Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), study estimated the productivity loss of the country due to oral cancer in 2022 was approximately USD 5.6 billion.

Key Findings:

  • India contributes two-thirds of the global mortality due to oral cancer.
  • The median age of patients with early and advanced stages of the disease was 47 years, and the disease-specific survival rates were 85% and 70%, respectively.
  • 91 percent of the deaths or incurable recurrence of cancers were in the premature age groups, with a median age of 41.5 years.
  • As per the study, the loss of productivity was USD 41, 900 for the early stage and USD 96, 044 for the advanced stage of cancer.
  • Based on population level rates, the total cost of premature mortality was USD 5.6 billion in 2022, representing 0.18 percent of India’s GDP
  • The productivity lost due to premature mortality was calculated using a method known as the human capital approach.


  • Public Health Awareness: The research underscores the importance of raising public awareness about oral cancer risk factors, symptoms, and early detection strategies.
  • Economic Burden: It highlights the substantial economic burden of oral cancer on India’s healthcare system and workforce productivity.
  • Call to Action: The study serves as a call to action for implementing effective prevention programs and early detection measures to combat oral cancer in India.

Oral cancer 

Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, refers to cancerous growths that develop on the lips, tongue, gums, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, and the back of the throat (oropharynx). It’s a serious health concern, but with early detection and treatment, the prognosis can be good.


  • Tobacco Use: Smoking, chewing tobacco, and smokeless tobacco are major risk factors.
  • Alcohol Use: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk, especially when combined with tobacco use.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Certain strains of HPV, particularly HPV 16, are linked to some oral cancers, especially oropharyngeal cancers.
  • Sun Exposure: Sun exposure can increase the risk of lip cancer.
  • Genetics: Some people have a higher genetic predisposition to oral cancer.


  • Mouth Sores: A sore that doesn’t heal within two weeks, especially on the lips, tongue, or inside the mouth.
  • White or Red Patches: Leukoplakia (white patch) and erythroplakia (red patch) can be signs of oral cancer.
  • Bleeding Gums: Unexplained bleeding from the gums can be a warning sign.
  • Loose Teeth: Teeth loosening without an obvious cause may be a symptom.
  • Lump in the Neck: A lump in the neck, especially near the jaw, can be a sign of spread.


  • Surgery: This is the most common treatment, often involving removal of the cancerous tissue and surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Radiation Therapy: High-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation are used to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Anti-cancer drugs are used to destroy cancer cells throughout the body.
  • Targeted Therapy: These drugs target specific vulnerabilities in cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy: This therapy helps the body’s immune system fight cancer cells.

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