The Impact of Cancer on Hong Kong

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Hong Kong. New cancer cases in Hong Kong are projected to rise by up to 40% by 2030.

  • Forecast comes as latest statistics from Hong Kong Cancer Registry show record high of 31,468 cases diagnosed in 2016
  • Number of women with disease expected to surpass men
  • Types of the disease expected to see the biggest rise include colorectal, breast and lung cancers

The projection came as the latest statistics from the Hong Kong Cancer Registry showed that a record high of 31,468 new cases were diagnosed in 2016, 1,150 more than in the previous year. According to these statistics (the latest available), the top three cancers were colorectal, lung, and breast; contributing to almost half of the new cases. Among men, colorectal cancer surpassed lung cancer for the first time as the most common type. For Hong Kong women, breast cancer has been the most common type since 1993.

Lung cancer has been the first leading cause of cancer death in Hong Kong for many years. In 2017, 3,890 persons died from lung cancer, accounting for 27.1% of all cancer deaths. The crude death rates for male and female were 76.5 and 32.4 per 100,000 population of respective sex.

Unhealthy diets, stressful lifestyles and neglecting regular check-ups are all to blame for cancer claiming 18% more lives in Hong Kong than a decade ago.  Many cancer-related deaths were preventable by healthier diet, exercise and regular physical check-ups. Recently, there has been some scientific evidence showing that the major causes of these 3 types of cancer are hormone-related and may be strongly affected by the types of food intake (Yiu, 2019b). The change of diet and the substantial increase in the consumption of hormone-disrupting food (Yiu, 2019c) may be related to the increase in the number of incidents and the high death rates of these types of cancer.

Through proper education cancer can be prevented and life expectancy can be increased, and quality of life both during and after treatment can be improved exponentially. The Cancer Exercise Training Institute (CETI), a United States-based organization, has trained over 10,000 health and fitness professionals to become Cancer Exercise Specialists since 2004. The language barrier has been an obstacle until now. CETI and it’s regional affiliates are bringing the Cancer Exercise Specialist Advanced Qualification training to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia in November 2019. This live training will be conducted by Andrea Leonard, 35-year cancer survivor, PFP 2019 Personal Trainer of the Year, and President/Founder of the Cancer Exercise Training Institute.

Through the comprehensive training health and fitness professionals seeking to attain a higher level of mastery and work with cancer patients during and after cancer surgery and treatment and into survivorship. Participants will expand their skills as a CES and gain a complete understanding of the entire cancer process from diagnosis and treatment to reconstruction and survivorship. The unique and individualized programming will help to improve the patient’s ability to cope with the mental and physical stress following cancer diagnosis and treatment. The comprehensive programming covers 26 types of cancer, as well as pediatrics, with special emphasis on breast cancer and breast reconstruction.

“The Cancer Exercise Specialist is to CANCER what Cardiac Rehab. is to the HEART PATIENT.” – Andrea Leonard

After the two-day workshop, students will continue their studies through written manuals, video, and power point presentations followed by a 125-question final examination. Regular continuing education is required to maintain the high-standard of expertise required to work with this population.

The benefits of exercise during treatment include:

  1. Increased energy
  2. Improved treatment tolerance
  3. Decrease in pain
  4. Decrease in depression
  5. Better sleep
  6. Improved self-esteem/self-confidence
  7. Prevent weight gain and obesity
  8. Prevent.manage lymphedema
  9. Prevent cancer cachexia
  10. Maintain independence
  11. Improved balance and strength
  12. Makes treatment more effective at destroying cancer cells

The benefits of exercise during recovery include:

  1. Increased range of motion
  2. Correct muscle imbalances that lead to pain and degeneration
  3. Increased energy
  4. Increased stamina
  5. Increases in strength and cardiovascular endurance
  6. Prevent osteoporosis, diabetes, lymphedema, future cancer, and damage to the heart and lungs
  7. Decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass
  8. Improve balance and fall prevention
  9. Improved self-esteem/self-confidence

Based on the tremendous amount of evidence to support the aforementioned lists, it is mind-boggling that so few cancer patients are told to exercise. For those who are given the green light to exercise, the big problem is not knowing where to start, how to safely progress, and how to prevent many of the complications associated with cancer treatment.

By training more allied health professionals worldwide, CETI is creating a global resource for medical professionals to be able to confidently refer their patients.

“Cancer strips you of everything. Your hair, your body parts, your dignity, your self-confidence, your strength and stamina, your finances, sometimes even your job or spouse. A Cancer Exercise Specialist can help the cancer patient regain control of their life and their body at a time that the patient feels they have no control.” – Andrea Leonard

If you are interested in learning more about our upcoming workshops in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, or would like to learn about bringing CETI’s training to your country, please contact


Yiu, C.Y. (2019b) EDC and the Food-Cancer Nexus, Medium, Jul 17.

Yiu, C.Y. (2019c) Meat Consumption Growth in Hong Kong is Alarming, Medium, May 19.