New Delhi: More
youngsters are developing cancer in India, doctors said at a
conference here Thursday. However, most of those affected by the
disease remain ignorant about it, which leads to delays in
diagnosis and treatment, they said.
"We are seeing more cases of cancer among teenagers and young
adults. However, not much attention is being paid to it," said Dr.
G. K. Rath, director of the Dr. B.R.A. Institute Rotary Cancer
Hospital at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS).
He said the cancer in youngsters was curable but timely diagnosis
remained a problem.
Rath was speaking at a conference on cancer ahead of a workshop on
the disease at the Asian Institute of Medical Science in Faridabad
Of the 1 million cancer cases reported in India every year,
150,000 of the patients were aged between 15 and 35, said the
"Cancer screening is usually not suggested before 35 years.
However, we need to see if the age limit needs to be brought
down," Dr. Prakash G. Chitalkar, a senior consultant and head of
the medical and pediatric oncology department at the Asian
Institute of Medical Science, said at the conference.
Few first or second stage cancer patients come to doctors due to
lack of awareness, Dr. N.K. Pandey, chairman and managing director
of Asian Institute of Medical Science, said.
"However, in Kerala, which has
high literacy, more patients in the initial stages come to
doctors. This shows that awareness makes a difference", he said.
"Tobacco, alcohol, hectic lifestyle and lack of exercise are
behind the increase in cancer cases," said Dr. N.K. Pandey,
chairman and managing director of Asian Institute of Medical
"Also, increased usage of
insecticides and pesticides, food preservatives, pollution and
food adulteration have pushed up the cancer cases", he added.