Abstract Background The number of persons who have survived cancer has been increasing in India as elsewhere due to advances in detection and treatment of this disease. However, evidence on the standardised number of cancer survivors, their characteristics and their complex health challenges on a national level does not exist due to data limitations. This study, therefore, examines the profile of cancer survivors and their health status using the recently released Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) survey data. Methods LASI wave 1 is a cross-sectional nationally representative survey of 65,562 middle and older adults aged 45 and above. We first calculated the socioeconomic, demographic and geographical characteristics of cancer survivors (per 100,000 population). We later estimated the adjusted odds of poor health, sleep problems, depressive symptoms, activities of living limitations (ADL and IADL), and hospitalisation of cancer survivors using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Results According to LASI estimates, there were 2.1 million cancer survivors in India (95% CI 1.8 million to 2.6 million) in 2017–18. Overall, 440 cancer survivors have been identified in this study, with considerable state variations. The number of cancer survivors per 1,00,000 population was relatively more in non-indigenous groups, people with a history of cancer in their families, those who worked earlier but currently not working and those in the richest quintile categories. As compared to those who never had cancer, the cancer survivors are at higher risk of hospitalisation (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.61 CI 1.86, 3.67), poor self-rated health (aOR = 3.77, CI 2.55, 5.54), depressive symptoms (aOR = 1.53, CI 1.41, 2.05) and sleep problems (aOR = 2.29, CI 1.50, 3.47). They also reported higher ADL (aOR = 1.61, CI 1.11, 2.34) and IADL (aOR = 1.49, CI 1.07, 2.07) limitations. Cancer survivors who had their cancer diagnosis in the past 2 years or a cancer-related treatment in the past 2 years have significantly higher odds of poor health status than middle-aged and older adults without a cancer history. Conclusion Middle-aged and older cancer survivors, particularly those who underwent cancer diagnosis or treatment in the past 2 years, are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing poor self-reported health and other health challenges, suggesting the need for an integrated healthcare approach.
|Date made available||2022|