The number of cancer cases is dramatically increasing in countries throughout Asia. Asia now accounts for about 50% of all new cancer cases in the world, or about 6 million new cancer cases annually.
The most common cancers in Asia are: lung, breast, stomach, colorectal, and liver cancers. Of these top five most common types, lung cancer is diagnosed with the greatest frequency. In China, the country with the world’s largest population of smokers, annual lung cancer mortality rates have increased almost 500% in the last 25 years. This translates into 400,000 deaths from lung cancer annually. Moreover, the incidence rates of cancers that were previously uncommon in Asian are increasing yearly. For instance, breast cancer incidence rates in Japan, Taiwan, and urbanized Chinese cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong have been increasing at 7-10% per year.
Increases in Asian cancer rates correlate to greater demand of quality cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Because of the increased demand, the technical sophistication of cancer treatment in Asia is rising. In addition, cancer centers across Asia are investing in treatments such as the Gamma Knife, three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3 DCRT), and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Meanwhile, developing countries like Thailand, which currently only have a few advanced cancer centers, are looking to expand these facilities in the near future.