Cancer at ages 15-29 years: the contrasting incidence in India and England.
ABSTRACT There has been a steady increase in published research from Europe and North America on the epidemiology of cancers in young people. There are limited data from the developing world. We contrast the incidence of cancer at ages 15-29 years in India and England.
Malignant neoplasms in those aged 15-29 years registered during 2001-2003 in five urban population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) of India and in eight PBCRs in England were included. Site-based classification was used. Age-standardized incidence rates were expressed per 100,000 person years.
In India, 4,864 (5.8%) of 84,450 cases and in England, 8,137 (1.2%) of 65,6752 cancer cases occurred in those aged 15-29 years. For this age group, the incidence rate for males and females in India were 12.91 and 14.19, and in England were 27.75 and 28.88, respectively. In males aged 15-29 years, the three most common cancers in India were leukemia, lymphoma, and central nervous system tumors and in England were cancers of male genital organs, lymphoma, and leukemia. Cancers of female genital organs, breast, and leukemia were most common in females in India and cancers of female genital organs, lymphoma, and melanoma in England. For cancers of mouth, stomach, and gall bladder, the incidence was higher in India.
Incidence of cancer at ages 15-29 years in England is higher at most sites than in India. Variation in environmental exposures between the two countries might be an explanation. Under-ascertainment of cases and gender bias in seeking healthcare may also influence reported incidence rates in India.