Harry Anenden/WHO

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. It can affect almost any part of the body. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue to rise to over 13.1 million in 2030 .

Presently in India, it is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Many cancers are preventable by controlling the modifiable risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, amongst others. In addition, a significant proportion of cancers can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially if they are detected early.