Tue, Jan 03, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Deaths from cancer of the large intestine on the rise

By Jenny Chou  /  STAFF REPORTER

With deaths from cancer of the large intestine on the increase, health experts encouraged those with symptoms to seek early diagnosis and urged the public in general to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

According to statistics from the Taipei City Government's health bureau, cancer of the large intestine ranks third among deaths caused by cancer in Taipei city residents, with 19.73 deaths occurring in every 100,000 people.

According to the bureau's head of health promotion, Chen Mei-ru (陳美如), regular exercise and eating habits can help to prevent the disease.

"Pre-school children should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, adolescent girls seven portions, and youths and adolescent boys nine portions," Chen said.

Chen explained that the portions could be either fruit or vegetables and should be about a fistful in size.

Health officials added that there is a 90 percent recovery rate if cancer of the large intestine is diagnosed early.

The officials also advised those over 50 to undergo regular check-ups, particularly if any of their relatives have had cancer of the large intestine. For people in this high-risk group, colonoscopies are available free of charge once every five years at contracted hospitals.

In Taipei, these include the Tri-Service General Hospital, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital and Taipei City Hospital. Stool tests are also available for the general public free of charge on a yearly basis. For more information visit www.bhp.doh.gov.tw.

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