Cancer in Indian moslems

Jussawalla, Darab J. ; Yeole, Balkrishna B. ; Natekar, Madhusudan V. (1985) Cancer in Indian moslems Cancer, 55 (5). pp. 1149-1158. ISSN 0008-543X

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Moslems are the followers of Islam who, during the time of the Ghaznavid dynasty of Afghanistan, invaded India for the first time. Islam attaches equal importance to material and spiritual aspects of human life. Men and women have equal cultural rights. Marriage is positively enjoined and vigorously encouraged. Circumcision is compulsory before boys attain the age of 7. More than one wife (up to four) is permitted in Islamic Society. Differences in the habits, customs, and ethnic characteristics have all provided important leads for the study of cancer in this community. It is a sign of the times that some of the religious and social customs that were rigidly upheld by the older generations are rapidly giving way to "Modernism". Hence an attempt has been made to examine the differences found in the site-specific cancer risks in the Moslem community in Bombay. Analysis of the data was undertaken by sex- and age-adjusted and age-specific incidence rates. The common sites of cancer were found to vary greatly between the Moslem and non-Moslem populations of Greater Bombay. In Moslem men, the lung appears to be at highest risk, followed by the larynx, esophagus, tongue, and hypopharynx, whereas in non-Moslem men, the esophagus is the commonest site, followed by the lung, larynx, and tongue. In women, breast and cervix cancers, which rank first and second, respectively, in frequency in Moslems, reverse their positions in non-Moslem women.

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