China Breast Cancer Charity
China has approximately 20% of the world’s population, but it has 22% of new cancer cases and 27% of the world’s cancer deaths. China Breast Cancer Charity
Cancer screening programs are virtually non-existent. The country’s fragile healthcare system also means that many aren’t diagnosed until it is too late. China Breast Cancer Charity
In a hospital tower devoted to breast cancer treatment, one patient – Wang Hui – admits that even there, the word “cancer” is rarely spoken out loud. China Breast Cancer Charity
“Chinese people think that cancer is a terrible thing. Once you have it, you won’t last long,” she says.
Ms Wang normally commands attention in her job as a Chinese opera singer. But her cancer diagnosis has forced her into hiding. Very few know that she is sick. China Breast Cancer Charity
Breast cancer has become increasingly common in China and is now the number one killer of Chinese women. But like many other women, Ms Wang suffers in near-silence. Only her daughter and older sister stand next to her hospital bed, working as her faithful attendants. China Breast Cancer Charity
“I didn’t tell my colleagues or relatives because I didn’t want them to worry,” she says. “But when I came to the hospital, I saw so many people here with the same illness and I felt better.”
Wang Hui and millions of others in China affected by cancer are beginning to accept a hard truth. This country is facing an epidemic, one that increasingly can’t be hidden or ignored.
What is Breast Cancer?
Put simply, breast cancer describes the uncontrollable growth of cells in the breast. Before we are able to understand the specifics of breast cancer, it is useful to know about cancer in general. The cells in our bodies have with in their nucleus genes. These genes control the normal orderly way new healthy cells are created when the old cells die out. However, it is when mutations occur in this process the changed cells can begin dividing with out control and cause a tumor.
There are 2 types of tumor. Benign and malignant. Benign tumors are considered as non-dangerous and visibly appear similar to normal cells, they grow slowly, do not invade neighbouring tissue or cells. However, malignant tumors have the potential to become harmful in future. It is these malignant tumors that need to be treated, identified at the earliest stage possible and dealt with accordingly by an expert.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumor. It originates often with in the cells located in the lobules which are the milk-producing glands of the breast. However, they can also originate from the ducts which is the passage way between the lobules in the nipples where the milk is drained. In other comparatively rair cases cancerous cells have also been found to originate in the stromal tissue which include the fatty and fibrous tissues of the breast.
Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality: “mistake,” in the breast tissue. The breast cancer begins as a tumor that can spread in to the underarms and then in to the lymph nodes which are responsible for getting rid of foreign cells in the body. Once the cancerous cells reach the lymph nodes this is where the cancer could spread to other parts of the body. Whilst genetic abnormalities are the causes of breast cancer, it is important to note only 5-10% of breast cancer cases are due to hereditary reasons i.e. passed on from your Mother and Father. 85-90 % of cases are due to the general: “wear and tear of life.”
You must always remember breast cancer is no one’s fault and whilst eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking, limiting alcohol can reduce your chances of getting breast cancer, they do not by any means make any of us immune from it. Breast Cancer Support is here for you to give you all the information you need, guidance to access the medical and support services you require.