China reported 3.804 million new cancer cases last year, about seven cases a minute and, surprisingly, women who don't smoke can also get lung cancer due to their exposure to secondhand smoke and cooking oil fumes, according to a report by the China Cancer Center.

The report complied data from China's 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, and it suggests that lung cancer is still the most frequently occurring malignancy in the country. Cigarette smoking has been identified as a risk factor for lung cancer, but studies have shown a rapidly increasing incidence of lung cancer among female non-smokers.

Liang Chaoyang, vice director of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Beijing's China Japan Friendship Hospital, said cooking methods, the influence of second or third-hand smoke and environmental pollution were behind the rise of lung cancer among women.

Liang also said more than 700 million women and children in China had long been exposed to secondhand smoke both at home and in public spaces, making China the worst place in the world for secondhand smoke.

About 55 percent of females aged over 15 were exposed to secondhand smoke at home on a daily basis. Some cancer experts have warned that putting someone else in the way of secondhand smoke was not only selfish and immoral, but also equated to committing slow murder.

Professor Zhi Xiuyi from the Lung Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Center at the Capital Medical University blamed Chinese cooking methods, such as stir-frying and deep-frying, as a main risk factor in the higher incidence of lung cancer among women.

"They stay in the kitchen for longer periods than men, putting themselves in the path of toxic components, and consequently face a higher risk of lung cancer."

Research led by Zhou Caicun at Shanghai's Tongji University School of Medicine found cooking oil temperatures directly affected the amount of fumes created.

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