World Cancer Day: Cancer strikes more Indian Women than Men
PR Professionals | 04 Feb 2015

World Cancer Day, observed annually on 4 February, is dedicated to raising awareness of cancer and encouraging its prevention, detection and treatment. World Cancer Day 2015 was celebrated with the tagline "NOT BEYOND US".

This year the day brought a positive and proactive thinking. It highlights the precautions for the cancer, educating public that the solutions are accessible. The campaign this year educated how to implement what we have known about cancer (treatment, detection, precautions).

Cancer is now one of the top causes of death in India, after heart attack, up from seventh position in 2000.India has some of the world's highest incidences of cancer: Cervical, gall bladder, oral and pharynx, which are also the most common.70 per cent lives are snuffed out in the first year in India, due to late detection.80 per cent patients consult doctors at a stage when recovery is rare.

In India more women than men are diagnosed with cancer every year. It is reflected in insurance statistics that show more women in our cities claim medical insurance for cancer treatment. Blame it on physiology or the stereotypical image of an Indian woman who chooses to ignore her symptoms for long, but fact is the Big C exhibits a clear gender divide. In all, 5.37 lakh Indian women were diagnosed with cancer in 2012 as against 4.77 lakh men, according to the World Cancer Report. The same year, 3.56 lakh men died of the disease in comparison to 3.26 lakh women.

In the past four years, 62-65%of cancer-related insurance claims were for women while the figure for men was only 35-38%, according to data released by private insurance firm ICICI Lombard. The claims were more for cancers of the cervix and breast, which are, according to the Indian cancer registry, the leading cancer types among women.

The main reasons for the gender divide in cancer are hormones and habits. "Physiologically, women's cells are exposed to more hormones and more hormonal fluctuations, leading to an increased susceptibility of cell dysplasia (abnormality)," said Dr Boman Dhabar, medical oncologist with Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai Central.

Lt General Rajender Singh, CEO DLF Foundation said "We at DLF Foundation we fully aware about creating awareness about Cancer.  With the alarming speed at which cancer is spreading across the nation, there is a need to educate people about the importance of early screening of cancer so as to ensure that the disease is nipped in the bud. DLF Foundation has initiated cervical and breast cancer awareness campaigns, covering two village clusters in Gurgaon, over a span of one year. The campaign aims to reduce the toll of cervical and breast cancer while creating awareness among the rural population. The focus is also to empower women in the rural populations with information on reproductive health concerns."

History of World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day originated in 2000 at the first World Summit against Cancer, which was held in Paris. Founded by the Union for International Cancer Control to support the goals of the 2008 World Cancer Declaration, it calls on government leaders and policy-makers to significantly reduce the global cancer burden and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

The main goal of the day is to reduce illness and death caused by cancers by 2020. The theme for 2015 is "Not Beyond Us" – to take a positive approach to the fight against cancer and highlight the new treatments and solutions within reach.