In Three Yrs Cancer Rates Have Risen in India’s Smallest Provinces

India’s cancer rates, expected to rise 70 percent over the next 18 years, reaching 1.7 million by 2035: GLOBOCAN.

3 min read

In three years to 2016, the cancer rate (cases per 1,00,000 people) rose four times faster than the national rate in some of India’s smallest provinces.

In three years to 2016, the cancer rate (cases per 1,00,000 people) rose four times faster than the national rate in some of India’s smallest provinces, two of which are also among India’s richest by per capita income, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data submitted to parliament.

While the union territory Daman & Diu reported the highest increase of 41 points in number of cancer cases per 1,00,000 people over three years to 2016, the number rose by 10 points for the country, shows our analysis of a reply given to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) by minister of health and family welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda on 1 August 2017.

Union Territories With Highest Increase Rates

The union territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli (22 points), Lakshadweep (18.6 points) and Puducherry (13.5 points) and the state of Kerala (13 points), reported the next highest increases over this period, our analysis shows.

Puducherry and Kerala had the fifth and eighth highest median per capita income between 2013-14 and 2015-16, according to Reserve Bank of India data.

Cancer is now known to strike at any age, as cells grow out of control due to multiple reasons: A flaw in genes, toxins in the air and in food, or consumption of tobacco or excess alcohol. At 181 per 1,00,000 people, Daman & Diu’s cancer rate was highest in the country, and 62 points more than the national rate of 119. In the three years, India reported 9% more cancer cases, according to the Rajya Sabha reply.

A million Indians are diagnosed with cancer every year, and 680,000 die from a disease once regarded as an affliction of the Western world. India’s cancer burden is now expected to rise 70% over the next 18 years, from nearly 1 million new cases in 2012 to 1.7 million by 2035 according to GLOBOCAN, an international initiative on cancer data.

Although the incidence of cancer in India is more than half the world average – 119 per 100,000 compared to 182 per 1,00,000 – and a little less than half of the incidence in developed countries (268 per 1,00,000), cancer care is scarce, as IndiaSpend reported in a three-part series on India’s struggle to provide cancer care.

0.9 Percent of Oncologists per Million Population

These may be underestimations because there were 1.45 million new cases of cancer and 7,36,000 deaths in India in 2016, expected to increase to 1.73 million in 2030, with 8,80,000 deaths by 2020, according to data from the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

India has no more than 250 dedicated cancer-care centres (0.2 per million population in India vs 4.4 per million population in the US), 40 percent of which are present in eight metropolitan cities and fewer than 15 percent are government-operated, noted a 2015 study, Call for Action: Expanding Cancer Care in India, by Ernst and Young, a consultancy.

That is why 80 percent of India’s cancer cases come to medical attention at an advanced stage, one reason why 68 percent of patients with cancer die of the disease in India, compared to 33 percent in the US. India also has 0.98 oncologists per million population, compared to 15.39 in China, 25.63 in Philippines and 1.14 in Iran.

(This article was originally published by the India

(#TalkingStalking: Have you ever been stalked? Share your experience with The Quint and inspire others to shatter the silence surrounding stalking. Send your stories to or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!