Proper diet low­ers risk, but ve­g­ans get colon can­cer: doc­tor

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY LAURA LIN

A 60-year-old woman was di­ag­nosed with late-stage colon can­cer though she has been on ve­gan diet for over 20 years, a physi­cian told media re­cently.

Lin un­der­went surgery to have the tu­mors in her colon re­moved, but can­cer cells have spread to her liver. She re­ceived tar­geted ther­apy that di­min­ished the tu­mors in her liver. She was sched­uled to have the tu­mors re­moved only af­ter they shrank in or­der to boost the ef­fec­tive­ness of the surgery, lo­cal media re­ported. The tar­geted ther­apy was cov­ered by the Na­tional Health In­sur­ance.

Af­ter her six months of in­sured treat­ment failed to di­min­ish the tu­mors greatly, Lin paid out of her own pocket for another round of tar­geted ther­apy. Ul­ti­mately the tu­mors shrank in size and were re­moved.

Colon can­cer has been the most di­ag­nosed type of can­cer in Tai­wan since 2007, fol­lowed by liver can­cer, lung can­cer, breast can­cer and oral can­cer in turn, sta­tis­tics in­di­cate.

Sta­tis­tics show that 45 out of 100,000 Tai­wanese suf­fer from colon can­cer or rec­tal can­cer. In other words, ev­ery 35.1 min­utes one more pa­tient is di­ag­nosed with colon can­cer in Tai­wan.

It is widely be­lieved that those who keep an un­healthy diet are at big­ger risk of get­ting can­cer and vege­tar­i­ans have a slim­mer chance, how­ever it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that “ev­ery­one is at risk,” said Chen Hong-hua ( ), a doc­tor in charge of the Colon and Rec­tal Surgery Cen­ter of Kaoh­si­ung’s Chang Gung Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal.

”Di­etary habits, hered­ity and genes may add to the risk, but some­times it sim­ply comes from gene mu­ta­tion. ‘Bad luck’ hap­pens,” Chen said.

Chen said that can­cer di­ag­nosed in the late stages is not al­ways ter­mi­nal. The pa­tient’s life can be pro­longed by five years if the spread­ing can­cer cells can be suc­cess­fully re­moved, be­fore or af­ter they are di­min­ished by tar­geted ther­apy, Chen said.

The func­tion of anti-an­gio­gen­e­sis tar­geted ther­apy ( ) is to weaken can­cer cells by pre­vent­ing blood ves­sels from grow­ing on a tu­mor. The tar­geted ther­apy fo­cuses can­cer cells, while tra­di­tional chemo­ther­apy weak­ens all of a pa­tient’s cells.

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