This article looks at the current situation of cancer control is in Vietnam, which is a lower-middle-income country in South East Asia. It highlights the advances that have been made in capacity-building and in spreading knowledge about cancer to improve early diagnosis and treatment. The article also sets out the key challenges that the country still faces including policy development, resources and the need to develop partnerships with other developed regions of the world.

The cancer incidence rates for all cancers per 100,000 persons, which have been reported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IACR) in 2012, are 173 for males and 114.3 for females. These incidence rates indicate a national cancer incidence of 125,000 new cases per year for both sexes. IARC estimates cancer mortality rates of 148 per 100,000 for males, 76.3 per 100,000 for females and 94,700 people died from cancer each year. Five year prevalent cases were reported to be 211,800. The top five most frequent cancers in Viet Nam in males and females are cancers of the liver (17.6 % of new cases), lung (17.5 % of new cases), stomach (11.4% of new cases), breast (8.9% of new cases) and colorectum (7 % of all new cases) (1, 2).

Cancer burden in Vietnam: Avoidable consequences, preventable illness

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 12/17/2015 07:55 GMT + 7

Death and the detrimental effects of cancer, which is itself a preventable disease, can be avoided by early detection and proper treatment.

>> Cancer burden in Vietnam: P2 – The culprits
>> Cancer burden in Vietnam – P1: Liabilities

tuoitrenews – Contrary to popular belief that a diagnosis of cancer means a death penalty, experts have asserted otherwise.

The cancer burden would be significantly eased by adopting a comprehensive preventative model, made possible with competent agencies’ effective administrative role and improved awareness.

Dr. Nguyen Chan Hung, chair of the Cancer Association of Vietnam, warned that diets rich in animal fat and meat, tainted food, dried salty fish or pickled vegetables, or insufficient vegetables and fruits are among the contributory factors of different types of cancer.

Those who smoke or drink heavily, and lead a sedentary lifestyle, also stand higher risks of contracting the illness.

According to Dr. Tran Thi Anh Tuong, vice head of the Nutrition Department of Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital, all cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control.

Cancerous cell growth is different from normal cell growth.

Instead of dying, cancerous cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells.

Cancer cells can also invade, or grow into, other tissues, something that normal cells cannot do.

Except for some unavoidable factors including genetic elements and old age, other causes are preventable thanks to a healthy lifestyle and adequate knowledge of the disease.

Early diagnosis saves lives, cuts costs

Dr. Mai Trong Khoa, deputy director of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi and director of the Nuclear Medicine and Oncology Center, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper earlier this month that approximately 100,000 out of 125,000 new cancer patients in Vietnam die of the illness each year.

New cancer cases have gone up especially fast recently, while the mortality rate has also been on the rise. Tiếp tục đọc “Cancer burden in Vietnam: Avoidable consequences, preventable illness”