According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India is witnessing a surge in number of cancer cases. This is quite evident from the figures from various cancer registeries across the country, which shows that there is almost 9% increase in the number of cases in 2014, as compared to 2011. Correspondingly, the number of deaths increased, from 4.52 lakh in 2011 to 4.92 lakh in 2014. Every year, about four out of 10 cancer patients (or 40%) die. The rate can be as high as 70% for some types of cancer.
Though the data may cast apprehensions regarding the intensity of the situation, experts don’t think that the situation has reached to that of an epidemic.They say the increase in numbers is in sync with the population increase. Dr Rajendra Badwe, director of Tata Memorial Centre in Parel, said: “As the population increases and the proportion of people over 40 years increases, cancer cases in absolute numbers will increase.”
The ICMR data, which was presented in the Lok Sabha in July 2014 by the Union health minister, showed mortality rate due to cancer is as high as 40%. “It would not be wrong to say that cancer mortality is around 40%. In certain cancers, depending on the stage at which it is discovered, the mortality rates are over 70%,” said cancer surgeon Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi.