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Annual colon cancer screening urged for those over 50

Annual colon cancer screening urged for those over 50

The Bureau of Health Promotion urged people over 50 years of age yesterday to receive yearly screening for colon cancer, which is the third-most common kind of cancer among people in Taiwan.
Kung Hsien-lan, head of the bureau's Cancer Control and Prevention Division, noted that colon cancer is the result of colorectal polyps turning malignant and that there is a 46 percent chance of malignant cells existing in polyps larger than two centimeters in diameter.
While 90 percent of colon cancer patients can survive if the cancer is discovered at stage I, the survival rate is less than 20 percent if it is discovered only at the terminal stage, Kung pointed out.
According to Kung, colon cancer is most prevalent in people over 50 years of age, and experiences of Europe and the United States show that receiving fecal occult blood tests every one to two years can help early discovery of colon cancer and reduce the death rate by 18 percent to 33 percent.
Advising people over 50 to receive screening every year, Kung said the government now subsidizes fecal occult blood tests for citizens 50-69 years of age every two years.
Tallies from the Department of Health indicate that colon cancer has the third-highest cancer-related death rate in Taiwan. While 3,898 of 7,366 people diagnosed with colon cancer in 2002 died within two years, 4,111 of 8,238 people diagnosed in 2003 died within two years, according to the tallies.


Updated : 2021-04-21 13:47 GMT+08:00