The fecal occult blood test is one of a number of effective methods for detecting colorectal cancer at an early stage, but nearly 70 percent of the public shun the life-saving test due to reluctance to face their health problems, according to a survey released yesterday by the Taiwan Medical Association.
The survey was conducted among 631 doctors from clinics to help gauge patients’ perceptions of the screening test through the eyes of medical professionals.
Asked to name the reasons stopping patients from undergoing the fecal occult blood test, 72.01 percent of the doctors said patients believed they were healthy, while 67.62 percent avoided the test because they did not want to face any potential health issues, the results showed.
Meanwhile, 47.05 percent of doctors said patients feared a potential ensuing colonoscopy should their test results return positive, 34.04 percent did not have the time and 24.21 percent complained about what they said was an inconvenient testing process, the survey said.
The association said that colorectal cancer patients have outnumbered those with liver cancer since 2006 in Taiwan, with the former type of cancer having been at the top of the 10 most common cancers in the country for years.
“The incidence and mortality rates for colorectal cancer in Taiwan are 1.4 times and 1.7 times those recorded in the US,” the association said.
Despite the Health Promotion Administration’s 2004 policy of offering free fecal occult blood tests to people aged between 50 and 69 biennially, and further expansion of the program in June last year to those aged between 70 and 74, only 22 percent of eligible recipients received the test between 2008 and 2010, compared with 60 percent in the US, it said.
Taiwan Medical Association chairman Su Ching-chuan (蘇清泉) said that of people in the 50 to 74 age group, about one in 30 developed colorectal polyps and one in 300 developed colorectal cancer.
“Many colorectal cancer cases evolved from polyps, which can be picked up by a fecal occult blood test and hence treated earlier,” Su said.
FOSSIL CLUES: The bushfires resulted from a positive Indian Ocean dipole event, when the region east of the ocean becomes drier, professor Shen Chuan-chou said The bushfires that swept through Australia last year were connected to a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), which is expected to become more frequent due to climate change, a geologist studying coral fossils said yesterday. National Taiwan University Department of Geosciences professor Shen Chuan-chou (沈川洲) since 2001 has been working with Australian and US researchers to study climate systems in the Indian Ocean. Led by Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences professor Nerilie Abram, the team published a paper on IOD in the journal Nature on March 9. The bushfires resulted from a positive IOD event, when the
Senior judges yesterday met to discuss the constitutionality of a law that makes adultery a criminal offense, before being ordered by Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) to set a date for a constitutional interpretation within the next month. The judges met to discuss Article 239 of the Criminal Code on offenses against marriage and family, after 18 judges had called for a constitutional interpretation of the issue. Taipei District Court Judge Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) said that while he had previously tried adultery cases and never questioned the law, his feelings changed when trying a case last year involving baseball star Wang
Instead of hating the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), help change it, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said, as he urged young people to join efforts to reform the party. As the nation marked Youth Day on Sunday, Chiang said in a Facebook post that he wanted to remind people that “the KMT used to be very young.” Now, when people think of the KMT, they equate it with older people, he wrote. “Even if [the KMT] is a 100-year-old party, it must maintain a young mentality, and understand what young people want and what they want the KMT to do,” Chiang wrote.
A survey has found that 37.3 percent of transgender people in the nation have experienced gender-related discrimination or bullying in the workplace, the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said yesterday. The alliance’s survey showed that 55.41 percent of transgender people said that they had been afraid to use a public restroom, 18.53 percent had been harassed or attacked in public, while 15.83 percent had been afraid to ask a police officer or other professional for help. The survey, conducted from March 14 to Wednesday last week, was based on 518 valid responses from transgender people aged 14 to 78, the