Delhi and Mumbai; stomach cancer is the second most common among men in Bangalore. In Ahmedabad, tongue and lung cancer are the second and third most common respectively.
Among women, breast cancer remains the most common everywhere except in Barshi, Maharashtra, where cancer of the cervix is most common, followed by cancers of the breast and oesophagus.
In keeping with data from previous reports, for women, cancers of the cervix and ovary are the second and third most common. Delhi has, however, seen a recent spurt in gall bladder cancer, which has jumped to third place at 9.2 cases per 100,000 population, pushing ovarian cancers to fourth (8.2).
According to Dr Jhulka, “Delhi and other areas in the Indo-Gangetic plain have thrown up a high incidence of gall bladder cases among women. We suspect chemicals in the soil may have a role to play.”
Dr Jhulka added that AIIMS is currently in the process of obtaining clearances from its ethics body to start a molecular study in “representative” areas of the region to understand the reasons more fully.
“The molecular study will help us understand the genetic mutations in patients diagnosed with gall bladder cancers. Certain genes are known to be associated with causes like smoking, and certain known chemicals. This will help us understand the cause,” Dr Jhulka said.