Northeast is cancer capital of India, finds govt study

Northeast India is the “cancer capital” of India with the highest age-adjusted cancer incidence rates of newly-diagnosed cancer cases, said Kaling Jerang, the principal investigator of Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) at Bakin Pertin General Hospital in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district and Aizawl in Mizoram recorded the highest incidence of new cancer cases in the country among females and males respectively, as per a government report.

The report, released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), stated that Papumpare district has 219.8 per one lakh cancer cases among females.

Mizoram capital Aizawl has 269.4 per one lakh cases among males, it said.

The PBCR project under the ICMR-NCDIR, Bengaluru, has been studying the cancer trends under the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP), Kaling Jerang was quoted as saying by PTI.

He hoped that the cancer data revealed by the project will be used by the government in policy-making decisions regarding cancer prevention, treatment and management.

The estimated number of cancer cases in the Northeast in 2020 was 50,317, among whom 27,503 were males and 22,814 females, the report said.

Oesophagus cancer was most prevalent in the region with cases 5,785 last year, it said. Oesophagus cancer will continue to be most prevalent in the northeast till at least 2025, the report predicted.

Breast and lung cancer are the next most common types of cancer found in the Northeast region, as per the report.

There were 3,674 breast cancer cases in the region last year and 3,413 cases of lung cancer, it added.

The ICMR-NCDIR study further revealed that Papum Pare also recorded the steepest age adjusted incidence rate (AAR) for cancer of the stomach (males), liver (both genders), cervix uteri, ovary and thyroid.

Across Northeast, oesophagus cancer (13.6%) is the highest among males, followed by lung cancer (10.9%) and stomach cancer (8.7%).

Among females, the breast is the leading cancer site (14.5%), followed by cervix uteri (12.2%) and gallbladder (7.1%), the report said.

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