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April 16, 2014

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Changing lifestyles blamed for cancer rise

COLORECTAL cancer is now second only to lung cancer in Shanghai after a four-fold increase in the number of cases since the 1970s, city health officials said yesterday.

The increase, apart from the rise in the elderly population, is said to be related to lifestyle changes, with increased consumption of meat and a decline in grains and vegetables, and a lack of exercise.

The city launched a free colorectal cancer screening program in April last year. By the end of March this year, 1.12 million people had been screened. Of 205,000 people found to be at high risk, 55,000 had gone to hospitals for further checks and 943 cases of colorectal cancer were found.

Shanghai diagnosed 56,445 cases of cancer last year with an incidence of 399 out of every 100,000 people. That compared to 390 in every 100,000 in 2012, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday to mark the start of a tumor prevention and control week.

The incidence of cancer is almost at the same level as the previous year, excluding the rising numbers of elderly people, the commission said.

There were 36,239 cancer-related deaths last year, or 256 in every 100,000 of the population, lower than the previous year’s 258 in every 100,000. Monitoring showed that mortality due to cancer has been dropping in recent years in the city.

The most common forms affecting Shanghai residents are those of the breast, colon, lung, stomach, thyroid, liver, pancreas, brain and central nervous system, gall bladder and ovaries, the commission said.

The types affecting men most are cancer of the lung, colon, stomach, liver, prostate, pancreas, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and brain and central nervous system.

A healthy lifestyle, early and regular screening, early intervention and treatment are effective for cancer prevention and control, the commission said.

Quitting smoking, avoiding second-hand smoke, controlling alcohol, having over 30 minutes of exercise every day, having a fresh and diversified diet, maintaining a healthy weight and receiving hepatitis B vaccinations were all effective measures to prevent cancer, it said.


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