Late cancer diagnosis blamed for higher death rate
  • | vietnamnet, | July 19, 2019 04:58 PM
Experts have urged Vietnamese citizens to take health check-ups regularly to detect cancer early.


Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said that cancer was becoming a burden to the society during a conference about cancer prevention in Hanoi from July 18 to 19. The number of cancer case rapidly increased from 68,000 patients in 2000 to 126,000 patients in 2010 and 165,000 patients in 2018. It is estimated that Vietnam will have over 200,000 cancer patients in 2020.

The rate of new cancer diagnosis in Vietnam is only 99th out of 186 countries. However, Vietnam's cancer death rate is 56th out of 185 countries. That means 104.4 people died of cancer out of 100,000 people a year. This rate in 2010 was 110 patients per 100,000 people.

"Our technology is not the best, but it has been updated and modern. We have knowledge and technology but the patients often discover the disease very late. Some people are reluctant to get early treatment and that's why the death rate is high," Tien said.

Tien urged the authorities to continue raising public awareness about cancer, train the hospital staff in order to lower the death rate.

Director of the Vietnam National Cancer Hospital, Tran Van Thuan, pointed out four reasons for the rising number of cancer patients. First is because of improvement in longevity. Secondly, more people go to hospitals for check-ups so there are more reported cases. Thirdly, doctors have equipment and technology to detect cancer more easily. Finally, only 10% of the cause of cancer is due to endocrine disorders, the main cause is because of unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, drinking and unbalanced diet.

"Smoking is responsible for 30% of the cases," Thuan said.

He agreed that 70% of the patients go to the hospital when it is too late. 80-90% of the patients with liver and lung cancer go to the hospital during the last stages of the development.

"If they were diagnosed early, the survival chance is as high as 95-99%. The cure rate for breast cancer in Vietnam is 75%," he said.

Thuan urged the public to take health check-ups more regularly, especially for those whose family members had had cancer before. Eating and exercising healthy play an important part in preventing cancer.

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