Num­ber of re­lated deaths still ris­ing

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - WANG ZHENGHUA

Can­cer is a ma­jor cause of death in China, ac­count­ing for 25 per­cent of deaths na­tion­wide in re­cent years, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­port by the Na­tional Can­cer In­sti­tute. In first-tier cities, such as Shang­hai, the num­ber rises to 30 per­cent.

For men, the in­ci­dence of can­cer is about 210 per 10,000 peo­ple, while it is es­ti­mated to be 163 per 10,000 for women.

Lung can­cer is the big­gest cause of can­cer-re­lated deaths in China. How­ever, breast can­cer has the high­est in­ci­dence rate among women.

“In gen­eral, the num­ber of peo­ple dy­ing from can­cer is ris­ing,” said Zheng Ying, direc­tor of the can­cer pre­ven­tion depart­ment at Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity Shang­hai Can­cer Cen­ter.

“Aging, air pol­lu­tion and un­healthy habits can all be con­trib­u­tory fac­tors. It is im­por­tant to pre­vent re­lapses and metas­ta­sis (the de­vel­op­ment of se­condary growths) af­ter the first pe­riod of treat­ment in a bid to pre­vent can­cer­ous cells from harm­ing vi­tal or­gans, such as the brain, lungs and liver.”

The five-year sur­vival rate is a cru­cial yard­stick, be­cause most life-threat­en­ing re­lapses oc­cur in the halfdecade af­ter di­ag­no­sis. How­ever, even pa­tients with a good five-year sur­vival rate are at risk of the de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease again.

The in­sti­tute’s re­port shows that the over­all five-year sur­vival rate is high­est among breast can­cer pa­tients, at al­most 80 per­cent. Prostate can­cer is next, at about 64 per­cent, but the rate plum­mets to less than 10 per­cent among peo­ple with liver or pan­cre­atic can­cer.

“In this process, it would be re­ally help­ful if peo­ple with can­cer could re­ceive assistance from their peers or fam­i­lies to help main­tain reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and pro­vide ad­e­quate nu­tri­tion,” Zheng said, adding that it is im­por­tant to have reg­u­lar health checks.

“In the strug­gle against can­cer, psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion should be based on spe­cial­ized, mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary treat­ment,” she said.

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