
- At the time of diagnosis of breast, cervix, head and neck, stomach and lung cancers, less than one-third were localized, while the remaining had spread either to nearby or distant parts in the body.
- The proportion of cancer patients seeking treatment outside the Northeast was highest for Sikkim (95.3 per cent) and Nagaland (58.1 per cent).
The report also provides insight into the prevailing cancer risk factors profile capacity for treating cancer and death statistics for each state of the Northeast region.
- Among the eight NE states, current tobacco use was highest in Tripura at 64.5 per cent and lowest in Sikkim at 17.9 per cent. Men (59 per cent) and women (26.3 per cent) from Arunachal Pradesh who were over 15 years of age, consumed higher proportions of alcohol than in other NE states.
- The prevalence of obesity among women aged 15-49 years was highest in Sikkim (34.7 per cent) followed by Manipur (34.1 per cent). While in men, it was highest in Sikkim (36.3 per cent) and lowest in Meghalaya (13.9 per cent).
- Sikkim had the highest prevalence of hypertension in men (41.6 per cent) and women (34.5 per cent), followed by Manipur (men 33.2 per cent and women 23.0 per cent).
- In all the eight states, men had a higher blood sugar level when compared to women. Less than 50 per cent of the households in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura were using clean fuel for cooking.
- Meghalaya had the most households covered with a health insurance scheme or financing scheme (63.5 per cent).