Local cancer association establishes melanoma branch

Cai Wenjun
The incidence of melanoma is growing quickly, but a new organization aims to improve treatment and provide unified guidelines for doctors.
Cai Wenjun

The Shanghai Anti-Cancer Association set up a melanoma branch on Friday in order to improve clinical capabilities and raise public awareness on the disease, which has a high mortality rate due to lack of unified guidelines and treatment standards in China.

Melanoma is the world's fastest-growing cancer type, with patient numbers rising by 3 to 5 percent annually. In China, there are over 8,000 new cases every year.

Though incidence in China is far lower than that of Western countries, the five-year survival rate in China is only 65 percent, while it is 80 percent in developed countries.

“It's because patients with melanoma in China can be treated in different departments, which have different treatment quality. A lack of unified guidelines means that many patients can’t receive regular treatment in time and face risk of relapse in the future,” said Dr Chen Yong from the Shanghai Cancer Center and director of the new branch. “It's important to put leading departments and experts together to enhance diagnosis and treatment for patients with melanoma, and improve their life quality and survival.”

“The new branch will build a platform with all related departments to offer patients multidisciplinary and comprehensive treatment,” Chen said.

The first guideline issued by Shanghai Cancer Center, Tianjin Cancer Hospital and Cancer Hospital of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences on melanoma was released in Shanghai early this year to provide guidance on surgical treatment for melanoma.

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