Crisis In Health Care – Cancer Deaths Have Reached 500,000 Last Year

The Logical Indian

February 6th, 2016 / 1:50 AM

Originally Published On Catch News | Image Courtesy:huffpost

Thursday was the World Cancer Day. It is marked every year to sensitise people on the deadly disease that takes away millions of lives, most of which is preventable.

As Heather Bryant, vice-president, Cancer Control, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, said, it’s an opportunity to examine cancer control strategies; ensure fewer people develop cancer; more people are successfully treated; and there is a better quality of life for people during treatment and beyond.

Significantly, India is located centrally in the fight against cancer as every 13th cancer patient in the world is from India.


Here are a few snapshots of the cancer pandemic and why it matters for us to dedicate a day for the disease:

  • 11,48,692 was the number of estimated cancer cases in India, as of 2015.
  • This is approximately the population of Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Female cancer cases accounts for about 55% of total cancer incidences.
  • The estimate is based on time trends in cancer incidence of 1982-2010. Hence, the actual numbers can be much higher
  • Uttar Pradesh (192,488) and Maharashtra(104,361) lead in absolute numbers, followed by Bihar (101,820), West Bengal (86,628) and Madhya Pradesh (69,918).

  •  505,428 was the estimated number of people who died from cancer in 2015.
  • This is nearly the number of people living in Jhansi.
  • Cancer mortality in India increase 8% from 2012 to 2015.
  • According to an analysis published in Lancet in 2012, lung and oral cancers are the leading cause of mortality among men while breast and cervical cancer for women.
  • The study noted that 80% cancer deaths could not be prevented as patient visited a doctor during the terminal stage and age-standardised rate of cancer death was higher among illiterates as against the educated.

  • 23% was the estimated number of people who died from cancer in 2015.
  • This is nearly the number of people living in Jhansi.
  • Cancer mortality in India increase 8% from 2012 to 2015.
  • According to an analysis published in Lancet in 2012, lung and oral cancers are the leading cause of mortality among men while breast and cervical cancer for women.
  • The study noted that 80% cancer deaths could not be prevented as patient visited a doctor during the terminal stage and age-standardised rate of cancer death was higher among illiterates as against the educated.

  • Rs 5 Crore was a one-time grant given by the Centre to new Regional Cancer Centres (RCC), under the National Cancer Control Programme.
  • The Centre gives Rs 3 crore for strengthening existing RCCs – a low amount given the duties and responsibilities of RCC.
  • There are a total of 25 RCCs in India with the primary objective of providing cancer treatment, spread awareness for early detections, training of health personnel.
  • NGOs which organise cancer camps to increase awareness are paid only Rs 8,000 per camp.
  • In 2013-14, the government approved a scheme for improving Tertiary Care Cancer in the country. The plan was to assist 20 state cancer institutes and 50 tertiary care centres, with a funding of Rs 120 crore and Rs 45 crore while the rest would be funded from state resources.
  • Apart from low funding, another challenge is the availability of doctors. According to media reports, there are only 1,000 trained oncologists in India and the ratio of oncologist to cancer patient is 1:2,000.

Cancer is a global problem. Internationally, a projected 19.3 million cases will take place by 2025. And unfortunately, India will account for heavy share unless emergency steps are taken, from increased funding to higher information campaign.


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