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Mayor Advocates Breast Cancer Screening

At the invitation of Taiwan Breast Cancer Foundation Chairman Chang King-jen, Mayor Ko Wen-je and his wife attended an event aimed at raising awareness on the importance of breast cancer screening on April 25.

According to Ko, breast cancer has the highest incidence rate among Taiwanese women. The disease also accounts for the third highest morality rate for women. The five-year survival rate for a patient can be as high as 97% if diagnosed during stage zero, but will drop significantly to 25% if not treated until stage 4.

Ko pointed out that the government subsidizes biannual breast cancer screening for women aged 45 or more. However, the policy has been ill-received by its target audience, as most women are reluctant to go through the examination.

The mayor promised more effort on the part of city government to provide one-stop services integrating breast cancer screening and cervical smear test. When women take the pap test, they will also be offered the opportunity to receive a breast sonography and physical examination for a more thorough check to raise the chance of early detection.

Ko’s wife Peggy Chen, also a doctor, pointed out that a growing number of relatively young women have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Citing her own experience with the disease, she encourages female residents 45 years or older to sign up for a mammography every two years.