Hospital catching gastric cancer early

Cai Wenjun
Doctors at Ruijin Hospital identify patients at an early stage of disease that kills 390,000 Chinese people a year with education, screening and follow-up visits.
Cai Wenjun

About 36 percent of gastric cancer patients at Ruijin Hospital were caught at an early stage, compared with the national level of 10 to 15 percent. 

Education, screening and follow-up visits to patients with other gastric conditions were the major methods used to detect the disease, doctors said on Tuesday, National Gastric Cancer Care Day.

Gastric cancer is one of the leading cancers in China, with around 456,000 new cases a year and around 390,000 deaths. 

“Gastric cancer is related with many causes including genetics, lifestyle, diet and the environment. Incidence in China, Japan and South Korea is high,” said the hospital’s Dr Zhu Zhenggang. “Eating pickled food and smoked food and smoking are all risky factors for gastric cancer.

“Adopting a healthy lifestyle, early and regular screening and visiting doctors if feeling stomach discomfort in time are all effective measures for gastric cancer prevention and control,” Zhu said. “Our hospital follows patients with diseases such as gastric ulcers and chronic atrophic gastritis and asks them to receive regular checks for early gastric cancer detection.”

The hospital has established a scientific gastric cancer guideline and has offered training to 23 medical facilities in Shanghai and in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian.

“To further encourage patients and their families to cooperate with doctors for better treatment effects, we started to offer graduation certificates in 2017 to gastric patients who complete chemotherapy, strictly follow doctors’ orders and have no cancerous cells in checks,”said Dr Zhang Jun, director of Ruijin’s oncology department. “So far some 50 patients have received certificates.”

A 38-year-old patient surnamed Zhang received his certificate on Tuesday and said it meant his rebirth and a victory against cancer thanks to the efforts of his doctors, his family and himself. 

Hospital catching gastric cancer early
Ti Gong

Dr Zhu Zhenggang from Ruijin Hospital

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