Jiangsu province has one of the mainland's highest cancer rates because of heavily polluted water supplies, the South China Morning Post reported. Xu Xuejun, deputy head of the construction department in Jiangsu province, told a conference Friday that he was concerned about water quality. "Because of factors such as polluted water, Jiangsu has got 12% of the country's cancer cases," he said. He also said that in Jiangsu, 3.98 million people were drinking heavily polluted water while 13.67 million people faced drinking water shortages. According to Xu, up to 93 carcinogenic substances in drinking water were found in some parts of the province. Several villages in the province are known as "cancer villages". Between 1991 and 2000, deaths from cancer rose 18.3% in urban areas and 11.03% in rural areas.