Lung Cancer Taking Toll on Chinese due to air pollution and smoking

Lung Cancer Taking Toll on Chinese due to air pollution and smoking

Lung Cancer has emerged as the most common cancer in China as the country faces on an average 7,500 deaths per day due to cancer. As per a new report, 2.8 million people died in China in 2015 due to cancer. During 2015, 4.3 million new cancer cases were detected in China and the highest number of cases pertains to lung cancer. The research was led by Dr. Wanqing Chen of the National Cancer Center in Beijing.

The current study was conducted by a team of researchers from American Cancer Society, University of Sydney and National Cancer Center Beijing. The study team analyzed the data collected by 72 local cancer registries.

China accounts for 27 percent of cancer related deaths across the world. 22 percent of the new cases of cancer across the world are in China. Chinese residents face massive health threat due to air pollution. With increased use of motor vehicles, the air pollution in major cities usually crosses the prescribed safe limits. Smoking could be linked to nearly 25 percent of cancer related deaths in China. Apart from pollution, the lifestyle factors also account for many cancer cases. The research team noted that many of these factors were avoidable with better lifestyle, diet and regular exercise.


The most prevalent cancers in China are lung cancer, stomach cancer, live and esophageal cancer, accounting for 57 percent of cancer cases detected in the country. The team noted that since 2006, mortality rates have declined impressively.

The research paper said, “With increasing incidence and mortality, cancer is the leading cause of death in China and is a major public health problem. Because of China's massive population (1.37 billion), previous national incidence and mortality estimates have been limited to small samples of the population using data from the 1990s or based on a specific year.”

The research team was not able to accurately check the cancer survival rates as the precise follow-up data for 5-year survival wasn’t available. The mortality data were obtained from the same 22 local registries that were used in the incidence trend analyses. The team predicted that, for all cancers combined, 36.9% of cancer patients in China will survive at least 5 years after diagnosis around 2015, with women having much better survival than men (47.3% vs 29.3%).

The paper further added, “The results indicated that an estimated 4292,000 new cancer cases and 2814,000 cancer deaths would occur in China in 2015, with lung cancer being the most common incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer death. Stomach, esophageal, and liver cancers were also commonly diagnosed and were identified as leading causes of cancer death.”


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