The occurrence of breast cancer among Beijing's women residents has doubled over the past decade, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau.
Breast cancer had been the most common tumor among women in Beijing. The number of breast cancer cases has now reached 515 out of every one million people, an increase of 107.9 percent over that in 1998, Deng Xiaohong, the bureau's spokeswoman.
"Among ten newly-diagnosed cancer cases, two are breast cancer," she was quoted as saying by the Beijing Youth Daily on Saturday, adding most breast cancer patients are above 40 years old and the trend is turning younger.
Deng said breast cancer ranks the third in mortality rate among diseases, while it ranked the fifth ten years ago.
Ouyang Tao, director of the Center for Prevention and Treatment of Breast Cancer of the Beijing Tumor Hospital, told Xinhua that the center treats much more breast cancer patients than before.
He said there were 2,100 breast cancer outpatients when the center was founded in 1998. The number rose to 36,600 in 2008. The center has handled170,000 breast cancer cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms that breast cancer can be detected and cured at an early stage.
Deng said early diagnosis is vital to timely and effectual treatment, and the mortality rate can be reduced.
A pilot program of free screening of breast and cervical cancers was launched in some districts in Beijing last year, covering more than 300,000 women. Thirty-one cases of cervical cancer, 38 cases of breast cancer and five cases of other women therioma were detected.
This program started to cover all Beijing districts in April this year.
(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2009)