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Cancer the No. 1 cause of death

(Shanghai Daily)

09:26, May 28, 2013

Related reading: Cancer rates climb

Every year 3.12 million new cases of cancer are reported in China, every minute six people are diagnosed with cancers, according to the National Cancer Registration Center.

The findings are contained in the center's annual report for 2012 released in January this year.

Last year a survey by the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association showed that among every five deaths, one was caused by cancer.

The top three cancers in China in terms of incidence are lung cancer, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. Lung cancer is the top in terms of both incidence and death.

Distribution varies across the country.

The incidence of lung cancer is highest in the northeast and in Yunnan Province, both big coal and mineral mining regions, where pollutants easily enter the lungs.

Stomach or gastric cancer rates are highest in Shanghai and Jiangsu, Gansu, Qinghai and Fujian provinces, where people commonly eat salt-preserved foods.

Colorectal cancer rates are high in Shanghai as well as Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, all developed regions, because of high-fat and high-sugar diets, lack of dietary fiber and physical exercise.

People in Henan, Hebei and Shanxi provinces are at risk for esophageal cancer because the diet commonly features coarse and over-hot food, which scratches, damages or burns the mucous membrane.

Liver cancer is a top killer in East China, South China and coastal cities, where people eat raw fish and shellfish. This kind of food, if processed improperly, often carries parasites.

In addition, humid weather promotes mold that may contain aflatoxins, which infect the liver. Viral hepatitis is also a major cause of cancer.

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