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Analysis shows shocking rise in lung cancer cases among youth, non-smokers and women

The new report presents more evidence of the life-altering effect of air pollution in India and has many public health implications

November 23, 2022 / 01:19 PM IST
Representational image (Photo: Towfiqu Barbhuiya via Unsplash)

Representational image (Photo: Towfiqu Barbhuiya via Unsplash)

In yet more evidence of the growing hazard of air pollution in Indian cities, an analysis by a leading hospital in the National Capital Region has found that nearly 50 percent of the lung cancer patients diagnosed over the past decade were non-smokers.

The analysis by Medanta hospital in Gurugram, on 304 patients from various states who underwent treatment at the facility between March 2012 and November 2022, also showed that nearly 30 percent of the patients were women and a more aggressive form of lung cancer, adenocarcinoma, was increasingly being seen in a majority of the patients.

“The trends that have emerged from the demographic analysis are startling and shocking,” said Dr Arvind Kumar, who led the analysis. “These changes can be directly linked with the growing menace of air pollution as earlier just about 10 percent of the non-smokers used to have lung cancer and its incidence in women was very low.”

The worrying findings have emerged even as the abysmally poor air quality in Delhi-NCR and other cities in India has become a regular feature every winter.