child with cancer sitting on bed

According to the latest data available from the National Cancer Registry Program (NCRP) of India, the estimated number of new cancer cases in India in 2020 was 13.9 lakhs (1.39 million), with an estimated 7.7 lakhs (0.77 million) cancer-related deaths in the same year.

The most common types of cancer among Indian men are oral cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer. Among women, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, and oral cancer are the most common types.

According to a latest report published in a leading Journal there cancer rates in Kashmir have increased by around 30% in the last decade. The report also noted that breast cancer, lung cancer, and blood cancers were among the most common types of cancer in the region.

The age-standardized incidence rate (ASIR) for all cancers combined in India is estimated to be 87.7 per 100,000 population for males and 94.2 per 100,000 population for females. The ASIR for cancer-related deaths is estimated to be 62.2 per 100,000 population for males and 47.2 per 100,000 population for females.

It is important to note that cancer incidence and mortality rates can vary significantly across different regions of India, with higher rates observed in urban areas and in certain states such as Kerala, Mizoram, and Delhi. Additionally, there are disparities in cancer care and access to treatment between different socioeconomic groups and geographic regions. The Indian government and various organizations are working towards improving cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment in the country to address these disparities.

There have been many advancements in cancer treatment research in recent years. Some of the latest and most promising treatments include:

  1. Immunotherapy: This treatment involves using the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. It works by boosting the immune system’s ability to recognize and attack cancer cells. One type of immunotherapy is called checkpoint inhibitors, which block proteins that cancer cells use to evade detection by the immune system.
  2. CAR-T cell therapy: This treatment involves modifying a patient’s own T cells (a type of immune cell) to recognize and attack cancer cells. The modified T cells are then infused back into the patient’s body to attack the cancer.
  3. Targeted therapy: This treatment uses drugs that specifically target the molecular changes that drive the growth and spread of cancer cells. For example, some targeted therapies focus on blocking the activity of certain proteins that cancer cells need to grow and divide.
  4. Precision medicine: This approach involves using genetic testing to identify specific mutations in a patient’s cancer cells. This information can be used to tailor treatment to the patient’s individual needs.
  5. Gene therapy: This treatment involves introducing genetic material into a patient’s cells to replace or repair defective genes. This approach has shown promise in treating some types of cancer, such as leukemia.

Overall, cancer treatment research is an active and rapidly evolving field, and there are many promising new therapies in development.

Reasons for Rise of Cancer Cases in Kashmir

The increase in cancer cases in Kashmir can be attributed to a combination of factors, including:

  1. Aging population: The population in Kashmir is rapidly aging, and cancer incidence increases with age. As a result, the growing elderly population in India is contributing to the increase in cancer cases.
  2. Lifestyle changes: There has been a significant shift in lifestyle and dietary habits in Kashmir in recent years, with an increase in consumption of processed foods, unhealthy diets, tobacco, and alcohol. These lifestyle factors are associated with an increased risk of cancer.
  3. Environmental factors: Exposure to environmental factors such as air pollution, industrial chemicals, and radiation can also increase the risk of cancer.
  4. Lack of cancer screening and early detection: Many cancer cases in Kashmir are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when treatment is less effective. This is often due to a lack of awareness about cancer and limited access to screening and diagnostic facilities.
  5. Limited access to cancer care: Many people in Kashmir have limited access to cancer treatment facilities, particularly in rural areas. This can result in delays in diagnosis and treatment, and lower survival rates.
  6. Genetic factors: Some types of cancer have a genetic component, and certain genetic mutations may be more common in certain populations. This may contribute to the higher incidence of certain types of cancer in India.

Overall, addressing the factors contributing to the rise in cancer cases in Kashmir will require a multi-faceted approach that includes improved awareness, prevention, screening, and access to quality cancer care.

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