Sat, Jul 21, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Colon cancer increasing among youth


The average age of colon cancer patients in Taiwan is falling and the number of patients has increased by an alarming rate of 9.8 percent year-on-year, a Taichung-based surgeon said yesterday.

Wang Hui-ming (王輝明), director of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Taichung Veterans General Hospital, said that the number of colon cancer patients has increased by some 8,000 annually over the past three years, making it the third most common cancer among males after liver cancer and lung cancer, and the second most common cancer among females after breast cancer.

Wang said he had treated seven colon cancer patients under the age of 30 over the past six months.

This indicates that increasingly Westernized meals high in fat and an increase in exposure to pollutants has taken its toll, Wang said.

The patients all shared certain habits, including a diet high in meat and fats and low in fresh fruit and vegetables, Wang said.

The patients also tended not to drink water and all of them were overweight.

Wang suggested that eating little or no meat could prevent the cancer.

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