PARIS: China and India are facing a cancer crisis, with smoking, belated diagnosis and unequal access to treatment all causing large-scale problems, experts said on Friday.
In a major report, published in The Lancet Oncology, more than 40 specialists warn that Asia’s big two emerging giants are facing huge economic and human costs from the disease.
In China, cancer now accounts for one in every five deaths, ranking second only to cardiovascular disease as the most common cause of mortality, according to the study.
Sixty percent of cancer cases in China are attributable to “modifiable environmental factors,” including smoking, water contamination and air pollution, it said.
But public awareness of the risk remains extremely low, the experts wrote, tinged by either fatalism or a misplaced faith in traditional medicine to tackle the disease.