Why is cancer so prevalent in India? Know the causes & tips to reduce Cancer’s risk

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death across the globe, and is seeing increasing prevalences in India. Here's why that is.

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Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs.


In India, cancer incidence rates are increasing at an alarming rate. According to a study, cancer cases are expected to rise by 12% in the next five years.


The global cancer burden is a significant public health concern that should be given immediate attention. Over 35 million new cancer cases are predicted in 2050, a 77% increase from the estimated 20 million cases in 2022, according to the latest estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s cancer agency.


The factors which lead to an increased risk of cancer in Indians are discussed below:


1. Alcohol: In 2020, more than 50,000 cancer cases in India were attributed to alcohol consumption. India was globally the second country in the number of cancer cases, which were attributed due to alcohol.


2.Obesity: In 2020, In Asia, India ranked 3rd in obesity attributed cancers. We were behind China & Japan. Comments cancers attributable to obesity were endometrial cancer, Breast cancer, Colon cancer, Gallbladder cancer, Kidney cancer, Rectal cancer.


3. Infection: In 2020, Asia topped the chart of infection related cancer, Asia contributed to around 15,00,000 new cases of cancer, which were attributed to cancer. The common infection, which led to cancer, were helicobacter pylori (52.1%), Hepatitis C virus (7.5%) and others (10.6%).


4. Tobacco related cancers: India has a huge burden of tobacco related cancers. Lung cancer and head and neck cancers top the list.


Talking about how can we address these risk factors and reduce the disease burden from cancer, he said, “It is said that of all cancers, 40% of cancers can be avoided, as these are due to modifiable risk factors.”


Tips to Reduce Cancer Risk:

Smoking is an important risk factor for mouth, larynx, and oral cancers while chewing tobacco is associated with cancers of the mouth, larynx, and pancreas.


 Any form of tobacco, including cigarettes, is the best thing you can do to prevent cancer. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it’s the best thing you can do for your health.


Obesity is another risk factor for many types of malignancies, including breast, lung, colon and prostate cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy diet and regular physical activity is important for reducing your risk of breast cancer.


Another factor is UV explosure. For moderate and healthy sun exposure you should always be applying a coat of SPF 50+ sunscreen to your face and body.


For maximum protection, cover your skin and face as much as possible and avoid exposure to sunlight, mercury or halogen lamps.


Health experts recommend that eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day and eating the right amount for your weight. Processed foods, red meat and soft drinks are foods that cancer patients should avoid.


Include cancer-fighting foods in your diet. For example, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and cabbage), berries, garlic, fruit, tomatoes, and green tea all have antioxidant properties that block carcinogens and boost immunity.


Regular breast cancer screening helps find cancer early when treatment is most effective.


It important to do the right screening tests for you and monitoring your symptoms are the best strategies to prevent cancer.


To summarise, if you wish to protect yourself from cancer, you should address and strive to avoid the variables.