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Man runs around country to promote cervical cancer screening

Man runs around country to promote cervical cancer screening

Taipei, March 5 (CNA) A man whose sister died of cervical cancer completed a round-the-country run Monday to raise public awareness of the importance of women getting regular screening for cervical cancer. David Szu, an enthusiastic runner who works at a Taipei-based motor trading company, proposed the idea of running around Taiwan to promote the importance of the pap smear test, an effective way to detect cervical cancer. Starting Feb. 14 in Taipei, Szu and a friend embarked on the 21-day, 1,000-km journey, returning to the capital where they held a news conference at the Presidential Office to mark the completion of the run. "We are really thankful to those who joined us or helped us during the past 21 days," Szu said, teary-eyed, adding that more than 1,000 people supported their cause by running with them for a while. Szu's sister, who never received pap smear tests and therefore failed to get an early diagnosis, died of the cancer at the age of 35. Szu told CNA that through his run, he hoped to help promote the necessity of women getting routine pap smear tests to avoid similar tragedies happening to their families. The news conference was also attended by President Ma Ying-jeou and Chiou Shu-ti, director-general of the Bureau of Health Promotion under the Department of Health. Some 700 women die of cervical cancer every year in Taiwan, Ma said, adding that around 1.6 million women around the country receive pap smear tests either on an irregular basis or not at all. "We expect that the activity will help spread the message" that women should get tested on a regular basis, Ma added. Echoing Ma's remarks, Chiou noted that routine pap smear tests could bring down the fatality rate of cervical cancer by 60 percent. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2020-12-01 20:11 GMT+08:00