Taipei offers bonus for taking cancer-screening exams - Taipei Times
Tue, May 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taipei offers bonus for taking cancer-screening exams

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Eligible female residents who have not taken the government-funded mammography and Pap smear tests in the past two years will receive a NT$100 cash reward on their EasyCards if they get both exams at collaborating clinics and hospitals before June 30, the Taipei Department of Health said.

Cancer has been the leading cause of deaths in Taipei for 45 consecutive years and Health Promotion Administration (HPA) data from 2015 showed that breast cancer was the most common cancer among female Taipei residents, with the incidence rate increasing to 87.46 per 100,000 people, the department said.

Taipei Health Commissioner Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑) said that of the 106,508 city residents aged 45 to 69 who took the government-funded mammography last year, 574 were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer can be caused by genetic or environmental factors, said Chen Huo-mu (陳火木), director of the Department of Breast Surgery at Taipei City Hospital’s Heping Fuyou Branch.

The HPA data suggest that 38 percent of breast cancer cases can be prevented by avoiding environmental factors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, an unhealthy diet, mental stress and lack of exercise, Chen said.

Another common type of cancer is cervical cancer, Huang said.

Although incidence and mortality rates have declined in the past few years, of the 240,480 female Taipei residents aged 30 to 69 who underwent the government-funded Pap smear tests last year, 425 were found to have cervical cancer, Huang said.

Peggy Chen (陳佩琪), a pediatrician at the city hospital and Taipei cancer ambassador, said that after she was diagnosed with cancer, she learned how to slow down and lead a healthier lifestyle, keep a balanced diet and a healthy weight, exercise and have regular health checkups.

Preventing the onset of cancer is more effective than getting treatment after a positive diagnosis, she said, urging women to be aware of their health conditions and take cancer screening regularly.

Taipei residents aged 45 to 69, or aged 40 to 69 with a family history of breast cancer, who have not received a mammography in two years should come in for screening at a collaborating hospital or clinic before the end of next month to receive the EasyCard reward, said Chen, the wife of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

Those aged between 30 and 69 who have not taken a Pap smear in three years can also receive the reward, she said.

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