Cancer now kills more than double the Indians it did in 1990

An ICMR study finds that while 3.82 lakh cancer patients died in 1990, the number jumped to 8.13 lakh in 2016

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 13 November 2018

Cancer has killed more than double the number of people in 2016 than how many it had targeted in 1990. The Indian Council of Medical Research’s quarter century study of cancer has found that while 3.82 lakh people had died of cancer in 1990, the number jumped to 8.13 lakh in 2016.

The research organisation finds tobacco, alcohol use and dietary risks as the top reasons behind this increase. Several oncologists also call food adulteration, poor lifestyles and indoor pollution responsible for the disease. Also, the number of cancer cases saw a similar jump: they increased from 5.48 lakh (1990) to 11 lakh (2016).

 “All cancers together contributed 5 per cent of the total Disability Adjusted Life Years (health years of life lost) and 8.3 per cent of the total deaths in India in 2016 — an increase of 90.9 per cent and 112.8 per cent respectively from 1990,” says the study.

The most common kinds of cancer cases found in India are stomach cancer (9 per cent), breast cancer (8.2 per cent), lung cancer (7.5 per cent), lip and oral cavity cancer (7.2 per cent), pharynx cancer other than nasopharynx (6.8 per cent), colon and rectum cancer (5.8 per cent), leukaemia (5.2 per cent), and cervical cancer (5.2 per cent).

Down To Earth had last month reported that two studies released on the same day had said that cancer is the second biggest killer in India, which will see 8.17 per cent of cancer deaths in the world this year.

A study conducted by World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer had shown that cancer will claim 9.6 million lives in the world this year and India’s share in it will be a worrying 8.17 per cent. Another report released within a gap of few hours by Lancet reinforced the gloomy prediction about the disease saying it is India’s second biggest killer after heart disease.

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