Thursday, October 04, 2012

Human Development Index and incidence of cancer ..

The changing face of cancer - from hygiene related to life style related.

40% of cancer cases in the world are in countries with a high Human Development Index (HDI) who house just 15 % of world population. Doesn't this look strange ?

93 in 100,000 in India suffer from cancer, ie 1 in 1075 people. In China it is 211 people per 100,000, ie. one in every 474 people suffer from one form of cancer or other. It is even severe in Japan, where 248 for every lakh of population suffer from cancer, ie one in every 403 people suffer from cancer. 

The hypothesis thus goes to prove beyond doubt that higher the human development, higher the incidence of cancer in that community. Is man's quest for growth and development killing himself leading to his downfall.. ??

The International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC) at Lyons France, part of WHO, does pioneering research to find the relationship between the incidences of cancer and the various causes for it.

The abstract of a paper which appeared in The Lancet relating human development index to incidence of cancer, where incidence of cancer is moving away from hygiene related forms to life style related forms is very alarming and shocking.. With increased life expectancy of people, in India it has increased by 4.7 years over the last decade, this leads to lot of problems in society like costs, care, treatment etc.

From about 12.7 million news cancer cases in 2008, it is expected to touch 22.2 million new cases by 2030, ie on average an increase of about 0.432 million new cancer cases every year (430,000 new cases globally), considering a linear growth rate, ie. by 2014, we can then expect at least 15.3 million new cases of cancer. Will I be one of them or you is a question to which the Medical scientific and research community is unable to give a firm answer. Like a Damocle's sword, this hangs over every one's head.

The recent Pulitzer winning book "Biography of Cancer - The Emperor of Maladies " by 42 year old Dr Sidharth Mukerjee, Assistant Prof of Medicine at Columbia Uty was a real eye opener of the history of this curse on mankind. Dr Sidharth has traced the first incidence of cancer being reported from an ancient Egyptian mummy of 3000 BC. Time magazine honoured that book as one of the top 100 non-fiction books of all time ..

How cancer acquired its own biographer in Dr Sidharth Mukherjee is a story by itself.. Read this link ..

While the poor strive to make ends meet, the rich and affluent strive to ward off such lifestyle diseases ..

Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai is now the only hub of IARC outside of its HQ in France. It shows how important India and Indian surgeons can be in the fight world over against cancer.

WHO website on cancer ..

WHO doc..
A number of common risk factors have been linked to the development of cancer: an unhealthy lifestyle (including tobacco and alcohol use, inadequate diet, physical inactivity), and exposure to occupational (e.g. asbestos) or environmental carcinogens, (e.g. indoor air pollution), radiation (e.g. ultraviolet and ionizing radiation), and some infections (such as hepatitis B or human papilloma virus infection).
Key risk factors for cancer that can be avoided are:
  • tobacco use - responsible for 1.8 million cancer deaths per year (60% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries);
  • being overweight, obese or physically inactive - together responsible for 274 000 cancer deaths per year;
  • harmful alcohol use - responsible for 351 000 cancer deaths per year;
  • sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) infection - responsible for 235 000 cancer deaths per year; and
  • occupational carcinogens - responsible for at least 152 000 cancer deaths per year.
Cancer prevention is an essential component of all cancer control plans because about 40% of all cancer deaths can be prevented.

The cancer incidence in India as highlighted in The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine is given in this news report in the Hindu of 2012.  Richer states in the South have higher incidence of cancer than the poorer states of North ..
When medical fraternity has failed utterly to understand cancer in its varied, demonic manifestations, how can human society and civilization transform itself to fight this "grand" malaise is a challenge we need to deeply ponder and take up in all sincerity and dedication.


1 comment:

  1. Life style development and Life style diseases are directly proportional to each other....പുതിയ പഠനങ്ങള്‍ അതാണ് പറയുന്നത് .....


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