The First Cross Sectional Survey on Intracranial Malignancy in Kolkata, India: Reflection of the State of the Art in Southern West Bengal


Recent increase in the occurrence of intracranial malignancies and poor performance of therapeutic measures ‍have established the disease as an important concern of medical sciences. The lack of information about the disease ‍pattern throughout India creates problems for maintaining community health for prevention. The present study on ‍the hospital population of Kolkata was conducted to determine the incidence pattern of the disease in the population ‍of southern West Bengal, focusing on distribution with age, sex, occupation and religion in different districts of the ‍region, and characterizing diagnostic and therapeutic measures. Among a total of 39,509 cancer patients from 21 ‍health centers of Kolkata, 2.4% had brain cancers and among these more than 60% are gliomas. A cross-sectional ‍study for a period of 3 years reported the occurrence of 15 types of intracranial malignancy, which demonstrated ‍astrocytomas (36.8%), glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) (7.9%) and meningiomas (11.6%) to be predominant. Brain ‍tumors occur more frequently in males with few exceptions and the incidence was found to be highest among the 40- ‍49 year old group (20.2%). No specific trend for religion and occupation was apparent. However, the district wise ‍distribution showed maximum incidences among industrial areas, namely, Kolkata (33.1%), North 24-Parganas ‍(18.2%), Howrah (9.3%) and Hoogly (7.6%). Diagnosis of the disease was by CT scan, MRI and histological ‍identification (pre and post operative). Therapeutic procedures rely mainly on surgery and radiotherapy, whereas ‍chemotherapy was used as an adjuvant for about 10% of the cases. Evaluation of the scenario regarding intracranial ‍malignancy in this region was a long awaited requirement which should ultimately serve an important function in ‍pointing to risk zones within the population and allow better control measures to be introduced for the disease.