According to the data on cancer at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) here, there has been a decline in the percentage of oral cancer cases among males over the years from 29.3 per cent in 1982 to 13.9 per cent in 2011; though it still remains the most common form of cancer among men.
Unlike oral cancer, which has been on the decline, lung cancer incidence has remained relatively constant over the same period, even showing a marginal increase from 11.9 per cent in the 1982 to 13.6 per cent in 2011 among the cancer patients reported to RCC.
Over the years, the highest proportional increase of patients reported to RCC was found for leukemia, followed by cancers of the prostate, rectum and thyroid.
The total number of cancer patients seeking treatment at the Centre annually, went up from 3696 in the year 1982 to 14,016 in 2011. ‘’The reason for such a massive change can be attributed to the increase in public awareness regarding cancer treatments. But there has been a definite increase in incidence of the disease due to environmental and lifestyle changes,’’ said RCC spokesperson.
Cancer pattern among women reported to RCC has also shown a changing trend over the last three decades.
While the order of appearance of common cancers encountered at RCC in the year 1982 were uterine cervix, breast, oral cavity and thyroid, a significant decline in cervical cancer was observed in the last 30 years. In 2011, breast cancer led the table (28.1 pc) followed by thyroid cancer (13.2 pc), uterine cervical cancer (8.2 pc) and oral cancer (6.8 pc).
Cancer registries have a pivotal role in cancer control. The population based registry, under the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Union Government functioning at RCC revealed the fact that during the past 7-year period (2005-2007), a total of 10,846 persons (5537 males and 5312 females) were diagnosed with cancer and 3844 persons (2252 males and 1592 females) died due to cancer in Thiruvananthapuram Taluk.