Beijing: The government should invest more resources to effective screening of breast cancer, a rising threat to women’s lives in China.
Xu Guangwei, a veteran breast cancer doctor made the remark yesterday while addressing the awareness raising event “Health Road, Charity Walk,” held by the China Breast Cancer Foundation in Beijing.
“Currently, the country has no effective screening program for breast cancer based on population so a great majority of patients are found in the late stage,” he said.
For breast cancer, early detention translates into a 90 percent survival rate while with a late diagnosis the death rate can be as high as 90 percent, experts have said.
Accordingly, the medical treatment expenses also vary.
For early detention, breast cancer treatment costs 10,000 to 20,000 yuan in China while it would be ten times of that amount if discovered late.
Screening resources including qualified doctors and indispensable equipments, such as mammography, are now only available in big hospitals in cities.
In China, the mortality rate of breast cancer increased more than 68 percent between 2004 and 2005, compared to 1990 to 1992, results from the third national survey on death causes showed.
“It ranks eighth among all top cancer killers in the country,” Xu noted.
In recent years, breast cancer is spreading quickly in China largely because changed lifestyle and diet, said Kong Lingzhi, deputy director of the disease prevention and control bureau under the Health Ministry.