Rates of Breast Cancer in both China and Vietnam are reaching record levels, with the Cancer now comfortably the most common amongst women in both locations.
Studies released earlier this year have shown that Breast Cancer rates in China have risen by 3.5% annually between 2000 and 2013, whilst in Vietnam rates have risen from 18 per 100,000 people to 30 per 100,000 since the turn of the millennium.
Debate into the causes for this spike have therefore started, with a vast range of reasons - mainly related to rapid development - being cited by regional healthcare experts.
Cancer rates in general are far higher in China’s megacities than they are in smaller towns, cities and more traditional rural villages. With many people now flocking to these huge locations in search of employment, stress rates in the region are soaring, and, whilst this doesn’t appear to have a direct impact on Cancer prevalence, the hormones produced are known to suppress the immune system, potentially aiding the progression of Cancer throughout the body.
Lifestyle factors also play a major role too. Women in China are far less physically active than they were in previous generations, whilst obesity rates are rising, partly thanks to the exponential growth of Fast Food outlets in the country.
Fast Food intakes are not the only thing that are on the rise. The Chinese are increasing their alcohol consumption at a quicker rates than anyone else in the world, with the recently established middle class in the country playing a huge role in this.
Perhaps above all other factors however, the ageing of China’s population plays a bigger role than almost anything else. The life expectancy in China has risen by a decade over the last 30 years, and continues to head towards 80. Ageing is linked with various types of Cancer, as the body begins to become susceptible to more conditions, with recovery times increasing or not being possible.
The Far East is a location which has developed at a remarkable rate over the past two decades, and it is one which looks certain to have a big future in the world of healthcare.
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