Record number of people diagnosed with cancer in Taiwan
One person was diagnosed with cancer in Taiwan every 5 minutes and 26 seconds in 2012, a new record that was 14 seconds faster than the previous year, according to cancer statistics released by the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) on Tuesday.
The number of new cancer patients in 2012 increased by 4,012 from the previous year to a record 96,694, said the administration under the Ministry of Health and Welfare in summarizing the latest data on cancer in Taiwan.
HPA Director-General Chiou Shu- ti cited an analysis of the data as saying that the incidence of new cancer diagnoses in Taiwan in 2012 was 415 cases for every 100,000 people, or one in every 223.
The most common cancers in Taiwan are colon, lung, liver, breast and oral cancers, followed by prostate, gastric, skin, thyroid and esophageal cancers, the new statistics showed.
Colon cancer topped the list for the seventh year in a row, with the number of patients diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012 up 6 percent from a year earlier to 14,965. It was the fastest growing of any of the cancers in the HPA report.
A total of 11,692 were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012, 6 percent more than in the previous year. But the growth in new lung cancer cases was particularly notable among women at 11 percent.
Although the number of smokers in Taiwan has fallen dramatically since the implementation of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act in September 1997, the problem of secondhand smoke should not be underestimated, the HPA said.
Based on a previous survey conducted by the administration, the percentage of Taiwanese women exposed to passive smoke fell from 26.3 percent in 2008 to 17.8 percent in 2009, before rebounding to 28.5 percent in 2014, the HPA said.
The newest cancer figures were not all bad news because cervical cancer was not in the list of the 10 most prevalent cancers for the first time.
The HPA attributed the result to the successful government cervical cancer screening program, dubbed “a lifetime in 6 minutes,” that began in 1995. Six minutes refers to the amount of time needed to administer the pap smear.