Cancer in China Influenced by Pollution, Poverty

The Xinhua News Agency looks at the different patterns of cancer treatment in China versus the west, due to China’s notorious environmental and lack of adequate medical insurance:

While the incidence rate of breast shrinks in western countries, the traditional high-burden countries, it is on the rise in China as a result of changes in lifestyles, living conditions, diets, and the westernization of cities, Jiang Zefei, breast expert with the 307 Hospital of PLA, said in Health News.

[…] Jiang observed that more Chinese women tend to give up their breasts even if not having to, while 80 to 90 percent of American patients choose to save theirs.

Apart from cultural differences, this has something to do with limited medical insurance for Chinese patients, Jiang said, adding many poorly-insured patients have their breasts removed because they cannot afford long-term radiotherapy.

[…] The internationally recommended therapy for rectal cancer is a 25-day radiochemotherapy prior to surgery with a six-to-eight-day break in between. However, cash-strapped and poorly-insured Chinese patients find the therapy lengthy and costly, Gu said.

 

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