A new report reveals grim prospects on the cancer problem in China, home to one-fifth of the global population. About 2.8 million Chinese have been estimated to die from cancer in 2015 – translating to over 7,500 cancer deaths per day on average – while there are 4.3 million forecasted new cancer cases, with lung cancer emerging as the most common among all types.
These are some of the findings of a team of researchers from the National Cancer Center Beijing, American Cancer Society, and the University of Sydney, which gathered mortality data from 72 local Chinese cancer registries to estimate 2015 cancer death statistics.
Published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the results were based on recently available quality data through the National Central Cancer Registry of China – offering scientists a more intimate look at the leading health problem.
“Cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing in China, making cancer the leading cause of death since 2010 and a major public health problem in the country,” warned lead author Dr. Wanqing Chen and his colleagues, who analyzed figures on 6.5 percent of the population from 2009 to 2011.
China also accounts for nearly 22 percent of new cancer incidence and almost 27 percent of deaths from the disease worldwide.
According to cancer statistics obtained from hospitals, health centers, and the Civil Administration Bureau, the four most common kinds of cancer are lung, stomach, liver and esophageal cancers, making up 57 percent of all cases in China. In the United States, these cancers will account for a mere 18 percent of total cases.
The estimated 4.2 million newly diagnosed cases in 2015 correspond to nearly 12,000 new diagnoses every day in 2015.
The estimated deaths from all cancers, on the other hand, were significantly higher in men than in women – 165.9 versus 88.8 for every 100,000 – and in rural places than in urban ones, or 149 versus 109.5 per 100,000.
There is, however, some remaining good news, with mortality rates dipping since 2006. Cancer death rates plummeted 21.4 percent a year for men and 21.1 percent a year for women.
Smoking caused around a quarter of all cancer deaths, while other risk factors may be more difficult to avoid. The researchers added that outdoor pollution, indoor air pollution through coal burning and heating, and soil and water contamination all expose many Chinese to environmental carcinogens.
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