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Cancer top killer in Beijing for sixth straight year, 8,550 diagnosed daily nationwide

(Global Times)

11:02, June 20, 2013

Cancer was the major cause of death for Beijing residents for the sixth consecutive year, according to a white paper issued by Beijing Municipal Health Bureau Tuesday.

The white paper on Beijing residents' health conditions in 2012 also showed the second and third killers are heart and cerebrovascular diseases, which, along with cancer, caused 73.3 percent of total deaths. Lung cancer, the top cause of death in previous years, remained so in 2012, causing 31.1 percent of deaths. More people are being diagnosed with cancer, the white paper said.

The rate of residents with Beijing hukou (household registration) diagnosed with cancer is 303.25 per 100,000 people, rising 0.44 percent year-on-year. The cancer death rate is 161 per 10,000 people, climbing 0.3 percent from 2011, according to the white paper.

Statistics also show some gender differences. Lung, liver and bowel cancer are the top three causes of death in the male population, 55.3 percent of deaths from cancers, while lung, bowel and breast cancer rank in the top three for females, about 46.7 percent.

Cancer has become a major health problem nationwide. According to a January report from the National Cancer Registration Center, one person is diagnosed with cancer every 6 minutes in China, or 8,550 people are diagnosed every day.

In a five-year plan to control chemical risks, released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection on February 20, the existence of "cancer villages" was for the first time confirmed officially, although the number of villages was not given. The plan also implies that chemical pollution is the major cause in these village cases, reported the Shanghai Evening Post on February 21.

"Pollution is definitely related with cancer," Yang Gonghuan, a professor from Peking Union Medical College, told the Global Times Wednesday.

"But compared with environmental pollution, smoking is the major factor leading to cancer, especially lung cancer," Yang said.

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