Taiwanese urged on World Cancer Day to give up high risk health habits

Taipei-- Taiwan's Health Promotion Administration (HPA) on World Cancer Day Saturday urged Taiwanese to adopt a more healthy lifestyle, saying such a change would help reduce the risk of cancer.

Habits such as smoking, drinking, poor diet, lack of physical activity are the major risk factors for cancer, along with obesity, accounting for at least one third of all cases worldwide, the HPA said, citing the World Health Organization.

Therefore, as the international community marks World Cancer Day, Taiwanese would be well advised not to smoke, chew betel nuts or drink alcohol but instead to exercise more, observe a healthy diet, pay attention to weight control and get regular health checks, the HPA said.

It said domestic research has found that 15 minutes of exercise per day could extend a person's lifespan by three years.

Citing figures valid for 2013, the HPA said Taiwan recorded 99,143 new cancer cases that year, an increase of 46 percent over the 10-year period from 2003.

It also said that in 2015, health insurance payments in Taiwan for the treatment of cancer patients were NT$81.5 billion (US$2.64 billion), bigger by far than for the treatment of any other illness.

Cancer has been the number one cause of death in Taiwan for the past 34 years and rate of increase in the number of cases is the same as the global figure, according to Lai Gi-ming(???), CEO of the Formosa Cancer Foundation (FCF).

Cancer claims more than 8 million lives per year worldwide, a figure that is equivalent to the entire population of New York City, and global cancer deaths are likely to increase nearly 300 percent over the next two decades to 24 million per year, the FCF said, citing data from the U.S.-based Union for International Cancer Control.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel