Over 70 per cent of the cancer deaths in India in 2010 have occured in the age group of 30-69 with tobacco-related and cervical cancers being the leading cause,according to a new study.
According to the study published in ‘The Lancet’ today,here were 556,400 cancer deaths across India in 2010,of which 71 per cent (3,95,000) deaths occurred in people aged between 30-69 years (2,00,100 men and 1,95,300 women).
At nearly 23 per cent,oral cancer caused the most deaths in men,followed by stomach cancer (12.6 per cent) and lung cancer (11.4 per cent),while cervical cancer was the leading cause (17 per cent) of death in women followed by breast cancer (10.2 per cent).
The authors,who analysed over 1,22,400 deaths in 6,671 small areas over a period of three years,found that 42 per cent male and 18·3 per cent female died due to tobacco-related cancers in 2010.
Lead study author Professor Prahbat Jha of the Centre for Global Health Research at the University of Toronto in Canada said,”Cancer appears to be a disease of the young in India as it kills over 70 per cent of people in middle age…cancer deaths are two times higher in the least educated than the most educated and the differences were similar between urban and rural areas.”
“Most cancer deaths were tobacco-related and our study provides a road-map for a strong anti-tobacco policy by the government of India and higher taxes on tobacco can be an effective measure,which studies have shown to be the single most effective measure to reduce smoking,” he said.