FEATURE: Is cancer a statistical catastrophe for Asia?

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) - Cancer owes the majority of its total deaths to Asian countries, partly because of the regions massive population but possibly due to certain lifestyle choices, Taiwan health authorities said based on the result of a recent study. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancers of the lung, female breast and colorectum are part of the top 5 in terms of mortality. Lung cancer is the deadliest of all, followed by cancers of the liver and colorectum for the highest casualties in Taiwan. Asia has the highest prevalence for smoking among males compared to any other region in the world but one of the lowest for females.

There is a certain bliss that smokers experience for which they are criticized. Lung cancer’s demographic may have evolved but it manages to remain prevalent in the lives of addicts and taunts their lifespan.

Cancer accounts for 28.2 percent of total deaths in Taiwan, this horrifically translates to a patient dying every 10 minutes in 2018. Its 1.3 percent decline from 2017 led the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) to conclude that Taiwan’s aging population remains the most prominent factor in the rising number of cancer deaths.

Smoking in younger demographics and exposure to secondhand smoke has dropped in the last decade in developed South-East Asian countries. This owes to the increasingly tense political situations and unfavorable statistics.

Nutrition and tobacco are factors that heavily influence the jarring numbers that cancer presents. Its suffice to say that unhealthy diets in South-East Asian countries are provided by the lucrative convenience store market.

With South Korea, Japan and Taiwan as the leading figures in this industry, the nations’ obesity levels are astounding. Escalating fast food consumption rates are thrilling large food companies to invest and expand in the Asian market.

The poor diets cause imbalances in consumers and result in higher rates of coronary heart disease, obesity and other cancers thereby influencing mortality statistics within the nations. Adults, especially, in Taiwan have faced a rise in obesity levels in 2014-2017, according to MOHW.

Despite the grounding statistics discussed, malignant neoplasms are the leading cause of death in Taiwan and remain a troubling issue for the government and rising politicians. South-East Asian nations are recognized for their lifestyle advancements and refined tourist attractions.

These nations must regard the damaging and adverse effects of unhealthy food choices in convenience stores on their populations. While the plentiful stores remain a blessing to the public, they have quite the opposite effect on their health. ●

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