Ethnic Chinese more likely to get liver cancer: study

National 1 minute, 10 seconds


THE Chinese community in Brunei is over twice as likely to suffer from liver cancer compared to their Malay counterparts, according to the National Cancer Registry’s review of data collected across a nine-year period.

Published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention last year, the review stated that the incidence of cancer among ethnic Chinese in Brunei was 30.3 per 100,000 of the population in 2009, compared to 12.3 for those of Malay ethnicity.

The article also stated an increasing prevalence of liver cancer in Brunei – quadrupling from 4.7 per 100,000 in 2000 to 26.3 in 2009, with males and those above 50 more at risk.

The study attributed the increase to a rise in hepatocellular carcinoma – a type of liver cancer that represented over 80 per cent of cases in Brunei.

Chronic hepatitis B – a form of liver inflammation with well documented links to liver cancer – is common in the country as it was found in over 60 per cent of those with HCC, providing an explanation to the increased prevalence over the nine years.

The high risk among the ethnic Chinese is consistent with trends in Singapore and Malaysia, with the study stipulating genetic factors, cultural habits – both environmental and diet and high levels of hepatitis B – as reasons behind the disparity between the Chinese and other ethnic groups.

The review was completed by Universiti Brunei Darussalam, National Cancer Centre and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital.

The Brunei Times