China overall 5-year cancer survival rate to reach 46.6% by 2030
Published: Nov 15, 2023 11:17 PM
On November 15, 2023, the NHC holds a press conference in Beijing to introduce the implementation plan of the Healthy China Action. Photo: VCG

On November 15, 2023, the NHC holds a press conference in Beijing to introduce the implementation plan of the Healthy China Action. Photo: VCG

A total of 13 departments, including the National Health Commission (NHC), have jointly formulated an action-implementation plan for cancer prevention and control from 2023 to 2030, with the main goals being to further improve the cancer care system and make the overall 5-year cancer survival rate reach 46.6 percent by 2030, a move to further implement the strategy of a healthy China.      

In recent years, there has been a steady improvement in the five-year survival rate of cancer patients in China. Many individuals in the late stages of cancer are now able to live with tumors for an extended time, while experiencing an improved quality of life.

For instance, the five-year survival rate of breast cancer in China has reached 83 percent, essentially reaching the diagnostic and treatment level of developed countries, while the five-year survival rate for esophageal cancer is already higher than that in some developed Western countries, Zhang Yong, Party chief of the National Cancer Center, said at a Wednesday press briefing.

The upward trend of cancer incidence and mortality in the country has been limited. The rates of esophageal cancer, gastric cancer and liver cancer, which are highly prevalent in the Chinese population, have been declining year-by-year. China's overall five-year cancer survival rate has increased from 40.5 percent in 2015 to 43.7 percent in 2022, achieving the phased goal of the healthy China action on schedule, Guo Yanhong, director of the medical emergency response department of NHC, said at the briefing.

Some cancer prevention and treatment technology in China have reached or are close to international advanced levels, according to Zhang. In terms of cancer prevention, domestically produced HPV bivalent vaccines have been used among the public. 

But there is still much work to be done, as China can further accelerate the development of cancer prevention and control technology to further narrow the gap with developed countries and reach an international advanced level, Zhang stressed.

In response to the discussion about whether the incidence of cancer is increasing in the younger demographic, Zhang said that it cannot be generalized, as the age distribution of different cancers is quite varied. Prostate cancer begins to develop in men after the age of 60, but breast cancer in women shows a gradual increase starting from around the age of 30. The peak incidence of breast cancer occurs between the ages of 40 and 50.

Hu Shengshou, director of the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases, also noted that the trend of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases occurring at a younger age does indeed exist. Hu suggested that young people develop healthy dietary and lifestyle habits and undergo regular physical examinations.

The specific measures of the action plan include promoting occupational cancer prevention and control, sharing of relevant information resources, early diagnosis and treatment, and enhancing the capacity for cancer care by using traditional Chinese medicine, as well as strengthening the promotion and application of cancer research achievements.

Global Times