October 30, 2007 / 5:31 AM / 12 years ago

China says breast cancer on rise in Beijing, Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) - Breast cancer has risen sharply in China’s capital and its top financial centre during the last decade due to unhealthy diets, a poor environment and increased stress at work, state media reported on Tuesday.

In Beijing, the incidence of breast cancer has increased 23 percent in 10 years, with about 45 women out of every 100,000 diagnosed with the disease, the China Daily said, citing the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Shanghai, the figures are even worse, at 55 out of 100,000, up 31 percent in the past decade.

“Unhealthy lifestyles are mostly to blame for the growing numbers,” Qiao Youlin, a professor at the Cancer Institute and Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, was quoted as saying.

Another survey, carried out by the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association, revealed 4,500 new cases in Shanghai every year, or 60 women in 100,000 suffering from breast cancer compared to 17 in 100,000 in 1972.

The findings suggest that 10 percent of the cases are due to heredity, the researchers said.

A separate media report said that a large proportion of men in Shanghai suffered from “bad living habits”, which medical experts say can often lead to cardiovascular problems and other common diseases.

“(Men) live in poorer ‘mental circumstances’ and have poorer life quality than women in general,” Shan Li, a Shanghai-based psychologist said.

A study conducted at the 411 Hospital in Shanghai found that 90 percent of men were not aware of the importance of annual check-ups, while 20 percent said they never exercise.

“Common diseases kill more men than women,” Huang Qiming, a urologist at the hospital said.

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