Bangalore: Cancer has affected many lives in India and around the world, some are benign and others fatal but when detected it demands attention and time. The time cancer consumes has been estimated to be prominently the individual’s most productive years of his or her life. An elaborate study on the worldwide impact of cancer found out that, the number of healthy years lost by cancer patients just in 2008 was 1.87 crore years in India.
The report calculated the productive years lost to cancer by estimating the disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), which are the average number of years a person lives with the disability and the number of years lost due to premature demise as published in the British Journal, ‘The Lancet’.
DALYs gives more attention to the number of death that occurs at an early age, which people spend on building careers, raising a family, and supporting members of family. Here are some remarkable facts found by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France. The Indian women are on the list with more health loss and productive years than men. Men lost 1,606 DALYs where as women lost 1,900 DALYs per lakh population. They are affected the most by breast cancer with 362 DALYs and cervical cancers with 466 DALYs, which steals the highest number of productive years.
In men lung cancers have 187 DALYs for every lakh of population, oral cavity is next with 163 DALYs followed by oesophagus with 123 DALYs, stomach with 102 DALYs and leukemia shows 105 DALY. The DALYs was derived by calculating the years of life lost (YLLs) along with the years lived with disability (YLDs) from 27 sites of cancer in12 world regions with total 184 countries. The study shows that three types of cancer myeloma, melanoma and thyroid take more healthy years of the women’s life than men in India.
As per Tata memorial Hospital in Mumbai, which recently published its cancer findings in the Lancet states that 70 percent of the cancer death happens between the age group of 30-69, which is considered as the most productive years. An estimate of 5.6 lakh died of cancer in 2010 in India.
"Our study represents an important first step towards establishing an evidence base for fatal and non-fatal cancer-related outcomes that is urgently needed to set priorities in cancer control." Said IARC lead author Dr Isabelle Soerjomataram, as reported by Kounteya Sinha for TNN
As accounted by IARC radiations from cellphones could cause cancer which made WHO to list it in the carcinogenic category. The cancers caused by infection which contributed for the entire DALYs was high in eastern Asia with 27 percent and in sub- Saharan Africa with 25 percent in the overall cancer scene.
Death by cancer has been estimated to 7.6 million in 2008 globally. With the increased awareness and technological advances in cancer research and cure, along with cancer prevention, its early detection, diagnosis and treatment had brought the mortality rate down in certain developed countries. With the advancements in medical research the life expectancy has increased and this has made cancer the global burden. There are speculations made that the number of cancer cases will increase to 21.4 million in 2030 as per the report.
The fight against cancer is a long road to stalk, whether there can be a complete cure for it or not is hard to say. However the concern that manifest is that with cancer the deterioration in health and moral is the expected but it’s important to be practical at dealing with it. Measures are considered to make cancer easier to accept and live with. Motivation is the key and as said by Olivia Newton-John “My cancer scare changed my life. I'm grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life”. It important to have a positive view in life to be able to deal with the days spent in the company of cancer.