Every hour, cancer kills at least 50 people in India and claims 100 new patients.
According to data collected through the National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an estimated 440,000 people die of cancer every year and about 700,000 to 900,000 new cancer cases are detected annually.
At any given point, there are 2.5 million cancer patients in the country, Minister of State for Health Panabaka Lakshmi said Monday.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO) in Lyon, France, estimates that about 74 percent of cancer deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.
About 50 percent deaths from cancer, the fourth commonest cause for deaths in India, are due to tobacco use, the minister informed the Rajya Sabha.
"The central government has enacted a comprehensive tobacco control legislation titled 'The Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003' to discourage the consumption of tobacco," she said.
Besides, the National Cancer Control Programme is supplementing the efforts of the state governments by providing financial assistance for setting up oncology wings in government medical colleges and hospitals for providing treatment facilities, the minister explained.