Journal of Orofacial Sciences

: 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-

Burden of oral cancer: An Indian scenario

Lingamaneni Krishna Prasad 
 Dean, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Lingamaneni Krishna Prasad
Dean, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Prasad LK. Burden of oral cancer: An Indian scenario .J Orofac Sci 2014;6:77-77

How to cite this URL:
Prasad LK. Burden of oral cancer: An Indian scenario . J Orofac Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Aug 5 ];6:77-77
Available from:

Full Text

Head and neck cancer is a major problem that occurs in Asia, especially in Indian subcontinent. More than 2 lakh new cases of head and cancers are diagnosed each year. India contributes up to 7.8% of the global cancer burden and 8.33% of global cancer deaths. [1] Developed countries present with a maximum 40% of patients with advanced disease whereas prevalence in developing countries like India is >60% of these patients. [2]

Oral cancer being the 3 rd most common type which accounts for over 30% of all cancers in the country. [3] Almost 80,000 cases are diagnosed annually. Relatively the mean age of occurrence is around 55 years, in the adult population. Incidence in the pediatric population is comparatively <0.25%. Younger individuals are the susceptible sector of the society, with an undue exposure of risk factors such as tobacco. 2/3 rds of the oral cancer is prevalent in males whereas there is much variation in females. Effect of ageing and regional differences are associated with disease-specific risk factors, that attribute to the variation in incidence and pattern of the disease. [4]

Oral health care should be given utmost importance in the present society. Public health officials, health providers and academic medical centers are redeemed in motivating the community. Oral cancer has been recognized as a grave problem. In the interim, redefining the major shortcomings is necessary. Physical, psychological, social and economic state of an individual, stance a massive constrain in reaching out the affected strata. Increasing number of oral cancer patients belong to weaker socioeconomic section, lack awareness, have misconceptions. The additional fact of inadequate access to trained providers and limited health services lead to delayed detection of oral cancer.

Other major burden in India is regarding the scarce diagnostic infrastructure, crucial investigatory centers and services to the needy, is at paucity. Facilities are significantly higher in the urban areas when compared with the rural inhabitants. Most of the patients even if diagnosed with cancer are unable to obtain better treatment, as there is dearth in the knowledge about the etiology and risk factors-related to cancer. There are no uniform protocols for management, minimal access to newer therapies and drug regimes.

Efforts to understand the fundamentals related to etiology, predisposing elements, progression of cancer, conventional symptoms, necessary investigations and management protocols is mandatory. Obtaining the literature on newer concepts of investigation for early detection, management protocols and treatment modalities is on the momentum in various research universities and governing bodies. Public awareness programs are on the increasing trend which can create a major difference in reducing the burden of oral cancer on the society.


1Saranath D, Khanna A. Current Status of Cancer Burden: Global and Indian Scenario. Biomed Res J 2014;1(1):1-5.
2Kulkarani MR. Head and neck cancer burden in India. Int J Head Neck Surg 2013;4:29-35.
3Elango JK, Gangadharan P, Sumithra S, Kuriakose MA. Trends of head and neck cancers in urban and rural India. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2006;7:108-12.
4Manoharan N, Tyagi BB, Raina V. Cancer incidences in rural Delhi-2004-05. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2010;11:73-7.