World Cancer Day: Which are the most common cancers in India?

World Cancer Day is observed on February 4, every year. Photo: Shutterstock

World Cancer Day is observed on February 4 every year, to promote awareness about the disease and extend support to those fighting it. Do you know what are the type of cancers that account for the most number of new cases in India, as per the latest estimates? According to the Global Cancer Observatory's estimates for 2022, breast, cervical, and oral cancers accounted for 32% of the new cases in our country. Moreover, the cases of women outnumbered men. In 2022, 1,92,020 new cases of breast cancer were reported, while the number of cervical cancer cases was 1,27,526. Oral cancer, which was the most occurring among men, saw 1,07,812 new cases. Ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and cancer of the esophagus were the other types that affected the country the most.

Breast cancer
It originates in the cells of the breast and can occur in both men and women. “Lumpiness, changes in your nipples, discharges from the breast (may be blood-tinged), tethering (pull on the overlying skin inwards like a dimple), and fullness in your armpits are a few of the common symptoms of breast cancer. If you have witnessed these changes recently, you should consult a doctor immediately. While breast self-examinations at home can’t replace a medical check-up, they’re still very useful in finding any abnormalities or changes to your bust. Here's how to do self-examination for breast cancer

Cervical cancer
Acccording to the World Health Organisation, prolonged infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. “Persistent HPV infection of the cervix (the lower part of the uterus or womb, which opens into the vagina – also called the birth canal) if left untreated, causes 95% of cervical cancers,” according to the WHO website. While it takes 15–20 years for abnormal cells to become cancer, in women with weakened immune systems the process will be faster. Here's how to detect it early

Oral cancer
Oral cancer aka mouth cancer or cancer of the oral cavity are cancerous diseases that start in any part of the mouth. According to the World Health Organisation, it is the 13th most common cancer worldwide. “Oral cancer is more common in men and older people, more deadly in men compared to women and it varies strongly by socio-economic circumstances. Tobacco, alcohol, and areca nut (betel quid) use are among the leading causes of oral cancer,” says the WHO website. Here's how to detect oral cancer symptoms early.

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