Sat, Apr 16, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan’s ‘cancer clock’ rate is increasing: HPA

TICK TOCK:Colon cancer incidence is high among Taiwanese and the Health Promotion Administration says that screening can discover pre-cancerous cells

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s “cancer death clock,” rate was 8 seconds faster in 2013 than in 2012, a Health Promotion Administration (HPA) report for 2013 that was released yesterday shows.

The clock indicated that one new patient was diagnosed with cancer every 5 minutes, 18 seconds in 2013, the report said.

That compared with a rate of 6 minutes, 2 seconds in 2009.

The report showed that 99,143 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2013, an increase of 2,449 people from the previous year. The median of cancer incidence ages stood at 62, the report said.

The data show that 424 out of 100,000 people in Taiwan were diagnosed with cancer in 2013, meaning one in 236 people, the HPA said.

The report said that the highest incidences in both sexes among Taiwanese were colon, lung, liver and breast cancers — in that order — the same as 2012.

Each of the four cancer categories affected more than 10,000 people in 2013, with the sum accounting for more than 50 percent of the total number of cancer patients, the report said.

Colon cancer was top of the incidence list, affecting one person every 34.7 minutes in 2013, the report said, adding that this type of cancer has dominated the list for eight years.

HPA director-general Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) reminded people of the importance of health checks, saying that screening tests have been proven efficient in discovering pre-cancerous cells so people can receive medical treatment before cancer develops.

An HPA analysis shows that the colon cancer incidence rate and death rate among men are both higher than among women in Taiwan and the screening rate for men is lower, Chiu said, adding that pathological problems of the colon are common in Taiwan.

Data show that one in 21 people aged from 50 to 74 are diagnosed with pre-cancerous lesions or cancer during screening tests, Chiu said, urging people to have health checks on a routine basis, even when they do not feel sick.

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