Unsafe food is the top cause of cancer in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge - Every year Vietnam has about 200,000 new cases of cancer, with 75,000 deaths, making Vietnam one of the countries with the alarming rate of cancer, according to a seminar held in HCM City by the Association for Standardization and Customer Protection of Vietnam last week.


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Data from agencies in 2014 and 2015 showed that 9,140 kg Salbutamol were imported to produce medicines but up to 6,268 kg of this substance were used in pig farming to produce lean pork.


According to the Ministry of Health’s evaluation, cancer is badly affecting the country’s society and economy  with more cases of cancer infections meanwhile it costs a big sum to treat the disease.

According to the World Health Organization’s figure, there were 14.1 million fresh cancer cases and 8.2 million people succumbed to the disease in 2012. At the meantime, Vietnam had 68,810 new cancer infections in 2000, the figure increased to 126,307 cases in 2010 and an estimated cases of 190,000 will be in 2020.

Dr. Nguyen Ba Duc, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Cancer Association, there are three factors that affect cancer, including genetics, polluted environment and diet.

In particular, agents from unsafe food take the lead among the carcinogenic factors - accounting for about 35% of cases, while genetic factors account for only 5-10%.

Mr. Do Ngoc Chinh, head of the southern office of the Association for Standardization and Consumer Protection of Vietnam, said an alarming problem was the use of antibiotics and lean creating substances in livestock and farming to increase productivity.

Data from agencies in 2014 and 2015 showed that 9,140 kg Salbutamol were imported to produce medicines but up to 6,268 kg of this substance were used in pig farming to produce lean pork.

Vietnam has 6 big hospitals for tumor treatment and 50 specialized wards in hospitals in districts yet they are able to meet 70 percent of the demand. Worse, two leading hospitals including K hospital in Hanoi and Tumor Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City are always overloaded  though they have been expanded and built more satellite hospitals.

Cancer patients can not afford the cost of treatment which is a concern of medical workers. Dr. Mai Trong Khoa, deputy head of Bach Mai hospital said that the hospital’s survey showed that 34 percent of cancer patient have financial difficulties and not be able to buy medicine after 12 month diagnosis; 22 percent of them not be able to cover transport fee.

Another study carried out by an international organization on cancer treatment cost in Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam showed that 55 percent of cancer patients died 12 months after diagnosis or encountered financial difficulties.

Most of Vietnamese cancer patients are diagnosed in late stage of the disease with only 5 percent being diagnosed in the first stage and 19 percent in second stage. Around 70,000 Vietnamese cancer people have died of the disease annually.

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Thu Ly

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