4 states account for 60 per cent of LIC cancer policy sales

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), which launched its cancer cover health insurance policy in November, has sold nearly 90,000 policies, 60 per cent of it in the four states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The four states, which are far more developed than most other states in India, also have a high number of non-communicable diseases in the country, surveys have revealed.
According to a report published in a leading international medical journal, the number of cancer cases in India is expected to double over the next 20 years. Less than 30 per cent of those diagnosed with cancer survive for five years, it said.
Data with the National Cancer Registry Programme of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed that there were nearly 4 million cancer cases in India in 2016. The worst-affected states included UP (675,000 cases), Maharashtra (365,000) and Bihar (360,000).
Ravi Mehrotra, director, ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research had in an interview earlier pointed out that the numbers if the three most populous states were very high. More than 40 per cent of cancer cases – including those relating to lungs and mouth – are totally preventable, he said.
The high level of cancer in states such as UP and Bihar is because of the large number of people chewing tobacco products, which cause cancer.
The ICMR recently noted that there will be 1.73 million new cases of cancer in India by 2020, resulting in 880,000 deaths.