Taiwan has highest death rate from cancer in Asia

Cancer patients do not just face high risk of death but also a big economic burden

Health Insurance Bureau under Ministry of Health and Welfare (image from the official Facebook page of the bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is facing a serious problem of cancer due to the high rates of deaths caused by the disease (around 28%), making the country rank first in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the WHO's recent health statistics using Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) metrics, the percentage of deaths caused by cancer in Taiwan is over 28.1 percent, making the country rank first in the Asia-Pacific region. Other countries following on the list are Singapore (22.7 percent), Australia (18.8 percent), and China (16.6 percent), reported by NowNews.

Compared to statistics released in the middle of 2016 by Ministry of Health and Welfare, the official number of people who died due to cancer was 47,760, taking up a 27.7 percent. Among all cancer types, lung cancer and liver cancer remain the most prevalent cause of death. 

The Economist's expert, Chiu Chi (丘琪) pointed out that patients will face a bigger economic burden of cancer treatment in both middle and high-income countries.

Even though patients in Taiwan can receive a better health insurance to reduce their economic burden during the process of cancer treatment, medical technology and therapy still lag behind Western countries, Chiu said.