Why is India called the cancer capital of the world?

11:28 AM Jun 02, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

India is increasingly being recognized as a potential “cancer capital of the world” due to the rapid rise in cancer cases. Reports indicate that the number of cancer cases in India is expected to increase significantly, from nearly 1.4 million in 2020 to around 1.57 million by 2025. This surge in cases surpasses global rates and highlights a pressing healthcare challenge for the country.


Cancer statistics in India highlight the significant burden of the disease on the country’s population. These are some important statistics based on recent data:

– Annually, India sees about 1.4 million new cancer cases.
– The age-standardized incidence rate is approximately 97 per 100,000 people.

– Cancer accounts for around 700,000 deaths each year.
– The age-standardized mortality rate is about 64.5 per 100,000 people

What are the major factors that prevail for an increase in the rate of cancer in India?


Several factors contribute to the increasing prevalence of cancer in India. Urbanization leads to lifestyle changes, including unhealthy diets, sedentary habits, and increased tobacco and alcohol consumption.

Environmental pollution and exposure to carcinogens in industries and agriculture also play a role. Limited access to healthcare, late diagnosis, and inadequate treatment facilities exacerbate the problem.

Additionally, an aging population and genetic predisposition contribute to the burden. Socioeconomic disparities and cultural barriers further hinder prevention and treatment efforts.

What measures and precautions should be taken to reduce the rate of cancer?

Reducing cancer burden in India necessitates a comprehensive approach encompassing prevention, early detection, treatment, and palliative care.

Strategies include tobacco control, vaccination, and lifestyle promotion. Screening programs for breast, cervical, and oral cancers are vital, alongside awareness campaigns. Improving healthcare infrastructure, training professionals, and ensuring access to medications are crucial for treatment. Palliative care, pain management, and support systems enhance patient well-being.

Cancer registries aid in data collection, while research and policy advocacy drive progress. Collaboration between public, private, and international entities is essential to overcome resource constraints and address cultural and geographical barriers, fostering a holistic cancer control framework.

– Dr. Harish E, Surgical Oncologist, KMC Hospital, Mangalore


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