The country recorded 67,896 new cancer cases in 2004 and another 68,907 new cases in 2005, meaning one person was diagnosed with cancer every seven minutes, a report released yesterday by the Department of Health (DOH) showed.
Among the new cases recorded in 2004, 39,075 cases involved men and 28,821 cases involved women, with the sex-specific crude incidence rates standing at 339 in every 100,000 men and 259 in every 100,000 women, the report said.
For the new cases recorded in 2005, 39,431 involved men and 29,476 involved women, with the sex-specific crude incidence rate standing at 341 in every 100,000 men and 263 in every 100,000 women.
During those two years, the top 10 most prevalent types of cancer among men were liver cancer, colorectal cancer, cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lungs, oral cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, esophagus cancer, bladder cancer, skin cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer, in that order.
Among women, the top 10 most prevalent types of cancer were breast cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lungs, cervical cancer, stomach cancer, thyroid cancer, skin cancer, uterine cancer, and cancer of the ovary, fallopian tube and broad ligament.
During the 2001 to 2005 period, the cancer incidence rate for men increased by 3.7 percent, with oral cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and esophagus cancer registering the largest increase at 18 percent, 16 percent, 13 percent and 8 percent respectively the report said.
The cancer incidence rate for women rose by 2.1 percent during the same period, with breast cancer, uterine cancer, and colorectal cancer seeing the largest increase at 22 percent, 21 percent and 8 percent respectively. The incidence rate of cervical cancer, however, declined significantly by 31 percent, the report said.
Chao Kun-yu (趙坤郁), deputy director-general of the Bureau of Health Promotion, attributed the increase in the number of men suffering from oral cancer and esophagus cancer to the popularity of unhealthy habits such as betel-nut chewing, smoking and drinking.
Chao ascribed the sharp decrease in the number of women suffering from cervical cancer to the rising number of women receiving screening for the disease.
Chao said the likelihood of men surviving five years after being diagnosed with cancer stands at only 40 percent — lower than the 63 percent for women. The five-year survival rate for men suffering from lung cancer, liver cancer and esophagus cancer is only 10 percent to 20 percent.
The report also revealed that the average age at the time of cancer diagnosis was 65 for men and 59 for women during the 2004 to 2005 period.
For men aged 25 to 44, the five types of cancer recording the highest incidence rates were oral cancer, liver cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, colorectal cancer and cancer of the trachea, bronchus and lungs.
For women in the same age group, the top five most common types of cancer were breast cancer, thyroid cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer, the report said
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