India to see 20 lakh cancer cases by 2026: AIIMS
New Delhi, February 4: India will see an increase in cancer cases in the coming years that could reach 20 lakhs per year by 2026, according to an estimate by AIIMS based on the data provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Dr S V S Deo, Professor of Surgical Oncology at AIIMS Delhi, said that India is seeing an increase in the number of cancer patients. He went on to say that "13-14 lakh people are getting affected by the deadly disease each year and the figure could go in excess of 20 lakhs by the year 2026."
The theme for this year's World Cancer Day, being celebrated on February 4, is 'closing the gap'. The AIIMS doctor explained that the theme has been chosen keeping in mind the lack of awareness about the myths surrounding cancer and the need to educate people regarding the disease.
According to Deo, people have the misconception that cancer is incurable, which is completely false. He explained that the disease can be cured if detected early, which is why an awareness campaign is being run to educate the public.
He explained the campaign's specifics, saying, "different activities have been planned to raise awareness. Doctors will be interacting with people and rallies will be taken out to educate and disseminate information."
He stressed the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and eating a clean, healthy diet when sharing cancer prevention tips. He went on to say that processed and packaged foods should be avoided because they increase the risk of cancer.
He went on to say that smoking and alcohol consumption account for 30% of all cancer cases.