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A world of sitting ducks
Cancer’s reputation as a deadly mass killer shows no signs of waning. Prevention & early detection awareness campaigns must be made implemented urgently

Despite several efforts, cancer remains one of the most dreaded diseases. Incidences of cancer as well as associated mortality rates are increasing alarmingly, mainly due to an aging world population living more ‘westernised’ lifestyles in terms of diet, physical inactivity and above all, surrounded by toxicity and pollution – both in the environment and in surrounding paraphernalia.

According to a report by the American Cancer Society, around 1,596,670 new cancer cases and 571,950 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in US in 2011 & 1 in every 4 deaths can be attributed to cancer. As per a September 2011 Lancet study, new breast cancer cases globally have increased tremendously from 6.4 lakh in 1980 to 16 lakh in 2010, with half of these new cases taking place in India and other developing nations. The Indian Council of Medical Research mirrored these findings in a recent research that said that breast cancer cases in the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore had doubled from 1985 to 2005. Worse, 86% of the world’s oral cancer cases now occur in India, concluded a February 2011 study of the National Institute of Public Health. Look at this shocking data of an AIIMS doctor, Dr. Vinod Raina, released to the media. Till a few years ago, out of the total cancer cases, only 0.014% related to lung cancer. Guess the figure now – 30%! Worse, a huge number of these lung cancer patients are non-smokers.

The fact is that modern lifestyles, especially pollution on the roads, is getting the better of humans. There will be a time when Indian metros, with at least one cancer patient every second household, would look similar to a few AIDS afflicted African nations. One wonder why hasn’t the government upped the ante in this war immediately.

By:- Mrinmoy Dey

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