Cancers have been the number one cause of death in Taiwan for 33 years. Cancer prevention and early detection are two tasks which should be taken very seriously by the authority. The incoming Vice President, Chen Chien-Jen, attended a cancer conference today and pointed out the importance of “P4-Medicine”, which provides personalized treatments based on predictions developed from data of pathology, family health history and environmental factors. Bases on the principle of Precision Medicine, P4-Medicine can significantly reduce unnecessary health expenditure and increase survival.
P4-Medicine refers to preventive, predictive, personalized and participatory.
Chen Chien-Jen expressed that though cancer screening has increased the detection of cancer cases, cancer patients’ survival rate has also increased due to advanced treatment technologies. Taking breast cancer for example, in spite of the high incidence rate, its 5-year survival rate has now reached 84% in Taiwan. The early detection of hepatitis B and hepatitis C contributes to a lower death rate of lung cancer. The smear test helps reduce the mortality rate of cervical cancer.
However, as the incidence rate of cancers keeps rising, up goes health expenditure. Chen Chien-Jen pointed out that males are ten times more likely to have cancers than females due to their poor health habits, such as smoking, drinking, chewing betel nuts, etc. He suggested those over 30 who have poor health habits should have an oral cancer screening. Early detection will increase the survival rate. The government should continue to promote this screening service.
According to the WHO, screening is especially effective to detect early stage breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer and oral cavity cancer. As for lung cancer, a serious health threat to Taiwanese, screening is not very effective. Talking from his own experience, Chen pointed out that LDCT helped identify his early stage lung adenocarcinoma. Chen suggested that Taiwan should set a world standard by applying LDCT to the detection of lung cancer and carrying out researches on the risk factors of lung cancers among non-smokers.
【2016-05-14/ United Daily News】