New breast cancer platform unveiled
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.