Someone in Taiwan is diagnosed with cancer every 4 minutes, 42 seconds, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said yesterday, adding that colon cancer was the most common cancer diagnosis in 2017, for the 12th straight year.
The 2017 Cancer Registry Annual Report released yesterday by the agency showed 111,684 new cancer cases that year, up by 5,852 from a year earlier.
The median age of diagnosis in 2017 was 63 years old, the same as a year earlier, but the median age of diagnosis for some types of cancer was lower, such as for esophageal cancer (58), oral cancer (57), breast cancer (55) and thyroid cancer (50), the agency said.
A new case of cancer was diagnosed every 4 minutes, 42 seconds — which was 16 seconds faster than a year earlier, HPA data showed.
The 10 most common types of cancer in 2017 were colon cancer, lung cancer, female breast cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer (including oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers), prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, skin cancer, gastric cancer and esophageal cancer.
The list was the same as a year earlier, except that skin cancer and gastric cancer switched places.
The age-standardized incidence rate was 305.4 cancers per 100,000 population, or 8.7 higher than a year earlier, Cancer Prevention and Control Division Director Lin Li-ju (林莉茹) said.
The standardized incidence rate, types of female cancer and colon cancer increased more than other types, she said, adding that 16,408 people were diagnosed with colon cancer, making it the most common type of cancer for a 12th consecutive year.
The three most common types of cancer in women were breast cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer, with 52,387 women being diagnosed, HPA data showed.
The number of breast cancer screenings in 2017 rose by 48,000, while colon cancer screenings increased by about 22,000, Lin said, adding that most of the new breast cancer and colon cancer cases were caught at stage 0 or stage 1, meaning that increased awareness helped detect cancer earlier.
Cancer is often detected after years of unhealthy habits, while the WHO has said that 30 to 50 percent of cancers are preventable, Lin said.
The HPA recommends that people avoid smoking tobacco, chewing betel nut and drinking alcohol, and that they eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, keep a healthy body weight and get screened for cancer regularly, she added.
Getting regular pap smears can lower the mortality rate of cervical cancer by 70 percent, while getting a mammogram every other year can reduce the mortality rate of breast cancer by 41 percent and a fecal occult blood test every other year can reduce the mortality rate of colon cancer by 35 percent, the agency said, citing National Health Insurance Administration statistics.
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