China / Society

Hepatitis cases causing liver cancer

By Shan Juan ( Updated: 2015-07-24 19:14

More than 80 percent of the 350,000 new liver cancer cases reported last year were caused by hepatitis of various kinds, said senior experts during a media event to mark World Hepatitis Day which falls on July 28 each year.

Liver cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in Chinese males, and one of the top five most common cancers in females. Chronic hepatitis infection leads to more than 380,000 cancer - related deaths in China each year, statistics from the National Health and Family Planning Commission showed.

In recent years, hepatitis A and B infections have both declined, said Lei Zhenglong, deputy chief of disease prevention and control of the National Health and Family Planning Commission. "However, the incidence rate of hepatitis C has been rising constantly."

Meanwhile, only 10 percent of the chronic hepatitis B patients have ever received medical treatment, he noted. China now has 28 million such patients.

Left untreated, many would develop liver cancer, causing deaths, warned Jia Jidong, a hepatopathy expert with the Beijing Friendship Hospital of the Capital Medical University.

According to him, the high price of the treatments, which cost on average 22,000 yuan ($3,596) for each patient out of pocket, is partially to be blamed.

Besides, "more efforts should be paid to improving the detection rate as well," he added.

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