About 12% women between 35 and 40 years of age in Indore are under an increased risk of developing stomach cancer, according to a report published by Indus Health Plus and CHL Hospitals on Thursday.
The survey conducted among 20,130 people in the city between January and December last year found that the maximum number of cases of cancer was observed in the 35-45 years age group.
Unsuitable lifestyle, erratic biological cycle and obesity were found to be the main reasons for the increased the vulnerability to the disease.
About 7-10% people were found to be at a higher risk of lung cancer due to smoking and consumption of alcohol, while 15-18% people from both urban and rural areas were found to be at a higher risk of developing oral cancer due to their habit of chewing tobacco.
The top three carcinogens are smoking and chewing tobacco, areca nut (supari) and betel quid (paan, paan masala), which together have made oral cancer the most common cancer in India. Of them, tobacco in its three forms — chewing, smoking and second-hand smoke - accounts for 30% of all cancers in the country.
“Changing lifestyle and biological cycle have given rise to cancer cases”
“Changing lifestyle and biological cycle have given rise to cancer cases, especially amongst those in their late-40s,” said Amol Naikawadi, preventive healthcare specialist at JMD Indus Health Plus. “Empowering individuals to (make) healthy choices — healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping physically active can help reduce the cancer burden. Preventive check-up and early detection also helps in effective treatment and increases life expectancy.”
According to the findings, 10% women between 35-45 years of age were found to be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, while a delay in the biological clock made 15-20% women in the 39-48 years age group more vulnerable to cervical cancer.
Diabetes, obesity and heart ailments increase the chances of developing cancer
Growing number of cases of diabetes, obesity and heart ailments due to poor lifestyle and eating habits could also increase the chances of developing cancer, the survey revealed.
The most alarming revelation was that about 15% of the people suffering from cancer were not aware of its symptoms. A study of computerised tomography (CT) scans - a procedure that combines many X-ray images to form a three-dimensional image of internal organs and structures of the body - showed that 8-10% of neck and oral cancers were in the advanced stage at the time of treatment.
30% of cancers can be prevented if there is early screening
“As per WHO statistics, 30% of cancers can be prevented if there is early screening. Increasing awareness on signs, symptoms and early diagnosis will improve survival (rates),” said Naikawadi.
“In India, cancer is more common in males as compared with females - the male-female ratio is 2:1. Close to 12 lakh new cases of cancer are reported every year. Unusual weight loss, low haemoglobin, blood in urine, skin changes, etc are the common signs and symptoms of cancer which people should not ignore,” he added.
On World Cancer Day, Sangini Cancer Care Society organized a training workshop on ‘Prevention and treatment of Breast and Cervix Cancer’ at Mata Gujri College of Professional Studies on Thursday. About 150 girls and faculty members participated.