The Taipei Department of Health yesterday said it will offer free cancer screenings for eligible residents starting next week.
Starting on Saturday, free health examinations and 60 screening sessions for four types of cancer will be offered to eligible adult residents, the department said, adding that it will also offer special health examinations for residents who are more than 65 years old starting on Wednesday.
Cancer is the No. 1 cause of death in Taipei, the department said.
Cancer and chronic diseases, including heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension, claim one life every 53 minutes in Taipei, and a total of 9,795 people in the city died of these illnesses in 2015, it added.
The department said it cooperated with 12 hospitals, clinics and health centers in the city’s 12 districts to hold the 60 screening sessions, which will screen for cervical, colon, oral cavity and breast cancers.
The health examination involves a basic check-up, biochemistry test and urine test, and will be free of charge for National Health Insurance card holders, it said.
Adults aged 40 to 64 are eligible for a free examination once every three years, and senior citizens above 65 are eligible for a free examination once a year, the department said.
It said among the 9,542 people who participated in health examinations last year, 1,727 people with suspected abnormalities were referred to undergo further examinations, and that the prevalence rates for abnormal findings were 0.91 percent for cervical cancer, 3.37 percent for colon cancer, 2.8 percent for oral cavity cancer and 1.7 percent for breast cancer.
The specialized health examinations for senior citizens, provided by 31 hospitals in the city, will have two options this year, with common examination items being health history, physical evaluation, depression screening, cognitive ability evaluation, urine test, biochemistry test and fecal occult blood test.
The first set of options will also include a thyroid-stimulating hormone test, electrocardiogram, alpha-fetoprotein test and chest X-ray, while the second set will include an abdominal ultrasonography and other examinations, the department said, adding that senior citizens can choose to undergo the first set of examinations every year, and the second set once every two years.
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