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16 Oct 2021, Edition - 2286, Saturday

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Health Matters

Men’s Health: Cancer, a Leading Cause of Death in Indian Men



The fight against cancer continues. With no definite cure, it still remains a deadly disease that affects millions of people yearly, causing death. Research studies highlight that oral cancer and lung cancer account for over 50% of all cancer deaths. In India an estimated number of people living with the disease are around 2.5 million. One of the major causes of cancer are gene mutations that occur after birth. Besides this, there are other lifestyle factors that may cause changes (mutations) to the DNA of our body cells leading to uncontrolled growth of cells that can affect normal body functions. These include smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals, obesity, hormonal changes, chronic inflammation, lack of exercise and more.

Reports also suggest that one out of eight men have the possibility of developing cancer in their lifetime. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India is likely to have more than 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease by 2020 with cancers of breast, lung and cervix topping the list.

Prostate cancer, the second most common cancer among the residents of Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata and Pune, is increasing at the rate of 2.5 per cent per year. According to the doctors, late detection and unawareness of the disease is the sole reason that prostrate cancer has affected a total of 1.7 million people around the globe, with 2,88,000 cases in India alone. Also, citing the rise of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), another serious prostrate problem, the doctors have urged persons above 40 to undergo monthly checkups.

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