Taipei, More people in Taiwan died from cancer in 2018 than ever before, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) reported Friday, but the mortality rate was actually down when adjusted for age.
According to MOHW figures, 48,784 people died of various types of cancer in Taiwan in 2018, up 747, or 1.56 percent, from the previous year. That translated to a cancer patient dying every 10 minutes and 46 seconds in Taiwan, 10 seconds shorter than in 2017.
Cancer accounted for 28.2 percent of Taiwan's 172,859 deaths in 2018, making malignant tumors the leading cause of death in Taiwan for the 37th consecutive year, the figures showed.
As a percentage of the population, cancer took the lives of 206.9 people per 100,000 population in 2018.
When adjusted for age based on the World Health Organization's world population structure in 2000, however, it was 121.8 cancer deaths per 100,000 population, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier, the MOHW said in a statement.
This ageadjusted rate helps factor out the influence of a country's age distribution on mortality numbers, and were it to rise it would point to factors other than age causing more cancer deaths.
Its 1.3 percent decline in 2018 led the MOHW to conclude, however, that Taiwan's aging population was in fact the biggest factor in the rising number of cancer deaths.
Among cancers in 2018, lung cancers were the leading cause of death, followed by liver cancer, colon and anal cancer, and breast cancer, oral cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, and cervical cancer.
The main causes of death in Taiwan after cancer in 2018 were heart disease, pneumonia, cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes, accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, hypertension, nephrotic syndrome, and liver cirrhosis, according to the MOHW.
By age, accidents were the main cause of death for people aged 124, cancer and suicide were the two main causes of death for people 2544, and cancer and chronic heart disease were the two top causes of death for people aged 45 and older, the MOHW said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel