Cancer continues to be a major public health concern in India, with devastating consequences for individuals and families across the country. Recently, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare revealed alarming statistics on cancer-related deaths and diagnoses in 2022. The numbers underscore the urgent need for comprehensive strategies and increased efforts to tackle this rising health crisis.
According to the ministry's report, a staggering 14.61 lakh people were diagnosed with cancer in India in 2022, marking a significant increase of 69,000 cases compared to 2020. The disease claimed the lives of eight lakh individuals last year, representing a heartbreaking loss for countless families and communities.
The situation in Punjab, like many other states in India, is equally disheartening. In 2022, Punjab reported 40,435 new cancer cases, and tragically, 23,301 patients succumbed to the disease. This figure represents an increase in cancer deaths from the previous year when 22,786 lives were lost to the illness. Neighbouring states, Haryana and Rajasthan, also experienced substantial numbers of cancer-related deaths, reporting 16,997 and 41,167 cases, respectively.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare highlighted Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh as the worst-hit states concerning cancer incidence. These regions are grappling with the challenge of providing adequate healthcare and support to cancer patients and their families.
Furthermore, the ministry's report identifies the three most common types of cancers in India as oral, breast, and cervical cancer. These cancers account for a significant proportion of cancer cases and require increased focus and attention in terms of prevention, early detection, and treatment.
Disturbingly, cancer also affects children in India. The ICMR-National Cancer Registry Programme report estimates that 35,017 cancer cases were recorded in the age group of 0-14 years in 2022. These numbers serve as a reminder of the impact cancer has on the young, necessitating specialized care and tailored treatment approaches for pediatric patients.
To tackle the growing cancer burden, the government has taken steps to improve infrastructure and healthcare facilities. The approval of 19 State Cancer Institutes and 20 Tertiary Care Cancer Centres is a step in the right direction. However, the slow progress in implementing these centers, with only 17 currently functional, highlights the need for expeditious action to strengthen cancer care and accessibility.
The rising number of cancer cases and deaths in India is a sobering reminder of the urgent need for concerted efforts to combat this health crisis. Addressing the challenges of cancer requires a multi-faceted approach, encompassing preventive measures, early detection programs, specialized care for pediatric patients, and well-equipped treatment facilities. By working collaboratively, the healthcare sector, policymakers, and society as a whole can make progress in reducing the cancer burden and improving the lives of those affected by this devastating disease. Let us join forces in the fight against cancer and strive for a healthier and cancer-free India.
*Disclaimer: Above article is based on the information available through various sources. Always consult your dietitian, doctor and/or health expert for expert advice.
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