Below 40 Age Group Makes Up 20% of Cancer Patients in Many Indian Cities

Below 40 Age Group Makes Up 20% of Cancer Patients in Many Indian Cities

Below 40 Age Group Makes Up 20% of Cancer Patients in Many Indian Cities

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A study revealed that people below the age of 40 comprise 20% of cancer patients. 

5 June 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

20% of cancer patients in Delhi and other national cities are under 40 years old, according to a survey by the Cancer Mukt Bharat Foundation. Of these, 40% are female and 60% are male, suggesting that the illness is becoming more prevalent in younger people. 1,368 patients from all around India who called the foundation’s cancer helpline between 1st March and 15th May participated in the study.

Hyderabad accounted for the most calls with 145, followed by Meerut with 96, Mumbai with 76 and New Delhi with 74. According to data from the American Cancer Society, the demographics of cancer patients in the US are progressively moving from older to middle-aged individuals. 

A nationwide cancer helpline number, 93-555-20202, was recently introduced as part of the Cancer Mukt Bharat Campaign. It is free of charge. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Patients can discuss their treatment options with renowned oncologists by calling this number and even setting up a free video chat.

According to the study, 26% of patients had head and neck cancer, making it the most common type of cancer. Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (16%), breast (15%) and blood (9%), in that order, were closely behind this. These results are consistent with the national Globocan statistics for India. Additionally, the study discovered that 63% of cases were in stages III or IV of cancer, whereas just 27% of cases were detected in stages I and II. The majority of people who contacted the helpline were looking for a second opinion. They wanted to make sure that their course of treatment was appropriate and current, and to see if any new medications or treatments were available for their particular tumours.

Oncologists stated that since new medications for the treatment of cancer are approved virtually every week, it is crucial to have a second opinion. Patients inquiring about the stage of their cancer ranked as the second most frequent inquiry in the research, highlighting the significance of education for them. Thirdly, it is noteworthy that patients frequently inquire about their family members’ health and possible preventive measures, underscoring the significance of cancer screening and education.

Dr Ashish Gupta, who is leading this campaign as principal investigator and senior oncologist, stated that in India, rising obesity rates, altered eating habits, particularly increased intake of ultra-processed foods and sedentary lifestyles are also linked to higher cancer rates. In order to lower the risk of cancer in the younger generation, we need to follow a healthy lifestyle and abstain from alcohol and tobacco.