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More Women Contracting Breast Cancer at Earlier Age

 

More Chinese women are suffering from breast cancer and are contracting the disease at an earlier age than a decade ago, according to a survey by the Ministry of Health.

It indicates that 3.53 out of every 100,000 Chinese women died from breast cancer from 1990 to 1992.

From 1991 to 2000, the fatality rate of breast cancer rose 38.7 percent for urban women, and 39.1 percent for those in rural areas.

There has been a significant increase in the incidence of breast cancer among women aged 25-40.

The youngest victim in the survey was 17 years old, who was treated at the Cancer Institute and Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

The most vulnerable group in China are women aged 45-49, 10-15 years younger than their counterparts in the United States.

Professor Xu Guangwei, honorary director of Peking University's School of Oncology and the China Anti-Cancer Association, refuted the argument that only elderly women are susceptible to the disease.

"Women of any age group could have breast cancer," he said.

The causes for the increasing cases of breast cancer among younger women vary, but all are related to changing lifestyles, Xu said.

Women today face increasing pressure in employment and workload.

Meanwhile, due to the faster pace of life, they tend to have more junk food and thus a higher fat intake.

Professor Xu said that early detection by regular mammograms can help prevent breast cancer.

He and other medical experts are now promoting the "One Million Chinese Women Breast Screening Project" and are working to develop up to 100 screening sites across the country.

(China Daily October 5, 2005)


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