Cancer still nation’s top cause of death

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jun 26, 2014 - Page 3

Cancer has been the leading cause of death for both males and females in Taiwan for 32 straight years, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all deaths and killing an average of 123 people per day last year, statistics published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare yesterday show.

It far exceeds the number of lives lost to heart disease (11.5 percent), cerebral vascular disease (7.3 percent), diabetes (6.1 percent), pneumonia (5.9 percent), accidents (4.3 percent), chronic lower respiratory illnesses (3.9 percent), hypertension-related diseases (3.3 percent), chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis (3.1 percent) and kidney illnesses (2.9 percent).

The only change in those rankings from 2012’s was that diabetes and pneumonia switched places.

Lung, liver and rectal cancers were the top three causes of 44,791 cancer deaths last year, followed by breast cancer, oral cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer and cervical cancer.

However, the standardized mortality rate from pancreatic cancer has grown the most over the past decade, increasing by 15.7 percent.

In general, males are 1.4 to 2.5 times more likely to die from the aforementioned cancers than females, but when it comes to esophageal and oral cancers, males have a 14.5 times and 14.3 times higher risk of dying from them than females do.