New guidance in place to lower incidence of liver cancer

Cai Wenjun
More than half of the newly diagnosed liver cancer cases annually reported in the world are in China.
Cai Wenjun

More than half of the newly diagnosed liver cancer cases annually reported in the world are in China.

Liver cancer has become the fourth most prevalent cancer and second cancer-related cause of death in the nation.

The five-year survival rate is about 12.2 percent, medical experts said on Saturday, when a new version of the national guidance on liver cancer diagnosis and treatment was released in Shanghai.

Improving medical ability for treating liver cancer is important to help achieve the national government's plan to prolong the average five-year survival rate of all types of cancer by 15 percent by 2030, experts said.

"The new guidance represents the highest medical ability for liver cancer diagnosis and treatment and includes the latest and the highest level of medical evidence to regulate and enhance clinical practice," said Dr Fan Jia, president of Shanghai's Zhongshan Hospital and a leading expert of guidance.

"It reiterates the importance of early screening, diagnosis and treatment and also pays attention to psychological care for patients and their families. We hope the new guidance will help improve treatment effects, prolong patients' survival and better their life quality."

The reason for the high prevalence of liver cancer in China is related to the prevalence of hepatitis B infection.

"About 77 percent of liver cancer cases are caused by hepatitis B infection and most patients are not diagnosed until in the middle or terminal stages, losing the opportunity for surgery or other regional treatments," said Dr Qin Shukui, another leading expert for the new guidance. "We need more innovative medicines and treatment plans for patients."

The new guidance will be publicized by the National Health Commission soon for nationwide promotion.

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