Northeast is the cancer capital of India, says study

India, cancer, WHO, World Health Organisation, breast cancer, cervical cancer
The estimated number of cancer cases in the Northeast in 2020 was 50,317 | Representational image: iStock

Papum Pare District, in Arunachal Pradesh, and Aizawl, in Mizoram, have the highest incidence of cancer cases in the country among women and men, respectively, according to a new report.

Papum Pare has 219.8 per one lakh cancer cases among women, while Mizoram’s capital has 269.4 per one lakh cases among men, the report, released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), said.

Northeast India is the cancer capital of the country with the highest age-adjusted cancer incidence rates of newly diagnosed cancer cases, said Dr Kaling Jerang, principal investigator of Population Based Cancer Registry (PBCR) at Bakin Pertin General Hospital in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh. The PBCR project under the ICMR-NCDIR, Bengaluru, has been studying the cancer trends under the National Cancer Registry Programme, he said on Tuesday.

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Dr Jerang hoped that the 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 men and 22,814 women, the report said. 

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

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Breast and lung cancer were the next most common types of cancer found in the region, the report said. There were 3,674 breast cancer cases and 3,413 lung cancer cases last year, it added.

The study further revealed that Papum Pare also recorded the steepest age-adjusted incidence rate for cancer of the stomach (men), liver (both genders), cervix uteri, ovary and thyroid. Across the Northeast, oesophagus cancer (13.6 per cent) is the highest among men, followed by lung cancer (10.9 per cent) and stomach cancer (8.7 per cent). Among women, the breast is the leading cancer site (14.5 per cent), followed by cervix uteri (12.2 per cent) and gallbladder (7.1 per cent), the report said.

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