In the coming three years, some 200,000 Chinese women will be able to get free screening for cervical cancer, the program organizers announced here Friday.
The "Prevention of Cervical Cancer" (PCC) program, approved by China's health ministry, will invest 200 million yuan (28.3 million U.S. dollars) in cash and equipment into promoting standard treatments of cervical diseases and setting up screening and treatment centers in the country.
If it goes ahead this will be the second stage of the program, and women from remote western regions will especially benefit from the project, according to the co-organizers, the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, the TCT Medical Company and the China Women Development Foundation.
Lang Jinghe, a professor with the Peking Union Medical College Hospital, said since the program's initiation in 2005, over 80 demonstration centers had been set up in China's 23 provinces, and980,000 women had been screened for free.
According to official statistics, over 100,000 new cervical cancer cases are recorded in China every year, accounting for one fifth of the world's total.
Shen Keng, another professor from the hospital, said although evidence showed that 90 percent of cervical cancer cases could be effectively prevented by getting a screening every two years, less than 5 percent of those cases were in China.
"An immature prevention mechanism is partly to blame for the high incidence of the disease," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2008)