Wed, May 01, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Cancer on the rise, statistics show

Staff writer, with CNA

Participants in an event organized by the Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Promotion in Taipei yesterday wear signs to encourage people to avoid cancer by quitting or cutting down on tobacco, alcohol, betel nuts and fattening foods.

Photo: Chiu I-chun, Taipei Times

One person gets cancer every five minutes and 48 seconds in Taiwan, and colon cancer is the nation’s most common type of cancer for the fourth consecutive year, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

The department released the latest statistics on cancer, which showed that 90,649 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2010, which marks an increase of 3,460 from the previous year.

This translated to one out of every 256 people being diagnosed with the life-threatening disease, the department said, adding that men’s risk of cancer is 1.3 times that of women.

The median age of cancer sufferers in 2010 was 62, one year younger than in 2009, the data showed.

The 10 most common cancers were: colon cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, oral cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, skin cancer, corpus uteri cancer and cervical cancer, in that order.

The department said that a graying society, changes in lifestyle, rising obesity and the promotion of cancer screening have all led to an increase in cancer patients. Among them, the rate of people suffering from colon cancer, commonly screened for in physical exams, increased the fastest. The number of colon cancer patients increased by 12.4 percent, or 1,152 people, in just one year from 2009 to 2010.

The department publishes statistics on cancer and mortality separately every year. Since it takes time to compile the medical treatment records of patients, the latest statistics available are from three years ago, while the cancer death statistics were from the previous year.

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