New breast can­cer plat­form un­veiled

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai


An in­te­grated plat­form for breast can­cer health man­age­ment was re­cently launched in Shang­hai and it will be able to boost the ef­fi­ciency of treat­ments and pro­vide pa­tients with more con­ve­nience.

The plat­form, the first of its kind in China, cov­ers the whole process of breast can­cer health man­age­ment from dis­ease preven­tion to med­i­cal treat­ment and fol­low-ups. Pa­tients can log in to the plat­form through the WeChat mes­sag­ing app.

“Tra­di­tion­ally, the preven­tion and treat­ment of breast can­cer are man­aged by sev­eral de­part­ments, such as the cen­ter for dis­ease con­trol and preven­tion, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, as well as com­pre­hen­sive or spe­cial­ized hos­pi­tals. The new in­for­ma­tion plat­form has in­te­grated a se­ries of func­tions, such as pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, screen­ing, di­ag­no­sis, surgery, de­ci­sion-making, dis­pens­ing of med­i­ca­tion and fol­low-ups,” said Shao Zhimin, pro­fes­sor of breast surgery at Shang­hai Tu­mor Hos­pi­tal, which is af­fil­i­ated to Fu­dan Univer­sity.

Pa­tients can de­scribe their con­di­tions, up­load their in­spec­tion re­ports or make ap­point­ments via the plat­form. The med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions will then as­sign doc­tors based on the pa­tient’s needs and ur­gency of the con­di­tion. Doc­tors also stand to ben­e­fit from the plat­form as they can now pro­vide re­mote med­i­cal re­port anal­y­sis to pa­tients out­side of Shang­hai.

Dur­ing the trial op­er­a­tion from July to Oc­to­ber, more than 4,200 pa­tients were reg­is­tered for chemo­ther­apy treat­ment and over 1,000 pa­tients had re­ceived their med­i­ca­tion through the plat­form. Doc­tors had also car­ried out re­mote in­spec­tion anal­y­sis for more than 350 pa­tients.

In the fu­ture, pa­tients will each re­ceive a hand­book, which in­cludes im­por­tant data such as their per­sonal health in­for­ma­tion, patho­log­i­cal in­for­ma­tion, med­i­cal treat­ment strate­gies and fol­low-up times. This hand­book, which will work us­ing the WeChat plat­form as well, will al­low pa­tients to gain ac­cess to var­i­ous in­for­ma­tion at the dif­fer­ent treat­ment stages, ac­cord­ing to the hos­pi­tal.

The num­ber of women di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in China has risen in re­cent years and most of them fall un­der the young and mid­dle-aged groups. The dis­ease has been listed as one of the can­cers with the fastest-grow­ing mor­tal­ity rate among young women.

Health fig­ures have shown that breast can­cer in China’s ur­ban ar­eas has reached 34.3 in ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple, twice the num­ber in ru­ral ar­eas. First­tier and coastal cities, such as Beijing, Shang­hai and Guangzhou of­ten see the high­est oc­cur­rences.

Shang­hai Tu­mor Hos­pi­tal had con­ducted a two-year study on women pa­tients aged 40 or younger, in­clud­ing 582 breast can­cer pa­tients and 540 with be­nign breast diseases, to de­ter­mine the rea­sons be­hind the ris­ing num­ber of breast can­cer pa­tients. The study found that fac­tors such as ge­net­ics, a west­ern­ized life­style, de­lays in hav­ing chil­dren, avoid­ance of breast­feed­ing, ex­po­sure to pas­sive smok­ing and stress from work con­trib­uted to the like­li­hood of con­tract­ing the dis­ease.

Doc­tors also said that a woman’s men­tal well-be­ing is re­lated to the bal­ance of the neu­roen­docrine hor­mone. High lev­els of men­tal and phys­i­cal stress can lower an in­di­vid­ual’s im­mu­nity, up­set­ting the bal­ance of the body’s in­ter­nal se­cre­tion and in­creas­ing the risk of breast can­cer.

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