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Asia Cancer Market Update
by Ames Gross
Government healthcare expenditures in Asian countries has been increasing steadily in recent years. According to a 2016 Deloitte report, the average annual increase in government healthcare spending in Asian countries is more than 6%, compared to 4.5% in the United States and less than 1.5% in the European Union. The Japanese government remains the top healthcare spender in the region. In India and China, annual healthcare expenditures are increasing by approximately 16% and 9%, respectively. However, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that overall healthcare spending per capita remains low in India and China compared to other Asian countries. Increases in Asian healthcare spending are often times aimed at dealing with cancer, including improving early detection and diagnosis services, reducing out-of-pocket treatment costs, and providing newer therapies.
China: The MedTech Market: Strategic Planning & Practical Considerations for Medical Device & Diagnostic Manufacturers | June 5-6, 2017 | Learn moreCancer in Asia is becoming more prevalent and deadly. The WHO estimates that more than 4 million people died from cancer in Asia in 2016. In China, cancer is the leading cause of death and there are four million new cancer patients diagnosed every year, equivalent to roughly 12,000 people per day. Likewise, cancer is the leading cause of death in South Korea, and there are more than 200,000 new cancer cases a year. While not the leading cause of death in Japan, cancer still accounted for more than 400,000 deaths in 2016. Worldwide cancer incidence continues to increase, and experts estimate there will be more than 10 million cancer cases in Asia by 2030, compared to 2 million cancer cases in the United States.
The rise in cancer cases and deaths can be attributed to lifestyle and demographic changes. With age, the risk of developing prostate and other types of cancer rises. Countries that have aging populations, like Japan and South Korea, have experienced a dramatic increase in the number of prostate cancer cases. Additionally, factors like poor diet and low levels of physical activity also lead to a higher risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast, stomach and esophageal.
Lung cancer prevalence is particularly high in Asia, largely due to high tobacco usage. However, even in countries like South Korea where smoking rates are decreasing, lung cancer incidence remains high. Research indicates that besides smoking, poor air quality and cooking oil fumes may contribute to the continued high rates of lung cancer in Asia.
The increase in cancer patients has resulted in growing demand for the latest cancer devices and drugs. Proton therapy is becoming more popular worldwide, including in Asia. Proton therapy is thought to be less damaging than traditional radiation, as the radiation can be delivered to very specific areas. The method is able to target cancer cells, causing less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue..
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