Cancer Statistics in India


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 country this particular disease affects everyone without discriminating between the different types of human races.

From here we see cancer statistics in India

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 to 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.

Cancer Statistics in India :

  • India is leading with the third-highest number of cancers among other countries worldwide after the USA and China in Women.
  • In India, the estimated number of 0.7 million cancer cases among Women is registered.
  • According to The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) until 2020 there will be around 17.3 Lakh new Cancer cases.
  •  The most prominent cases would be breast, cervix, and lung cancers.
  • As per the National Cancer Registry Programme conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) records estimated cases of cancer are 3.6 Million by the year 2016.
  • More than 40% of cancer cases like lung cancer, mouth cancer in India are preventable.
  • The major cause of mouth cancer in India is the consumption of tobacco. States like UP and Bihar is highest in tobacco chewing.
  • By the year 2030, Deaths from cancer around the globe are projected to continue to rise to over 13.1 million.
  • Around 1 to 1.4 million cases are unregistered, or undiagnosed.
  • On an average of 1,300 Indians are succumbing to various types of cancer.

Why is Cancer on the rise in India?

Cancer on rise

According to health experts, the causes of the 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
  • 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 for the 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 | Cancer Rate in India

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

Year Incidences in Male Incidences in Female Total Patients
2004 390803 426545 819354
2005 40000 43000 83000
2006 40000 45000 85000
2007 42000 47000 89000
2008 44000 49000 93000
2009 454842 507990 962832
2010 462408 517378 979786
2015 55000 60000 110000
2020 58000 65000 123000

{ Also Read: Why Cancer is Spreading Vastly in India? }

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:

Lung cancer: Lately lung cancer has grown like an epidemic and is responsible for more deaths than caused due to 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.

Breast cancer: This is the 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 has attacked the Indian women population quite badly.

The ICMR has found out that every year minimum of 100,000 new breast cancer patients is diagnosed in India.

Stomach Cancer: Globally, stomach cancer stands at the fifth position in the table of the 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. 

Gallbladder cancer: This cancer is highly prevalent in the northern parts of India and the ICMR has reported that 4.5 percent of 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 gallbladder cancer is much higher in the Ganges delta with around 70 to 90 percent of patients of cancer suffering from gallbladder cancer.

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 a decrease in cervical cancer patients in the country. 

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 a significant growth in oral cancer include Varanasi, Allahabad, Agra, Moradabad in and around Uttar Pradesh.

  1. Miscellaneous cancers: Other types of cancer that to are quite common in India include esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, head, and neck cancer or neoplasia.

Signs of early oral cancer || Signs of early oral cancer

Male Cancer Statistics:

The various types of cancers majorly affected the males are:

  • Lung – 31.2%
  • urinary bladder – 16.5%
  • Mouth – 16.5%
  • Tongue – 11.8%
  • Larynx – 10.0%

Female Cancer Statistics:

According to the latest survey, around 4.5 – 5% of the rise in cancer cases every year are seen all over India.

The females are majorly affected by the following cancers. Cancers like breast cancer, ovarian cancer are leading with the highest ration in the world.

  • Lung Cancer – 36.5%
  • Esophagus – 18.8%
  • Urinary Bladder – 15.3%
  • Mouth – 12.9%
  • Tongue – 10.6%

State-wise Distribution of Cancer in India

Type of Cancer State Highly affected State Moderately State Least Affected
Lung Cancer

Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh. W. Bengal

Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Kerala, Manipur, Tripura


Gall Bladder Cancer

Punjab Uttar Pradesh Bihar
Cervical Cancer Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu

W. Bengal, Goa, Rajasthan

Punjab, U.P., Andhra Pradesh,  

Stomach Cancer

Goa, Tamil Nadu

Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand

Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur

Esophageal Cancer  Karnataka, Assam Jammu & Kashmir Nil
Oral cancer

Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Pondicherry, Orissa

Tongue Cancer

Goa,  MadhyaPradesh

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
Nasopharyngeal cancer Nil Assam, Manipur Nil
Neck Cancer Nil Tripura Uttarakhand
Brain Cancer Nil Nil Rajasthan
Laryngeal Cancer Nil Uttarakhand Nil
Skin Cancer Chattisgarh Nil Nil

Cancer Common Among Men, Women, and Children

Men Women Children
Pharynx Breast Leukemia
Oral Cavity Oral Cavity

Brain 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 Pharynx Ewing 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 in 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 obesity, reducing environmental and occupational exposures, and 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 education 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 to 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, folatesCondiments, fibers, cereals and spices

Colorectal, bladder, epithelial, Prostate, lungs, esophagus, breast, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Bladder, Breast, Colorectal

Carrying out safety measures in theIndustries

Leukemia, gallbladder, liver,

bladder, lungs and kidneys

Leukemia, gallbladder, lung, squamous cell carcinoma and Biliary tract 

Non-smoking Lungs, bladder  Lung, neck and head
Drug abuse control Breast and cervical  Breast and cervical
Physical exercises Breast, bladder, colon, kidneys, cardiac, ovary, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, colorectal Breast, 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 types Skin, brain, cervical
Awareness All types Almost all types

Although cancer is a deadly disease, by initiating an 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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