The Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Promotion (BHP) yesterday said its latest survey showed that 93.3 percent of people in a recent survey mistakenly believe “staying up late” is a main cause of liver cancer.
According to an online survey conducted by the bureau in July, which collected valid responses from 3,668 people aged between 25 and 64, nearly all the people surveyed thought that staying up late was the main cause of liver cancer, while 81.3 percent and 64.3 percent of respondents thought liver cancer may be caused by hepatitis B and C respectively.
“It is a widely mistaken idea that ‘staying up late’ is the main cause of liver cancer, but there isn’t enough scientific evidence to prove a direct positive relationship between them,” BHP’s Cancer Control and Prevention Division chief Wu Chien-yuan (吳建遠) said, adding that if a person is healthy and does not suffer from hepatitis B or C, the chances of getting liver cancer from staying up late are not high.
The bureau said it is also worth noting that only 69.9 percent of the people surveyed had undergone blood tests for hepatitis B or C, and among those who do have hepatitis B or C, only 70.1 percent said they had seen a doctor for medical advice or treatment.
Research results showed that about 15 percent to 20 percent of people with hepatitis B may become hepatitis B carriers, and about 70 to 90 percent of people with hepatitis C may become carriers of the illness, the BHP said, adding that about 20 percent of chronic hepatitis B or C patients may eventually suffer from liver cirrhosis, and that each year about three to five percent of liver cirrhosis patients are diagnosed with liver cancer.
“The transition of hepatitis to liver cirrhosis and then liver cancer is what people often call ‘the liver cancer trilogy,’” Wu said, urging the public to take blood tests to check for hepatitis B and C and receive medical advice and follow-up exams to prevent the disease from worsening.
As most chronic hepatitis B or C sufferers do not show any uncomfortable symptoms, patients often neglect the disease and delay medical treatment, but in fact the control rate for hepatitis B has reached 80 percent while the cure rate for hepatitis C has reached 70 percent with proper medicinal treatments BHP said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by