Four out of 10 cases of cancer among men in Mumbai are related to tobacco use. Among women, one in six are caused by tobacco.
Data released by the Mumbai Cancer Registry (MCR), maintained by the Indian Cancer Society, reported an increase in cancer cases from 12,090 in 2010 to 13,564 in 2014. The data was collected from 137 medical centres, including primary, secondary and tertiary care hospitals, nursing homes — both municipal and private sector — and also diagnostic facilities in Greater Mumbai.While cancer of the Gastro Intestinal (GI) tract system was 22.5% of the total cases, head, neck and breast cancers were the next most common kinds of cancer. Experts said changing lifestyle, including a reduction in tobacco use, alcohol and better food habits can reduce the number of cases.
Dr Vinay Deshmane, medical director, said the data presents a target group that is in need of increased efforts of intervention. “We know for a fact that tobacco increases the chances of cancer in the digestive system, head, neck and lung, which are the three most vulnerable cancer sites, according to the incidents reported in 2014,” said Deshmane.
While the data suggested a higher prevalence of cancer in the aging population, with individuals from 45 years and above reporting about 81% of the total cancer cases, experts said early intervention is key to reducing mortality and improving quality of life. “The only reason why older people are more susceptible is because of the degradation of the genetic system of individuals with age. The key here is early diagnosis for a younger age group, because in a majority of the cases, patients are diagnosed only in the later stages of cancer,” said Deshmane.
Dr Sanjay Sharma, a senior oncologist from the Asian Cancer Institute, said along with smoking and alcohol abuse, eating food items with preservatives and lifestyle changes have contributed to an increase in GI system cancers. “Even migration pattern of patients should be considered in this because migrants from other cities, living in deplorable conditions, don’t have access to home-cooked food and healthy lifestyle pattern. They contribute to a major share of cancer incidents which are preventable,” said Dr Sharma.
In all, the cancer cases for total population the leading individual site of cancer were breast (15.6%) followed by lung (7.8%) mouth (6.2%) liver (4.5%) and prostate (3.8%). While in men, the leading cancer sites were lung, mouth, prostate, liver and lymphomas, in women, the breast, cervix, ovary and lung cancers were most common.