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Times of India
30 May 2008
Mumbai, India

Cigarette Smoking Is Being Blamed For The Increasing Incidence Of The Disease Among Urban Men
Smoke Smoke
Lung cancer, the worst result of smoking, has overtaken oral cancer as the most common form of the disease among adult men in most parts of the country. This deduction is based on the elaborate data kept at cancer registries in various Indian cities, said a group oncologists just before World No Tobacco Day, which falls on Saturday.

Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bhopal, Ahmedabad and Karunagappally are six cancer registry centres where lung cancer has emerged as the leading form of the disease among men. Until a few years back, most oncologists would say that oral cancer again caused by chewing tobacco and other items–was the most common cancer among men in India.

“But there is now no denying that the lung is the largest site of cancer for adult men in urban cities like Mumbai. The number of women sufferers is much lower than men, but it is also increasing”, said Dr Purvish Parikh, who heads the Tata Memorial Hospital’s medical oncology department and is a member of the Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncologists.

Smoke Smoke
”The primary cause of lung cancer in up to 90% of patients is tobacco”, added Parikh.

The Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncologists put out a press release on Wednesday to highlight the changing map of cancer in the country. “More than 50,000 new lung cancer cases are diagnosed every year, about 80% of them at an advanced stage, mostly among the middle–aged and elderly”, said the release. The society is of the view that lung cancer is gaining epidemic proportions in India.

Lung cancer has surpassed cancer of the mouth, the most common form of cancer earlier in India, according to various studies.

Dr Purna Kurkure, who heads the paediatric oncology department of Tata Memorial Hospital and is the president of the Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology, said the Mumbai cancer registry has data from every single nursing home that has treated a cancer patient. “It clearly shows that there has been an increase in incidence of lung cancer in Mumbai. The 2001 registry put the incidence in Mumbai’s men at 10.7 per 100,000”, she said.

“What is most alarming about smoking”, she said, “is that three–fourths of the smokers pick up the habit in adolescence. Cessation of smoking is the most effective, achievable and least expensive intervention for reducing the risk of lung cancer”.

Tobacco Threat
Cancer Chart Cancer Chart
In three of the four major Indian metros–Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata–lung cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among grown men

Experts estimate that upto 90% of lung cancer is caused by cigarette smoking

Earlier, mouth cancer, primarily blamed on the chewing of tobacco and other items, was considered the most prevalent form of cancer among men in India

More than 50,000 new lung cancer cases are diagnosed in India every year, with 80% of them in an advanced stage

Aside from smoking, lung cancer is caused by occupational exposure to carcinogens, indoor air pollution and diet

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in developed countries.

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