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April 12, 2012

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Colorectal is focus as cancer rises in city

CANCER incidence among Shanghai residents increased steadily over the past two years, and the city continues to lead the country, the city health authority reported yesterday.

Shanghai has seen about 51,000 new cancer patients annually in recent years and 32,000 people die of the disease every year, the Shanghai Health Bureau said.

The incidence of cancer is 374 in every 100,000 local people, up from 350 per 100,000 two years ago. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death for Shanghai residents, after cardiovascular disease.

The incidence of cancer is the highest in the nation, due to its large elderly population and some residents' unhealthy habits like smoking and high-fat diets.

According to the bureau, local cancer incidence and mortality lies near the midpoint of the international level and is two-thirds to three-fourths the level of Western countries.

In this year's cancer-control campaign, health authorities are highlighting colorectal cancer, which has risen from the sixth most prevalent cancer in the 1970s to the second-leading cancer in Shanghai, following lung cancer. The incidence of colorectal cancer grew by 3.67 times in the past 30 years.

Experts said the rise of colorectal cancer is closely linked to unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and the rising prevalence of obesity. In addition to improving lifestyle, early detection of colorectal cancer is important through regular screening. But less than 8 percent of local residents receive early screening on colorectal cancer, which results in most newly discovered cases already being at the terminal stage.

In Shanghai, only 11.8 percent of colorectal cancer cases were found in the early stage, where the five-year survival rate was 43 percent, 10 to 15 percentage points lower than in Western countries.


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