Date
11 December 2017
Participants throw green and pink balls at each other in an event promoting awareness and prevention of breast cancer in Shanghai last year. Photo: Reuters
Participants throw green and pink balls at each other in an event promoting awareness and prevention of breast cancer in Shanghai last year. Photo: Reuters

Nine HK women diagnosed with breast cancer daily

An average of nine women in Hong Kong are diagnosed with breast cancer every day, and one of them is likely to succumb to the disease, newspaper AM730 reported Friday, citing the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation.

In 2011, the number of breast cancer cases doubled to 3,419, out of the city’s 3.77 million women, from 1,152 cases in 1993, foundation chairwoman Eliza Fok said.

Sky Post, citing the latest report published by the HKBCF, puts an even more alarming figure — 9,500 cases last year. 

Of this number, less that half had had regular breast check-ups before discovering the disease, the report said, suggesting that early detection is vital. Only 10 percent went to the doctor after symptoms appeared for a month while 3 percent sought medical help only after a year, the newspaper said.

Women who have not given birth or gave birth after 35 years old and not practicing breast feeding have a high risk of having breast cancer, the foundation said. Also in the high-risk group are women who regularly take a high-fat diet, those who have undergone radiation on breasts, and those with menstruation before reaching 12 years old and stopping after 55.

Daughters and sisters of breast cancer patients are also more likely to develop the disease than those with no relatives suffering from it, the report said.

Of the breast cancer cases, 60 percent require surgery. Many patients have resorted to breast reconstruction, but this is not a guarantee the disease will be fully eliminated. Of those suffering from the third stage of the cancer and went through this procedure, 8.8 percent had had a relapse, the report said.

Online help for doctors

The HKBCF has launched an online platform aimed at assisting medical professionals in their clinical assessments and decisions through access to information on local disease development and treatment trends.

The online data comes from the city’s Breast Cancer Registry which the foundation set up in 2007. It is sourced from more than 12,000 Hong Kong breast cancer patients, and has more than 300 categories including statistics, characteristics of the disease and survival rates.

Users can access Breast Cancer Online to input patient information including age and year of diagnosis, mode of cancer detection, menstrual status and so on, and the suggested treatment, according to the HKBCF website.

The program will then calculate the patient’s cancer stage and biological subtype and present treatment patterns and statistics typical of the case, it said.

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