According to a report published by researchers at the Beijing National Cancer Center in late January 2016, around 2.8 million Chinese died from cancer in 2015. This number corresponds to over 7,500 cancer deaths per day. The report also revealed that there were about 4,292,000 newly diagnosed cancer cases last year in China. This comes out to nearly 12,000 new diagnoses every day.
Researchers claim that many of the cancer cases and deaths in China are preventable through the reduction of prevalent risk factors while increasing the effectiveness of clinical care delivery. This is of particular concern for those living in rural areas as well as disadvantaged populations. Chronic infection was the largest contributor to cancer deaths, followed by tobacco smoking. Surprisingly, the report attributed a low level of risk due to environmental pollution.
Since 2000, cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing in China, making it the leading cause of death. Today, China is responsible for nearly 22% of the global cancer cases and 27% of global cancer deaths.
The five most common forms of cancer among Chinese men were lung, stomach, esophagus, liver and colorectal. Among women, the top five were breast, lung and bronchus, stomach, colorectal, and esophagus. 15% of all new cancers in women in China could be attributed to breast cancer alone. Mortality rates for all cancers is considerably higher in men than in women, and in rural areas compared to urban areas.
The aging and growth of the Chinese population has resulted in a 73.8% increase in the number of cancer deaths since 2006. These data sets are a testament to the immense challenges that China faces in managing the great and ever-expanding burden of cancer.