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Breast cancer now top killer among women, lung cancer among men in India

Breast cancer has replaced cervical cancer as the biggest killer among women, while lung cancer is the biggest cause of deaths among men in India, according to a latest study.

Liver cancer in India increased by 88 percent in the last 23 years, while oesophageal cancer increased by 64 percent, according to the study 'The Global Burden of Cancer 2013,' published Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology.

34,962 women died from cervical cancer in India in 1990. In 2013, 40,985 women died from cervical cancer while 47,587 died due to breast cancer.

Cervical cancer cases recorded the lowest increase during this period at 0.2 percent. This is attributed to drop in fertility rate, better hygiene and late marriages. Breast cancer cases increased by 166 percent.

In 1990, 30,188 men died due to stomach cancer in India, lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths among men (45,333 deaths) in the year 2013.

Stomach cancer among men recorded the lowest increase during this period at 33 percent, while prostate cancer rose by 220 percent.

It was found that India stood out in its incidence of oral and cervical cancer cases. While cervical cancer has been controlled in developed countries through mandatory check-ups and vaccination, India's addiction to chewing tobacco is the reason for high incidence of mouth cancer.

In India, the number of new mouth cancer cases more than doubled from 1990 to 2013 and was among the highest in the world, up from 55,500 to 1,27,000.

An international group of researchers, coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington conducted the study.