• Cancer Statistics in India
    February 4, 2016

    Different types of diseases and infections have always threatened man. However, one disease that is considered almost deadly and has a very high rate of recurrence is cancer. Irrespective of a particular region, state or a country this particular disease affects everyone without discriminating in between the different types of human races.  



    The last decade’s figures as taken by the Indian population census reveals that the mortality rate in  India touched an all time high and is the highest by any disease in the country. This in itself denotes the seriousness and threat of the disease. Cancer hence is responsible for causing maximum mortality and leads to around 0.3 million deaths every year. Apart from unawareness, other reasons that have contributed in increasing the mortality rate due to cancer in India include poor ability to prevent, diagnose as well as treat the disease.

    Indians suffer from almost all types of cancer including lungs, breast, rectum, skin, liver, prostate, stomach, cervix, esophagus, blood, bladder, mouth cancer and more. With more than 30 percent, Indians in the age group of 45 to 64 years dying due to cancer it has indeed become important to go through these figures, find out the cause and evolve measures to stop it.

    Smoking leads to cancer


    Why is Cancer on the Rise in India?

    According to health experts, the causes of increase in the number of cancer patients are varied. These can be divided broadly into internal and external causes.

    The internal causes include:

    • Mutations
    • Genetic
    • Poor immune conditions
    • Hormonal

    The external causes include:  

    • Industrialization
    • Food habits
    • Population overgrowth
      pollution causes cancer this can show cancer statistics


    • Social
    • Air pollution
    • Smoking
    • Occupational exposure such as asbestos
    • Alcohol or drug abuse

    Note: Increased exposure to light, more in the developed countries has been the main reason of growth in cancer in the past 100 years as the light affects the pineal gland thereby reducing the production of melatonin leading to skin cancer.

    Year-wise Evaluation of Cancer Incidences in India

    The table shows approximate number of cancer patients in particular year and also the expected rise of cancer among both men and women by the year 2015 and 2020.

    Year Incidences in MaleIncidences in FemaleTotal Patients
    2004 390803426545 819354
    2005 400004300083000
    2006 40000 45000 85000
    2007 420004700089000
    2008 440004900093000
    2009 454842 507990 962832
    2015 5500060000110000
    2020 5800065000 123000

    Major Types of Cancer Affecting Indians

    Although almost all types of cancer affect Indians, there are particular types of cancer that are more common. Some such most common cancers affecting Indian are given below:

    1. Lung cancer: Lately lung cancer has grown like an epidemic and is responsible for more number of deaths than caused due breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. According to the data collected by the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Cancer Registry Program, the most common cancers found in the metro cities of India such as Bhopal, Delhi and Mumbai are bronchi, lungs and trachea cancers.
      Lung Cancer in cancer statistics

      Lung Cancer

    2. Breast cancer: This is most common type of cancer found in women of developed countries. It is considered to be a highly alarming health problem in Indian women and over the past two decades have attacked the Indian women population quite badly. The ICMR has found out that every year minimum 100,000 new breast cancer patients are diagnosed in India.
    3. Stomach Cancer: Globally, stomach cancer stands at the fifth position in the table of highest occurring cancer types. Although the occurrence of stomach cancer in overall India is considerably low, the National Cancer Registry Program has shown that its prevalence is high and maximum in the North Eastern Indian states, especially Mizoram.   
    4. Gall bladder cancer: This cancer is highly prevalent in the northern parts of India and the ICMR has reported that 4.5 percent males and 10.1 percent of females per one lac population were affected by this type of cancer by the end of the last century. The frequency of gall bladder cancer is much higher in the Ganges delta with around 70 to 90 percent patients of cancer suffering from gall bladder cancer.
    5. Cervical cancer: Women of most of the developing countries like India are more susceptible to cervical cancer. However, proper screening and technological inputs have resulted in decrease in cervical cancer patients in the country.

      breast cancer

      Breast cancer

    6. Oral cancer: This cancer is quite common, especially among the youngsters who suffer from oral sub-mucous fibrosis. It is the fourth common cancer among males and fifth among females. Kerala has been the leading state reporting around 14 percent of total oral cancer patients out of which 17 percent were males and 10.5 percent were females.  Other cities that reported significant growth in oral cancer include Varanasi, Allahabad, Agra, Moradabad in and around Uttar Pradesh.
    7. Miscellaneous cancers: Other types of cancer that too are quite common in India include esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer or neoplasia.

    State-wise Distribution of Cancer in India

    Type of cancer State Highly affected State Moderately affected State least affected
    Lung Cancer Jammu & Kashmir,
    Himachal Pradesh, Delhi,
    Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh. W. Bengal
    Jharkhand, Kerala,
    Manipur, Tripura
    Gall Bladder cancer PunjabUttar PradeshBihar
    Cervical Cancer
    Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, W. Bengal, Goa,
    Punjab, U.P.,
    Andhra Pradesh,
    Stomach Cancer Goa, Tamil Nadu
    Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand Jammu & Kashmir,
    Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur
    Esophageal Cancer Karnataka, AssamJammu & KashmirNil
    Oral cancer Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat,
    Pondicherry, Orissa
    Tongue Cancer Goa, Madhya
    Nil Nil
    Breast cancer Goa, Rajasthan, Delhi Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat Manipur, Tripura
    Ovary cancer Nil Nil Rajasthan
    Oropharyngeal cancer Haryana, Meghalaya Nil Nil
    Prostate cancer Nil Rajasthan Nil
    Nesopharyngeal cancer Nil Assam, Manipur Nil
    Neck CancerNil Tripura Uttarakhand
    Brain Cancer Nil Nil Rajasthan
    Laryngeal cancer Nil Uttarakhand Nil
    Skin cancer ChhattisgarhNil Nil

    Cancer Common Among Men, Women and Children

    Men Women Children
    Pharynx Breast Leukemia
    Oral Cavity Oral CavityBrain and Central nervous system
    Related tumors
    Leukemia Esophagus Neuroblastoma
    Esophagus Ovary Wilms tumor
    Lung Leukemia Lymphoma

    Stomach Stomach Retinoblastoma
    Brain and Nervous system Lymphoma Bone Cancer
    Larynx PharynxEwing Sarcoma
    Liver Cervix Osteosarcoma

    Cancer Preventive Measures Available in India

    The best method to control cancer is prevention. With this view in mind, the National Cancer Control Program has been initiated since 1975-76. Under this program, several oncology wings have been started in different medical colleges that offer teletherapy treatment through machines.

    Since tobacco is one of the major reasons behind the increase in the number of cancer patients in India, discouraging the use of tobacco is a part of the awareness program initiated by the District Cancer Control Program. Awareness about other health related aspects such as healthy dietary habits, avoiding obesities, reducing environmental and occupational exposures, reducing the use of alcohol is very necessary.

    Other precautions include immunization against hepatitis B and practicing safe sex to avoid genesis cancer.  Several adult educational programs such as the ten-year action plan by states like Kerala, Kancheepuram Cancer screening program by Tamil Nadu and several opportunistic programs carried out by the State governments and the Cancer centers of different regions in India have helped to create awareness and contribute in early detection of the disease.

     Cancer-wise Preventive Measures  

    Here is a table that shows the preventive measures you need to adapt to keep a particular type of cancer at bay. Depending upon the state you belong to, you should find out the maximum prevalence of a particular type of cancer that can affect you and accordingly plan the preventive measures. Similarly, if you are exposed to particular occupational hazards like lead or asbestos or live in highly polluted areas you must take precautions accordingly.


    Recommendations by Health experts Cancer Prevention Cancer Cures
    Vegetables, fruits, vitamin C, E and D, folates
    Condiments, fibers, cereals and spices
    Colorectal, bladder, epithelial,
    Prostate, lungs, esophagus, breast,
    Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    Bladder, Breast,
    Carrying out safety measures in the industries
    Leukemia, gall bladder, liver,
    bladder, lungs and kidneys
    Leukemia, gall bladder, lung, squamous cell carcinoma and
    Bilary tract
    Non-smoking Lungs, bladder Lung, neck and head
    Drug abuse control Breast and cervical Breast and cervical
    Physical exercisesBreast, bladder, colon, kidneys, cardiac, ovary, pancreatic, liver, gall bladder, colorectalBreast, prostate, colon, bladder, melanoma
    Water pollution All types of cancer Liver, bladder and colorectal
    Air pollution Lungs lungs
    Protection from ozone depleting chemicals Skin Squamous cell carcinoma of lips
    Adapting traditional values All typesSkin, brain, cervical
    Awareness All types Almost all types

    Although cancer is a deadly disease, by initiating awareness program on a grand scale and following the precautions as mentioned above can help the Indians restrict the onset of cancer. Moreover, making available the latest diagnosis and screening infrastructure to the oncology department can also help early detection of cancer and increase the survival rate. Apart from the government bodies, it is the responsibility of every individual to maintain sound health and keep on taking proper precautions.     

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    7 Comments on "Cancer Statistics in India"

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    Kunal Verma

    Very informative article. Can we use it for our creating awareness around cancer

    Ram Panthi

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    Sutanu Kapri

    Dear Admin,
    First of all this is nice information and presentation. If you kindly send or give some references related to this information, I will be very thankful to you. I am PhD student at IISER Kolkata, India, working on cancer cell ablation by different techniques using nanoparticles. In future, Nanotechnology will play critical roles in the fight against cancer. see this article: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/acsnano.7b03308
    If I need some information I will definitely contact with you. please give us more information about different types of cancer, how to fight against these type of cancer.
    Sutanu Kapri, PhD student
    IISER Kolkata

    Faseeha Suman

    See, I loved your presentation a lot. It is quite appreciable. can you please tell me some criteria to join as a crusader to fight against cancer in National Cancer Control Programme?