|Medical workers from the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, in co-ordination with the Hoan Kiem District authorities, conduct a genital cancer screening examination for women between 30 and 45 years old. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HCM CITY (VNS) — Local and international medical officials in HCM City are recommending that people 40 years old and above get screening tests for the most common kinds of cancer.
From 2007 to 2011, hospitals and wards specialising in oncology treated 33,126 cancer cases, according to a study conducted by doctors at the HCM City Oncology Hospital.
In males, the five leading cancers in Viet Nam were lung, liver, colon and rectum, stomach and nasopharynx. For females, they were cancers of the breast, cervix uteri, colon and rectum, lung and thyroid, the study found.
Speaking at a workshop held last Saturday by the City International Hospital, Dr Patricia Kho, senior consultant on medical oncology at Singapore's Gleneagles Hospital, said that screening programmes helped detect cancers early and that cancer could develop without symptoms.
Sreening programmes for cancers of the breast, liver, cervix uteri, colon and rectum are regularly carried out at hospitals worldwide, she said.
Women who get the vaccine against human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer, should continue to be screened because the vaccine does not protect against all kinds of human papillomavirus, she said.
Females aged 9 to 26 are eligible for the vaccine. Three shots within six months should be done.
Dr Esther Chuwa, breast surgeon at Gleneagles Hospital, said that health education on clinical breast examination to detect cancer should be improved.
With better screening and diagnostic tests as well as combination therapy, the survival rate of first-stage breast cancer has increased, according to a study of 130 patients from January 2008 to December 2009 conducted by doctors of the HCM City Oncology Hospital.
The assessment showed that there was no difference in the quality of life between disease-free breast cancer survivors and healthy women of the same age.
At least 150,000 new diagnoses of cancer are made each year in the country, and 75,000 people who have cancer die annually, according to the Ha Noi Cancer Association.
The GLOBOCAN 2012, an annual report written by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organisation, showed that globally there were an estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million fatalities caused by cancers in 2012.
The number increased from 12.7 million new cancer cases and 7.6 million cancer-related mortalities in 2008. — VNS