400,000 Cases of Gastric Cancer in China Every Year

December 11, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: December 11, 2006 12:00 am

CHINA—Investigation results show that China has 400,000 new gastric cancer patients every year and about 300,000 patients die from the disease. Gastric cancer is the third most frequently acquired cancer in China. The disease is decreasing in urban areas, but not in rural areas where it is rapidly increasing, especially among young people.

According to a China News Center report, Dr. Jin Maolin from Peking University School of Oncology announced the latest investigation results from the China Cancer Prevention Office in a paper “2006 Cancer Experts Symposia — Encouragement Plan of Health Knowledge Spread in China.”

According to the investigation, China has a high rate of gastric cancer patients. Although gastric cancer is not as widespread as lung and liver cancer, the mortality rate is nevertheless double the world average and increasingly more young people are suffering from the disease.

The rate of young patients rose from 1.7 percent in the 1970s to 3.3 percent in recent years. During the past five years, the number of female patients and the mortality rate has increased by more than 25 percent in rural areas.

Experts say that chemotherapy for gastric cancer patients in the later stages has an unprecedented success rate. A global clinical experiment carried out on 1002 late-stage gastric cancer patients and clinical research done by 46 medical centers globally on 316 late-stage gastric cancer patients, show that the targeted cancer therapy drug, Xeloda, has an obvious effect on late-stage gastric cancer patients. It can improve the patients' quality of life and prolong their lives.

This medicine can reduce the serious side effects of chemotherapy, such as a decrease in white blood cells, hair loss, nausea and fatigue. Because it is an oral medicine, it is convenient to dispense and can be used on outpatients, thus reducing hospitalization and associated expenses. It obviously improves patients' quality of life. This chemotherapy has been used in clinical treatment in China.