Vietnam comes in at 78th in global ranking of cancer: WHO

By VnExpress   October 6, 2016 | 08:03 pm PT
Vietnam comes in at 78th in global ranking of cancer: WHO
Patients at Vietnam's National Cancer Hospital, awaiting the results of their medical tests, collecting medication or registering for treatment. Photo by P. Pavlicek/IAEA
Cancer awareness among the public is poor, leading to late disagnosis and delayed treatment.

A new ranking by the World Health Organization (WHO) has placed Vietnam at 78th out of 172 countries worldwide, with 126,000 people diagnosed with cancers in 2010.

According to WHO, an estimated 68,000 cancer cases were reportedly Vietnam in 2000, and the number of new diagnoses is expected to almost triple to 190,000 in 2020.

The country’s cancer-related death rate is reported to be as high as that of Finland, Somalia, and Turkmenistan. In Vietnam, the annual rate is 110 deaths per population of 100,000.

The recent increases in cancer diagnoses demand attention, health experts said at a workshop in Hanoi on Thursday.

Statistics show that currently there are about 23 million people living with cancer in the world with approximately 14 million new cases every year. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012.

WHO said the number of new cases could increase by about 70 percent over the next two decades. More than 60 percent of the world’s total new annual cases occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. These regions account for 70 percent of the global cancer deaths.

In 2012, among men, the five most common cancers were lung, prostate, colorectum, stomach, and liver cancer. Among women, they were breast, colorectum, lung, cervix, and stomach cancer.

A recent survey by Vietnamese health authorities in 12 cities and provinces has showed poor public awareness of cancer. Only 35 percent of the respondents said they had proper understanding of the disease. More than 67 percent said cancers are not curable and early diagnosis would not make a difference.

Breast cancer in particular is a common cancer among Vietnamese women. In 2012, approximately 11,060 cases of female breast cancer were diagnosed, with 64.7 percent of the cases below the age of 50. And a large number of cases were at a later stage, making treatment more difficult.

Statistics show the average five-year survival rate for males is currently 33 percent and about 40 percent for females. In some developed country, the cancer survival rate has reached 70-80 percent.

Most cancers can be cured with early diagnosis and proper treatment, said Tran Van Thuan, managing director of a Hanoi-based Cancer Hospital K.

He added that most of the cancer patients in Vietnam are diagnosed late, which resulted in more costly treatment and a higher death rate.

According to WHO, more than a third of cancer deaths could be prevented by avoiding the five leading behavioral and dietary risks -- high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

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>Vietnamese diet: Too much salt and not enough fruit and veg

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