At 7,217, PGI witnesses rise in cancer cases

  • Tanbir Dhaliwal, Hindustan Times, CHANDIGARH
  • Updated: Feb 03, 2016 18:26 IST
The incidence of cervix cancer is on a decline while the number of breast cancer cases continue to rise. (HT FILE )

While cancer cases have seen a consistent increase at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh over the last five years; a change in the trend has been noticed recently. Among women, the incidence of cervix cancer is on a decline while the number of breast cancer cases continue to rise.

The findings have come out from the hospital-based cancer registry which the institute has been maintaining since 2011. It is also supported by the National Cancer Registry Programme of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The consolidated first report from 2011-13 shows that a total of 12,709 cancer cases were reported in PGIMER, which means an average 4,236 cases were seen per year. The number of cancer cases increased to 7,101 in 2014 and 7,217 in 2015.


Breast cancer continues to remain the most common among women followed by cervix and ovarian cancer. While breast cancer continues to rise, the other two cancers have shown some decline.

From 2011-13, 20.3% breast cancer cases were reported, which rose to 21.9 % in 2014 and 23.6 % in 2015. On the other hand, cervix cancer saw a dip of 1.1% (from 15.4% in 2010-13 to 14.3% in 2015).

Similarly, 7% ovarian cancer cases were reported in 2011-13, the number declined to 6.5% in 2015.


“Change in the socio-cultural values, lifestyle modifications, more awareness can be seen as possible reasons behind the changing trend of cancer among women,” said Dr Sushmita Ghoshal, head of radiotherapy department, PGIMER.

Late marriage, not conceiving, no breast-feeding, family history of breast cancer, obesity, intake of more fat content, hormone usage, early menarche and late menopause are some of the common reasons leading to breast cancer.

“As per the textbooks, the relative risk of women who do not bear child is 1.4 times in comparison to a woman who delivers baby. Also, if a woman has full term pregnancy after 30 years of age, then chances of developing breast cancer is two to five-fold as compared to having pregnancy earlier,” said Ghoshal.

The main causes of cervix cancer are having too many children, too early child birth, HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection and having multiple sexual partners.


Lung cancer, cancer of oral cavity and leukemia are the three most common cancers among men.

Cases of lung cancer have seen a consistent increase from 10.9% to 14.5% in the last five years. Similarly, cancer of oral cavity has increased from 10.7 % to 13% from 2011-13 to 2015. On the contrary, leukemia cases declined from 9.3% in 2011-13 to 8.3% in 2015.

“Tobacco, alcohol, HPV infection are the common culprits behind increase in lung and oral cavity cancers among men. Increase in life expectancy is also one of the main causes, as the chances of some cancer increases as one grows old,” said Dr Rakesh Kapoor from the radiotherapy department, PGIMER.

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