Ahead of World Cancer Day tomorrow (Feb 4), Dr. Vijay Agarwal, Lead & Sr. Consultant – Medical Oncology & Haematology, Aster CMI Hospital gives us some important pointers for early detection or prevention of this deadly virus.
The top cancers that affect the Indian population are lung, breast, cervical, head and neck and colorectal cancer.
Although reports show that the cancer burden in India has increased, this could be because there has been an increased effort from the government and the medical community to raise awareness on early detection of cancer and provide more avenues for cancer screening which means that cases that were earlier going undetected and untreated are now being discovered and recorded.
A combination of environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors can lead to cancer, however the use of tobacco and tobacco products is one of the leading established causes of cancer in India. Vaping, smoking, second-hand smoke, air pollution, chewing tobacco, are major factors responsible for lung and head and neck cancers in India.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer detected in women in India and cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among women.
Tackling cancer must be a two-way process – people must become more conscious of their lifestyle habits and choices, make good dietary choices. Simultaneously there must be consistent and large-scale efforts to encourage the prevention or early detection of cancer such as HPV vaccination or regular health check-ups, self-checking for lumps, avoiding harmful exposure to the sun and discouraging the sale and use of tobacco products.”