Cancer Cases On The Rise In Mizoram, State Being Called ‘Cancer Capital Of India’


Around 3,137 people have been killed by cancer over the last five years in Mizoram, dubbing this Northeastern state as the ‘cancer capital of the country’.

The Population Based Cancer Registries  (PBCR) report, which was released in the month of May this year in ICMR, New Delhi, was highlighted during one day seminar on cancer in Mizoram at I&PR conference hall. As per the report , over 700 people have been killed by cancer each year from 2012-14. The report also revealed that there were 4656 new cases of cancer reported between 2012 and 2014 with number of females at 2089 and males at 2567. On an average, there were 1,552 new cancer cases per year in Mizoram. The report was highlighted during an official function to mark the World Cancer Day.


Mizoram has the highest cancer incidence in the country, state Nodal Officer for Non- Communicable Diseases (NCD) Dr Eric Zomawia said at the function.

According to the report, in the three years period, i.e., 2012-2014, altogether 2176 people died of various types of cancer. This included 830 females and 1346 males. This means, on an average, there were 711 cancer deaths each year. Mizoram not only holds the top position in cancer across all sites for male and female but also topped in tongue cancer (male), lung cancer (male    & female), stomach cancer (male & female), hypopharynx cancer (male), and gland cancer (male).

According to the PBCR report, Mizoram also topped the list in  Cervix cancer in women in the country.


Extensive consumption of tobacco, coupled with unhealthy food items such as smoked meat and vegetables and fermented soyabean and pork etc are attributed to the high incidence of cancer in Mizoram. Thus, Mizoram has the dubious distinction of being the highest tobacco consuming state in India and this was the main factor for the high number of cancer cases in Mizoram. According to Dr. Zomawia, Mizoram topped in 9 cancer “sites”.

mizoram gov
mizoram gov

Quoting the report, officials said, “Stomach cancer is the most common type of cancer among men, constituting 23.5 per cent, followed by esophageal cancer (14.5 per cent) Lung cancer (13.9 percent) and hypopharynx cancer (4.7 percent).

Lung and stomach cancers are the commonest among Mizo women, constituting 16.9 percent and 13.7 percent respectively, Cervix (13.2 percent), breast (11.2 percent) and oesophagus cancer (4.1 percent).

Liver cancer is said to be has increasing among men recently. With 80 per cent of men infected with liver cancer, contracting hepatitis B and C, this cancer is expected to rise further as cases of hepatitis keep increasing. Due to the changing lifestyles,  breast cancer is also predicted to overtake lung and uterine c.

“At the present rate of cancer incidence, an average of three people in Mizoram is infected with the cancer per day,” a health official said.

Six districts of Mizoram – Aizawl, Champhai, Kolasib Lunglei, Mamit and Serchhip – are among the ten districts of India with the highest cancer incidence among men. The other districts are North Goa, Chandigarh, Kollam and South Goa.

As per Mizoram Post, a daily newspaper in the State, Papumpare in Arunachal Pradesh has the highest incidence rate of cancer of all sites in females followed by Aizawl district of Mizoram and Kamrup Urban district of Assam. Also, Aizawl is number one among all PBCRs in India in the following cancer sites- cancer all sites (males), lung cancer (males), lung cancer (females), colon cancer (males), and colon cancer (females), according to the daily, Mizoram Post.

Aizawl is also top two among all Registries in India in cancer sites like cancer all sites (females), Nasopharynx (females), stomach (males), stomach (females), colon (males), lung (males), lung (females) and cervix uteri (females), the daily added.

tobaccocontrol Mizoram
tobaccocontrol Mizoram

In India, the estimated total burden of cancer in the country for the year 2016 is 14.5 lakh and estimate for 2020 is 17.3 lakh. Breast, lung and cervix cancers are the top 3 cancers in India and about 30 percent of all cancers are associated with tobacco use.

The incidence of cancer of colon, prostrate, lung, rectum, breast, corpus uteri and ovary shows increasing trend, while cervix cancer shows decreasing trend.

Among males, probability of developing any type of cancer in a lifetime (upto 74 years) is 1 in 4 persons in Aizawl, whereas it is 1 in 22 in Barshi and 1 in 8 in Chennai and Mumbai. It means males in Aizawl have much higher chance of developing cancer during their lifetime as compared to males in other places.

Among females, the probability is 5 in Aizawl, 8 in Mumbai, 7 in Delhi, and 18 in Barshi.


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