India is now ‘cancer capital’ of the world; why cases rise alarmingly

Around 15.7 lakh people in India to have cancer by 2025

India cancer capital of the world

India has garnered attention worldwide as the "cancer capital of the world", sparking nationwide concerns. A recent study by Apollo Hospitals on World Health Day 2024 has unveiled alarming statistics, indicating a decline in the overall health of Indians.

Almost 14 lakh people in India had cancer in 2020, the number is expected to rise to 15.7 lakh by 2025, according to the report.

The rising cancer cases in India, surpassing the global rates, has earned it the title of "cancer capital of the world". Breast, cervix and ovarian cancers are frequent in women, while, lung, mouth and prostrate cancer are predominant among men.

The report also mentions the escalating cases of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and mental health issues.

One in three Indians is pre-diabetic, two in three are pre-hypertensive and one in ten suffers from depression, reveals the report.

The rising non-communicable diseases among youngsters are also alarming, increasing the healthcare burden.

Emphasising the importance of regular health screenings, the report stressed their role in mitigating risks associated with NCDs, such as cardiac-related ailments.

According to the report, a significant hurdle in India's battle against cancer is its inadequate screening rates, which fall far below global benchmarks, underscoring the pressing requirement for proactive steps in preventive healthcare.

The Apollo report highlights a concerning rise in mental health disorders, notably among individuals aged 18 to 40, with depression emerging as a significant issue. One in five people aged 18 to 25 has depression, it added. 

Additionally, chronic stress, prevalent among both young adults and seniors, contributes to a rise in hypertension and diabetes, particularly affecting women.

Obesity, a risk factor for non-communicable diseases, has surged, with a majority exhibiting unhealthy waist-to-hip ratios and abdominal fat. The report notes that three out of four individuals are either obese or overweight, with 90 per cent of women and 80 per cent of men surpassing recommended waist-to-hip ratios.

The report also indicates a growing prevalence of high blood pressure and prediabetes, especially among the younger population. About 66 per cent of individuals in India are classified as pre-hypertensive, one in three have prediabetes, and 20 per cent below 45 years of age are affected by prediabetes.


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