Top 5 Reasons Why cancers are Increasing in Indian Youth

Cancer, once thought of as a disease primarily affecting the elderly, is increasingly becoming a concern for young adults in India. The rise in cancer rates among the youth has raised many eyebrows and is a cause for alarm. In this blog, we will explore the top five reasons why cancer is on the rise among young Indians, the types of cancer they cause, and what can be done to prevent and treat this alarming trend.

India’s Cancer Ratings according to studies:

  1. 1. India recorded an estimated rise to 14.6 lakh in 2022 from 14.2 lakh in 2021 and 13.9 lakh in 2020 incident cancer cases
  2. 2. Out of which 50,000 youths are diagnosed every year.
  3. 3. Deaths attributed to the disease increased to 8.08 lakh in 2022 from 7.9 lakh in 2021 and 7.7 lakh in 2020
  4. 4. Shockingly, the trend of cancer among young adults is also on the rise.

Top Reasons for Increasing Cancer Rates in Indian Youth:


Tobacco is the single largest cause of cancer in India and globally. The most influential factor in youth uptaking smoking is parental, sibling and peer smoking or lower socioeconomic status, rebelliousness or thrill-seeking. 

Do you remember “Khaike Paan Banaras-Wala”? Tobacco intake in the form of paan and smoking in movies directly influences youth. The song says, “Aisa jhatka lage, punar janam ho jaye”. Well, we agree.

Tabacoo is responsible for a wide range of cancers, literally every body part, including lung, mouth, throat, and oesophagus cancer. The good news, it’s preventable. The one and only best way to prevent this is to quit smoking or avoid any form of tobacco use. The most effective strategy to support your endeavour is to get support from the best hospitals in Bhubaneswar or certified professionals trained to treat.

If diagnosed with tobacco-related cancer, treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. Seeking help from a cancer specialist hospital is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment.

tobacco consumption

Harnessing the Power of Everyday Choices: Your Guide to Personalized Cancer Prevention.

2. Alcohol Consumption:

Excessive alcohol consumption is another major contributor to cancer cases among young Indians. The reasons are to deal with emotional pain, to fit in, peer pressure, trauma or abuse, socialising and partying. 

Alcohol can lead to cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, breast, and more by ethanol (pure alcohol) and its by-product acetaldehyde damages DNA and tissues directly. Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk of dementia, depression and accidents. 

One can seek comprehensive care from hospitals that include behavioural therapy, and medication and be part of support groups that can help to sober up.

alcohol consumption

3. Unhealthy Diet, Physical Inactivity and Overweight

These three are interlinked with each other. Indian youth face a throat-cutting competitive environment. With a heavy workload and long work hours, it has become a norm to get food ordered during work hours or relieve stress by dining out. Fast foods have become a go-to, be it office, home or outing. 

Additionally, it demands long hours of sitting in one place staring down at screens. Too much sitting and not enough exercise coupled with a diet high in processed foods, sugar and fats can lead to various cancers, including colorectal, breast, and endometrial cancer.

Prevention is key when it comes to lifestyle-related cancers. All an individual can do is, walk and talk while on the phone, stand at the workplace for 5 minutes every 30 minutes at the least, take the stairs rather than the elevator, reduce processed food increase green intake and at least count 4000 steps per day.

Unhealthy Diet

4. Air Pollution and Exposure to Sun

Air pollution is the major cause of lung and respiratory cancer affecting both smokers and non-smokers, particularly in densely populated cities. 

Additionally, deforestation due to urbanisation and industrialisation has led to a rise in temperature. Direct excessive sun exposure without protection can result in skin cancer.

Reducing exposure to air pollution through cleaner energy sources and better urban planning can help mitigate cancer risks. Sun protection measures such as sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing are essential to prevent skin cancer.

Air Pollution

5. Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases like Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B can lead to cervical and liver cancer respectively. Vaccination against HPV and Hepatitis B can significantly reduce the risk of associated cancers. Early detection through regular check-ups is vital.

Infectious Diseases

Time is of Essence

The increasing prevalence of cancer among Indian youth is a serious concern, and addressing it requires a multi-pronged approach.

Awareness and Prevention: These start from home. Parental guidance is highly essential to educate young Indians on the risks of tobacco and alcohol consumption, the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and the significance of vaccination followed by strong support from educational institutions.

Detection and Diagnosis: Rather than treating it like a taboo, encourage regular health check-ups and screenings to help early cancer detection and more successful treatment outcomes. 

Treatment including Palliative Care: Ensuring access to quality cancer treatment, making it affordable, and providing palliative care for those in advanced stages of cancer is crucial.

Preventive Measure

Cancer risk can be significantly reduced by following a few key guidelines:

  1. 1. Quit smoking and avoid all forms of tobacco
  2. 2. Strive for a balanced weight through diet and exercise
  3. 3. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals
  4. 4. Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine
  5. 5. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation
  6. 6. If recommended, get vaccinated against HPV and Hepatitis B
  7. 7. Use sunscreen, and sunglasses, wear protective clothing, stay hydrated and stay in the shade as much as possible even in overcast sky
  8. 8. Discuss radiation risks with healthcare providers and use radiation only when necessary
  9. 9. Take precautions to reduce exposure to harmful substances in the workplace
  10. 10. Reduce Air Pollution and Indoor Pollution

In the face of increasing cancer rates among Indian youth, the importance of prevention and early detection cannot be overstated. It’s crucial to modify exposure to risk factors that potentially lead to cancer and to promote a healthier lifestyle among young adults. Furthermore, timely access to quality treatment and palliative care should be a top priority.

For those in need of cancer care, Sum Ultimate is here to provide the best possible treatment and support with a commitment to affordability, equitable access, quality of outcomes, and palliative care ensuring that cancer patients receive the comprehensive care they deserve.

The best oncologists in Odisha are at Sum Ultimate, dedicated to guiding patients through their cancer journey, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. It’s our mission to combat the rising cancer rates in India, especially among young adults, by providing top-notch care and spreading awareness about cancer prevention.