BEIJING — Chinese health authorities will launch a campaign this year to raise awareness about breast and cervical cancer and a national program of free screenings for the diseases, they said at a meeting on April 22.
By the end of 2014, 48.35 million women in rural China had received the free tests since they began to be offered at the start of 2009, according to program organizers the All-China Women’s Federation and the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
They now plan to survey the public in 11 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions to inspect their knowledge of the two cancers as well as screening and treatment options.
Xu Binghe, chief physician of the Cancer Hospital with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said many people still misunderstand breast cancer though China has made progress in its treatment.
Some patients lose confidence and quit treatment for breast cancer, while many receive substandard treatment as they can’t afford medical fees.
Pointing to the importance of early diagnosis, Xu said, “The five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients at an early stage is 87 percent, 67 percent for patients at metaphase and 35 percent at advanced stage.”
He suggested women improve their awareness about cancer and have regular breast examinations.