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Health Report Flags Surge in Non-Communicable Diseases, India Leads in Cancer Cases

New Delhi: A recent health report on India, unveiled on World Health Day 2024, has raised significant concerns over the escalating prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across the nation, with cancer cases registering the fastest surge.

The 4th edition of the “Health of Nation Report” by Apollo Hospitals paints a grim picture, revealing that approximately one in three Indians are pre-diabetic, two in three are pre-hypertensive, and one in 10 are grappling with depression. These statistics underscore the urgent need for proactive measures to address the burgeoning health crisis in the country.

The report sheds light on the alarming rise of NCDs in India, encompassing a spectrum of health issues such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health disorders. Of particular concern is the rapid increase in cancer cases, earning India the dubious distinction of being labeled the “cancer capital of the world” due to its higher incidence rates compared to global averages.

Moreover, the report forewarns of a potential surge in healthcare burdens stemming from conditions like pre-diabetes, pre-hypertension, and mental health disorders manifesting at younger ages. It underscores the critical role of regular health screenings in curbing the risk of cardiac-related ailments by managing blood pressure (BP) and body mass index (BMI) levels.

Despite the gravity of the situation, the report highlights the stark reality of low cancer screening rates in India, even as the country grapples with a lower median age for cancer diagnosis compared to global standards. Among women, breast, cervix, and ovary cancers top the list, while among men, lung, mouth, and prostate cancers are predominant. Urgent measures are warranted to address this disparity and enhance cancer screening initiatives to curb the escalating cancer burden on public health.

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