Understanding the Alarming Surge of Cancer Cases in India


Health experts warn that throughout the next 20 years, the number of cancer patients is likely to climb significantly. Since receiving his diagnosis two years ago, Praful Reddy, a 49-year-old IT professional from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, has been undergoing targeted therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation to stem the spread of his lung cancer. Reddy experiences recurrent side effects such as headaches, ulcers, and vomiting. He is unsure of his prognosis, but medical professionals are optimistic about his recovery.

“The doctors have been administering drugs to block the growth and spread of cancer cells. If it does not improve, I might have to undergo a lobectomy to remove the entire lobe of one lung,” Reddy told the sources.

Twelve-year-old Dipti is receiving treatment in Bengaluru, in the neighboring state of Karnataka, for a kidney cancer called Wilms tumor. “At present, she is receiving radiation therapy; however, there have been adverse effects like skin damage and hair loss,” her physician, Charu Sharma, informed the reporters.

These are not unique incidents; India is experiencing the fastest-rising cancer case count globally, with a growing number of individuals, particularly youngsters, receiving a cancer diagnosis. In fact, the South Asian country was dubbed “the cancer capital of the world” in a report published last month by the Indian global health care organization Apollo Hospitals.

The report painted a worrisome picture of the nation’s deteriorating general health and highlighted the sharp rise in cancer and other non-communicable disease cases. According to the survey, one in three Indians currently suffer from depression, two out of every three are pre-hypertensive, and one in three are pre-diabetic. It further stated that the prevalence of chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and mental health issues had increased to “critical levels.”

According to the study, there would be 1.57 million cancer cases annually by 2025, up from about 1.4 million in 2020. The three most frequent cancers that affect women are ovarian, breast, and cervix cancer. And among men, they include prostate, oral, and lung cancer.

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