Number of breast cancer cases rising on the Chinese mainland

Updated 2017-09-15 11:00:34 China Daily
Breast cancer survivors and supporters walk on the Great Wall to promote awareness of the disease.

Breast cancer survivors and supporters walk on the Great Wall to promote awareness of the disease.

The incidence of breast cancer has been rising constantly on the Chinese mainland in recent years, according to recent data.

That's largely as a result of factors such as late marriage or child bearing, heavy workloads, smoking and sedentary lifestyles, said Chen Wanqing, director of the Chinese National Central Cancer Registry at the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer among women on the mainland, accounting for about 15 percent of all new cases of cancer every year, according to the latest data published by the registry.

Women age 35 or younger account for 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancer patients, Chen said.

In 2015, 260,000 new cases of breast cancer were reported on the mainland.

Thanks to early detection and treatment, the five-year survival rate - a critical benchmark - for female patients on the mainland is now about 95 percent, he added.

"For patients in long-term remission, comprehensive care and support from their families and society as a whole is important to help them fight the disease and improve the quality of their lives," Chen said.

Fu Fenghuan, deputy Party chief at the Cancer Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, said the hospital has established a remission support club especially for women fighting breast cancer.

In 2014, the club began soliciting public donations of hair to help produce wigs for patients who had lost their hair after undergoing chemotherapy.

"Some had their breasts removed due to cancer, so at least we can help them with hair, which means a lot to them," Fu said, adding that it is publicly beneficial to call on members of society to display a greater level of care for cancer patients.

The club also provides lectures for patients about improving their lives during remission, she added.

The lectures provide advice to patients about learning to accept their "imperfect", bodies and boosting their self-esteem, along with the issue of spousal support to enable patients to live more-fulfilled lives during their period of remission, according to Fu.

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