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Young Adults Comprise 20% of Cancer Patients in India, Study Reveals

A recent study by the Cancer Mukt Bharat Foundation in New Delhi has shed light on a concerning trend: a significant portion of cancer patients in India are young adults. The study revealed that 20% of cancer cases involve individuals under the age of 40. This highlights the growing impact of cancer on a younger demographic that was previously considered less susceptible.

The study analyzed data from 1,368 patients who contacted the foundation’s cancer helpline between March and May 2024. It found a near-even gender distribution among young adult patients, with 60% being male and 40% female. This suggests cancer is affecting both young men and women at an alarming rate.

Cancer Patients in India

The most prevalent cancers diagnosed in this age group were:

The most prevalent cancers diagnosed in this age group were:

  • Head and neck cancers: (26%)
  • Gastrointestinal cancers: (including colon, stomach, and liver cancers) (16%)
  • Breast cancer: (15%)
  • Blood cancers: (9%)

These findings align with the national Globocan data for India.

Experts warn that this trend necessitates a multi-pronged approach. Raising awareness about cancer risk factors and encouraging healthy lifestyles among young adults can be crucial for prevention. Additionally, promoting early detection through regular checkups and screenings can significantly improve treatment outcomes.

The study also emphasizes the need for improved access to quality cancer care for younger patients. This includes ensuring proper diagnosis, providing effective treatment options, and offering the necessary support systems to navigate the challenges of the disease.

The Cancer Mukt Bharat Foundation’s study serves as a wake-up call, urging healthcare professionals and policymakers to address the growing burden of cancer among young adults in India. By prioritizing preventive measures, early detection strategies, and accessible treatment options, a more comprehensive approach can be established to combat this concerning trend.

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