National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020 UPSC

National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020 | UPSC


Tobacco behind more than a quarter of India’s cancer cases

      WHY IN NEWS:

As many as 27 per cent of cancer cases were caused due to tobacco consumption, according to a new report released by the National Cancer Registry of India (NCRI) on August 18, 2020.



For PRELIMS compare the estimates with the previous ones . Make a note on NCRP too !

For MAINS what are the policy lags in tobacco legislation ? Let us dive in .


Tobacco-related cancers constitute the highest burden among all types of the disease in India.



It is released by the National Cancer Registry of India, The new report has profiled the country’s cancer landscape.


The report released the cancer prevalence landscape by taking into account cases registered from 2012-2016.

  • It projected that cancers will rise by 12 per cent to 1,569,793 cases in 2025, from 1,392,179 in 2020.
  • The report has included data from 28 population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) and 58 hospital-based cancer registries (HBCRs) in India.


  • Tobacco consumption is a huge public health issue in India and its impact is especially devastating among the poor.
  • Effective tobacco control should be a top priority, both as a health issue and as a method to reduce poverty.

Tobacco use is deeply ingrained as a cultural practice and there are a myriad of tobacco types.

  • Multiple determinants of tobacco consumption included socio-economic status, marriage, population growth, marketing strategies, and price.
  • Report considers the tobacco burden including economic and social costs and adverse health impacts .
  • Tobacco consumption in India is continuing to increase despite tobacco control policy.
  • Needed are more visible and aggressive anti-tobacco campaigns including increased public awareness of tobacco harms.
  • Active engagement of worksites and health professionals in promoting tobacco cessation.

Gastro-intestinal tract cancers (19.7 per cent) and breast cancer (14.8 per cent) are the other most prevalent cancers in India.

  • Lymphoid and haematopoietic malignancies (immune system and blood cancers), cervix cancers and ovarian cancers are the other common cancers in India.
  • The PBCR takes into account, the number of cancer cases in a given geographical unit, for instance, Delhi.
  • It can be a district or even a state.
  • The PBCR in Delhi registered the maximum number of cases (60,097), followed by Mumbai (53,714), Chennai (31,271), Bengaluru (29,049) and Thiruvananthapuram (27,833).

The cancers of the lungs, mouth, stomach and oesophagus were the most common among males.

  • Cancers of the breast and cervix uteri were the most common cancers among females.
  • Mizoram’s Aizawl district topped in terms of cancer incidence per 100,000 population in males.

Papum Pare had the worst cancer rate for females, followed by followed by Aizawl, Mizoram, Kamrup, Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai.


  • Mouth cancers were the leading cancers in Ahmedabad Urban, Aurangabad, Osmanabad & Beed, Barshi Rural, Pune, Wardha, Bhopal and Nagpur.
  • Lung cancer was the leading cancer in eight other sites including the state of Delhi and the districts of Kollam etc.
  • The former is believed to be mostly caused by chewable tobacco and the latter by smoked tobacco.
  • Overall, lung and head and neck cancers were on the rise while stomach cancers were on the decline.

Overall, while breast cancers witnessed a significant upward trend, cervix cancer cases declined.

  • Childhood cancers are also on the rise.
  • The Delhi PBCR recorded the highest proportion of childhood cancers in both the 0-14 years (3.7 per cent) and the 0-19 years age group (4.9 per cent).

From the HBCR data, leukaemia was the most common diagnosis of cancer.


Background and challenges to implementation Limited regulations on bidis has multifaceted role in exacerbating the poverty and is a major barrier in the Tobacco control and achievement of SDGs 1 & 3 in India.

  • 53% of the smokers consumed bidi.
  • Low cost has influenced consumption among the poor and students.

Carbon monoxide and nicotine are 3 times and tar is 5 times higher than cigarettes.

  • Bidis are manufactured as home based instead of mechanized to elude the rights of bidi workers and also evade taxes.
  • Also promotes child labour and early initiation of tobacco consumption.
  • Workers develop dual burden of tobacco associated diseases and occupational hazards.
  • Tobacco exports have increased, especially to developed countries in the disguise of natural herbal product and being less hazardous.

Absolute number of smokers between 15-24 is increasing.

  • Being least expensive students are driven for early initiation and continuation.
  • Further increase in taxation on cigarettes in 2017, possibility of reversal of consumption pattern and relative boost to bidi industry.
  • Increasing global consumer base and threatening the tobacco control efforts undertaken via FCTC, WHO.


  • The National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) was commenced by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with a network of cancer registries across the country in December 1981.


1. To generate reliable data on the magnitude and patterns of cancer
2. Undertake epidemiological studies based on results of registry data
3. Help in designing, planning, monitoring and evaluation of cancer control activities under the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP)
4. Develop training programmes in cancer registration and epidemiology.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Data from the NCRP registries is regularly published in succeeding volumes of Cancer Incidence in Five Continents published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer – the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Uniformity in policies, more specifically taxation, on all tobacco products, will aid in effective tobacco control.
  • Preventing product switching and realizing the goals of poverty alleviation and good health via tobacco control is the need of hour.
     SOURCES:DownToEarth | National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020


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