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  • More younger people getting cancer ,20% cancer cases in India are below the age of 40 years: Study

    Published on May 24, 2024

     New Delhi :  National Cancer Study done by Cancer Mukt Bharat Foundation highlighted that in India 20% of the cancer cases are those patients who are below the age of 40 years in which 60% were male and 40% were female, indicating that the incidences of cancer is rising among  younger generation . In the United States, the American Cancer Society also recently reported that the demographics of cancer patients are increasingly shifting from older individuals to middle-aged people.

    National Cancer Study by Cancer Mukt Bharat Foundation  was conducted across 1368 cancer patients across India who called on its Cancer Helpline Number from 1st  March 2024 to 15th May 2024 . The most number of calls were from Hyderabad then Meerut, Mumbai and New Delhi .

    Recently Under Cancer Mukt Bharat Campaign a free of cost National Cancer Helpline Number 93-555-20202 was launched which is operational from 10am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday. Cancer patients can call on this number to speak to leading Oncologists directly or even do a video call to discuss about the cancer treatment without paying any fees. This helpline number offers a free opinion from leading oncologists, providing crucial guidance to patients navigating the complexities of cancer diagnosis and treatment. The helpline is accessible to anyone and promises to be a game-changer in the fight against cancer.

    The Study also found that the most prevalent cases were of Head and Neck cancer 26% of patients,  closely followed by GI cancers 16% and breast cancer 15% and then blood cancers 9% of patients. These data are in line with Globocan national India data.

    The Study also found that 27% cases diagnosed in India are in stage 1 and 2 of cancer whereas 63% were Stage 3 or 4 cancer. The most common question of the Cancer patients who called at Cancer Helpline number was for second opinion and to confirm whether their cancer treatment is correct and upto date and check availability of any latest treatment or medicine to treat their respective cancer as in cancer treatment. New medicines are approved almost every week so this is an important reason to get another opinion. The second most common question we found was patients asking what stage their cancer is in indicating the importance of education to cancer patients and thirdly patients commonly asked regarding their family members, what they can do to prevent cancer highlighting the importance of cancer screening and awareness.

    Dr. Ashish Gupta, Principal Investigator and Senior Oncologist who is heading Cancer Mukt Bharat Campaign in India  said  “Since the launch of free of cost National Cancer Helpline Number 9355520202, it is proving to an support system for cancer patients across India and we are getting almost hundreds of calls every day from across all the Indian states. This study helps us make more targeted cancer approach towards cancer treatment and make India Cancer Mukt. We found head and neck cancer was most prevalent which is nearly entirely preventable by lifestyle modification, vaccinations and screening strategies. Breast and colon cancers we have very effective screening strategies for which find cancer in the early stages. Unfortunately as is representative of the population at large in India we found nearly 2/3rds of cancers were detected late likely due to low adoption of proper screening. Cancer Mukt Bharat campaign aims to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer on individuals and communities through education and early detection.”

    Further it showed that 67% of The cancer patients who took help of National Cancer Helpline number (93-555-20202)  were those patients who are taking treatment from private hospitals and 33% of the cancer patients were those who are being treated at government hospital. It was encouraging that patients from all sectors were taking advantage of this helpline and was a more representative study with a wide variety of demographics and socio-economic strata.

    Dr. Ashish Gupta further said that  “ In our country escalating rates of obesity, change in dietary habits, specifically the increase in consumption of ultra processed food, and sedentary lifestyles also are associated with higher cancer rates. We must adopt a healthy lifestyle and avoid use of tobacco and alcohol to prevent the risk of cancer in younger generation”. 

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