India: Tobacco is India’s biggest cancer worry: Docs

India: Tobacco is India’s biggest cancer worry: Docs

Cancer has become one of the leading causes of death in India. A report of The National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) 2020, released by the ICMR and the National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research, Bengaluru, estimated 13.9 lakh cancer cases by the end of 2020 which are likely to increase to 15.7 lakh by 2025.

The data also indicates that the leading sites of cancer are oral cavity, lungs, esophagus and stomach among men and cervix, breast and oral cavity among women. Tobacco is the most important identified cause of cancer and is responsible for about 40 to 50% of cancers in men and about 20% of cancers in women. India has an added burden of tobacco chewing which is more prevalent than smoking in many areas. The World Cancer Day is an international day marked on the 4th of February every year to raise awareness regarding cancer and encourage its prevention, detection and treatment. A webinar was organised by Pushpa Gujral Science City on World Cancer Day.

Dr Narayanan Ganesh, head and senior scientist, Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Bhopal, delivered a lecture on cancer and anti-cancer diet: myths to facts in which he familiarised the audience with signs, symptoms and modalities to detect cancer. Emphasising on the phenomenal role of diet in prevention and management of various cancerous disorders, he said, “The link between cancer and diet is just as mysterious as the disease itself. Certain foods and nutrients may help prevent—or, conversely, contribute to—certain types of cancer. With proper nutrition, active lifestyle, good quality sleep, balanced emotional health and the right choice of foods it is possible to overcome cancer and lead a long life.”

Dr Neelima Jerath, Director General, Pushpa Gujral Science City stressed on the importance of cancer awareness. She said increased awareness, accurate information and knowledge can empower all of us to recognise early warning signs, make informed choices about our health and counter our own fears and misconceptions about cancer. She also pointed out that cancer not only affects the patient but also his entire family.

Dr Rajesh Grover, Director, Science City, said, “Natural food may reduce your risk of cancer. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in certain fruits and vegetables are showing promising results towards preventing free radicals or cancer-causing agents from damaging cells.”