The Women's Health Association of Taiwan (WHAT) yesterday came out with its list of the top 10 most important stories related to women's health last year.
Six of the 10 stories were cancer-related.
The nascent association, which will be officially formed next month, said that the survey of 1,149 Taiwanese women was a way of assessing which health issues are the most pressing to the nation's women.
"Cancers related to the female reproductive system account for four of the top 10 cancers in women," the association's Jeng Cheng-chieh (
According to Jeng, a doctor with the Women's Cancer Center at Cathay General Hospital, the survey's results would drive the association's efforts in the future towards increasing public aware-ness of cancer.
The No. 1 story according to the survey is the approval of a vaccine to prevent the human papillomavirus (HPV) in Taiwan.
According to Chen Chao-wen (
However, Chen warned that the vaccine should not be thought of as a replacement for pap smears.
"The vaccine is completely effective against four common strains of HPV," she said, "but completely ineffective if you have got one of the others."
Taiwan is the first country in Asia to approve Gardisil.
However, the vaccine is not yet covered by the national health insurance and costs NT$12,000 (US$364) for a complete course of treatment.
Other cancer-related stories on the list include a report showing that exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of cervical cancer sevenfold and another showing that breast cancer strikes Taiwanese women 10 years earlier than the US and European average.
Another report showed that 74 percent of the nation's women fail to check their breasts for cancerous lumps.
Taiwanese women are not vigilant enough about early detection measures such as breast self-exams and pap smears, Jeng said.
"For too many Taiwanese women, their health comes last, after taking care of everybody else in their family," he said.
Another factor women hesitate to have exams could be misplaced modesty, he said. "Some women still try to avoid internal exams, but it saves lives."
Another of the top-10 stories involves research that shows persistent exposure to cooking fumes leads to a increase in the occurrence of adenocarcinoma of the lungs, the most common form of lung cancer in the nation's women.
Most home cooking is done by women and the high heat involved in stir-frying produces heavy fumes.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among
The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) yesterday said that it has allocated NT$68 million (US$2.32 million) to build an Internet-of-things (IoT) platform that would facilitate proactive maintenance of the railway system and enhance service punctuality. The agency said that it decided to build the platform to promote horizontal communication among its departments after an investigation into the Puyuma Express derailment in October 2018 found that its four main departments — electrical engineering, rolling stock, construction and transportation — failed to share information with one another. The platform would use artificial intelligence to analyze maintenance data collected by its departments, including railway crossings,