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Cancer hike among young Vietnamese

by VTV420 October 2016 Last updated at 10:25 AM

VTV.vn - Breast cancer is one of the top 10 most common diseases among women in Vietnam. In 2010, the country had over 12,500 cases, but this figure is predicted to reach 22,600 by 2020.

What is even more alarming is the fact that breast cancer cases are increasing rapidly among the young, where a growing number of cancer patients in their 20s and even younger. But patients can still detect cancer early if they pay attention and have regular check-ups.

Nguyen Thu Huong is only 30, but she has already gone through a round of radiotherapy to treat breast cancer. Unfortunately she missed the early stage for cancer detection.

‘I only have a pap smear test once a year. I noticed a small lump but didn’t pay much attention to it until my eye-sight started declining and I had back pain. I went for a check-up and was diagnosed with second stage cancer and it has metastasized,” she said..

This patient found out she had breast cancer just over a week ago. According to doctors, her case has entered second stage and will undergo radiotherapy to prevent the metastatic growth developing into a tumor.

In recent years the number of cancer patients are growing among young Vietnamese, most evident is in breast cancer. Previously, breast cancer cases were mostly found in those aged over 60, but now are tending to occur more in people in the under 35 age group, accounting for about 5% of total cases.

Le Hong Quang, doctor a the Vietnam National Cancer Hospital said that in recent years they  have found many cancer cases with patients in younger age groups. In some cases they  even have patients who are students in their early 20s who also had cancer.

Doctors have warned that screening and early detection has great impacts in the treatment of breast cancer for patients. Up to 80 percent of breast cancer cases can be treated successfully if they are diagnosed early. The ratio is 60 percent for the second stage and lower in the next stages. Screening for early cancer detection right after women turn to the high-risk age of 40 is very significant for treatment, doctor recommended.

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