HYDERABAD: In a disturbing trend, a significant number of young children in Hyderabad are now afflicted by different types of cancers. Statistics from hospital-based cancer registry maintained by the city-based MNJ Cancer Hospital, the biggest government cancer referral hospital in the region, reveal that 5% of all cancer patients are children. Every month about 30 new paediatric cancer cases are reported at MNJ Cancer Hospital alone.
The registry at MNJ Hospital reveals that in 2017, 11,000 cancer patients were treated. About 550 of the patients were children.
“Cancer continues to be the major killer disease in India. Hyderabad figures among the cities with a high incidence of different types of cancers including breast cancer in women and men,” says Mujtaba Hasan Askari of Helping Hand Foundation that provides cancer care support to different hospitals across Hyderabad. He said about 5% of all cancer cases reported at MNJ Cancer Hospital are young children.
Experts, in the run up to the World Cancer Day on February 4, have issued warning signals about the high incidence of cancers in the country. If statistics are any indication, India is at the top of the high mortality rate list among cancer patients in Asian countries. Experts suggest that the best way to fight cancers and keep the mortality rate low is to detect the malaise in its early stages.
Worldwide data on different types of cancers and population-based survival rate reveal that many cancer patients in Hyderabad, as also in other parts of the country, do not live beyond five years after the detection. The five-year survival rate here is the lowest among many nations in Asia. This holds good for different types of cancers.
Among various types of cancers in this region, the most common is that of the breast. Statistics reveal just one of every two women diagnosed with breast cancer survives. This, in other words, means a mortality rate of 50%.
Official figures of the International Agency for Cancer Research, an affiliate body of the World Health Organisation, state that seven lakh people die of cancer in India. It has estimated that mortality would touch 12 lakh in 17 years. By 2035, 12 lakh new cases of different cancers would be added to the existing list.