Most Common Cancers in India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 09/02/2023

Cancer is undeniably scary and is undoubtedly a critical life-threatening condition. However, the strides made through medical advancements no longer mean to come off as a death threat to the life of the patient. Moreover, to deal with the medical costs associated with the diagnosis of cancer, insurance providers have started to include cancer as an added benefit to the health insurance policy. Therefore, with the help of comprehensive health insurance that includes a critical illness cover, patients could focus on their recovery instead of having to worry about the cost of treatment.

Although cancer is a terrible illness that afflicts the world, India ranks third on the list of leading countries with cases of cancer. According to statistics, as many as 70% of cancer patients in India are women, and the illness claims as many as half a million lives in the country every year. The following article discloses the five most common cancers in the country.

The Most Common Types of Cancers in India

Unfortunately, the Indian populace suffers from different kinds of cancers every year. To add to this concern, the estimate by the ICMR or the Indian Council of Medical Research claims that cancer cases in the country could witness a 12 per cent rise in number.

According to a WHO report, the pattern or the causes of cancer in India reveals that the disease is dominated by a high burden of tobacco-related head and neck cancers. It goes on to state that this is true, particularly with oral cancer in men and cervical cancer in women. Additionally, both of these types of cancer are linked with a lower socioeconomic status. Here is a list of the most common types of cancer in India:

  • Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in females in India. As the name suggests, this cancer initiates in the breasts and can start in one or both breasts. While this type of cancer almost entirely occurs in women, some men can also get breast cancer. Starting from the breast, this cancer can spread to the other parts of the body via the lymph system or the blood.

The breast is made up of three main parts: ducts, lobules, and connective tissue. In most cases, breast cancers develop in the lobules or the ducts. Some warning signs of breast cancer include:

  • The development of a new lump in the breast or the underarm
  • Swelling and thickening of a part of the breast
  • Irritation or a dimpling appearance on the skin of the breast
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast
  • Pain in the area of the nipple or pulling in of the nipple
  • Discharge from nipple excluding breast milk
  • Change in the shape or size of the breast
  • Pain in any area of the breast

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in India, with women above the age of 50 being most prone to the disease. As breast cancer is the most common cancer in females in India, it is advisable to choose a mediclaim insurance that includes a critical illness cover with breast cancer. This will help deal with the medical cost associated with the treatment of the illness.

  • Oral Cancer

Also termed mouth cancer, this is cancer that develops in any part of the oral cavity. Oral cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in India. It is also the most common cancer in males in India. Mouth cancer can develop in any part of your mouth, such as your gums, tongue, lips, and cheeks, as well as the floor or roof of the mouth. Some common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Sore ulcers in the mouth that do not heal even over several weeks
  • Persistent lumps in the mouth
  • Persistent lumps in the lymph glands in the neck
  • Some other symptoms of mouth cancer also include:
  • Difficulty or pain in swallowing
  • Changes in your voice or problems with speech
  • Weight loss without the intention of losing weight
  • Numbness or bleeding in the mouth
  • Loosening teeth
  • Difficulty in moving the jaw

As oral cancer is common cancer in India, it is important to get yourself checked if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms. Observably, this is the most common type of cancer in men, and individuals over the age of 45 may be at a higher risk of developing it. Some causes of this cancer can be a lack of oral hygiene and neglecting dental care, poor nutrition, and a weakened immune system.

  • Cervical Cancer

Another common cancer in India amongst women is cervical cancer. This type of cancer develops in the cells of the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. Most cases of cervical cancer are connected to human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease. However, women addicted to smoking have a higher chance of developing this kind of cancer, and those using oral contraceptives are at an increased risk of developing it. The symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Vaginal pain or bleeding after intercourse

  • Vaginal discharge that is watery or bloody

  • Pain in the pelvic area

  • Trouble while urinating

  • Kidney failure

  • Muscle and bone pain

  • Fatigue and weight loss

  • Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer is another most prevalent cancer in India, with cancer cells developing in the lining of the stomach. This cancer develops in the uppermost layer of the stomach tissue, which is the mucosa. The early symptoms of gastric cancer include:

  • Indigestion and discomfort in the stomach
  • Feeling bloated feeling after eating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild nausea
  • Heartburn

After realising gastric cancer is the most common type of cancer, it becomes all the more important to take it seriously. Considering how obesity increases the risk of stomach cancer, maintaining a healthy weight can help lower the risk.

  • Lung Cancer

Not only is it one of the most common cancers in India, but lung cancer is also responsible as the leading cause of global cancer deaths. Lung cancer is also the most common cancer in males in India. Amongst the type of lung cancers, Adenocarcinoma (ADC) was the most common lung cancer in India (34%), followed by squamous cell carcinoma (SCC – 28.6%) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) (16.1%). The common symptoms of lung cancer are:

  • Persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood or rusty-coloured phlegm
  • Chest pain that worsens while coughing, deep breathing, or laughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis that are persistent or keep returning
  • New onset of wheezing

Mostly smokers are at the highest risk of developing lung cancer. Even individuals exposed to excessive passive smoking are at risk of developing this condition. The premiums for health insurance are much higher for those who smoke.

The Bottom Line

Cancer can afflict anyone however, some causes of cancer in India include tobacco, alcohol consumption, improper dietary habits, and insufficient physical activity. Considering the severity of the illness, it is important to get mediclaim insurance that covers cancer. Usually, a health insurance policy with a critical illness cover offers cover for different kinds of cancer. For those who smoke, the premiums for mediclaim insurance would be higher, and they can check the premium payable by using the free health insurance premium calculator. The health insurance with cancer covered by Tata AIG comes with a host of features and ensures that you are financially prepared to bear the cost of cancer treatment and hospitalisation.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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