Taiwan has highest death rate from cancer in Asia

Is china in the statistic? If it’s pollution, friend and cheap and even fake food, contamination. Sure China would be the top of the list.

1 Like

Go read at least 20 or 50 or some of the hundreds of food comments and news reports on food problems in Taiwan here in Forumosa and then see what you think.

Where is that huge food scare and food problem thread that people typically comment on?

I think this is it. The two countries at the top of the list, Taiwan and Singapore (?), are providing real statistics, and most of the other ones are lying, or don’t even have statistics to provide.


Idk man, link me to it surely I’m certain there are businesses that do stuff like that. But I have a hard time seeing more of this compared to other Asian countries that would put it on the top of the list.

And people in other countries may die with higher possibility due to other diseases before they die due to cancer.

Or cancer screening and access to health care isn’t as available to the general public in some places.

1 Like

what andrew said, absolutely no way taiwan is higher than china.

I seriously doubt China accurately reports cancer deaths. China has whole villages next to factories that contaminate the soil, water, and air. The whole village gets cancer. I cannot see the Chinese government reporting that accurately.

1 Like

The perils of being a developed country-slash-region! :doh:

The problem with the Chinese medicine causes cancer trope is that it’s just like the western medicine causes cancer trope. Whichever system you’re looking (and there are others), you have a very wide range of substances and procedures with varying degrees of soundness in terms of how people came to the conclusion that they’re safe and effective and how long it will take for those conclusions to be declared obsolete.

“Chinese medicine” includes everyday things like ginger tea, which afaik never killed anyone. Then there are things like willow bark tea, which is what westerners used before the extract known as aspirin became widespread – and that one has killed people iirc, despite also saving many lives and being perfectly safe as long as you know what you’re doing and don’t have a contaminated product.

The gist of the article:

But critics have long warned that some mixtures can also contain naturally occurring toxins, contaminants like heavy metals, added substances such as steroids that make them appear more effective, and traces of animals that are endangered and trade-restricted.

TCM doctors have been aware of naturally occurring toxicity in materia medica for a long time and built in workarounds – just like in western medicine. A badly trained doctor who ignores warnings is a badly trained doctor who ignores warnings, no matter what system of medicine is involved.

The other two threats to human health mentioned are also issues facing the food supply.

I reckon cleaning up the air and the food supply would do far more to reduce cancer and other health problems than lowering consumption of dodgy TCM products that people turn to because they’re so worried about the health problems they face due to bad air and bad food. :2cents:


Obviously. But it’s not a ‘trope’; substance X either causes harm or it doesn’t, and you can test (albeit in rather indirect ways) to find out if it does.

Again, you’re utterly misrepresenting what I said for your own amusement. I didn’t say the entire canon of Chinese (or Western) medicine causes cancer. I simply flagged up an article that suggested one particular item causes one particular type of cancer. Out of all the thousands of mysterious items in current use, there might actually be one that causes liver cancer in susceptible individuals … or perhaps under certain specific circumstances due to some hitherto unsuspected interaction with bubble milk tea or seafood.

Any hypothesis depends upon observing what’s different about this population compared to that population, and the popularity of TCM drugs is an obvious difference. It merits serious consideration: it can be tested and rejected if it proves to be false.

To be clear: I’m not dumping on the entirety of TCM. I’ve been to TCM doctors myself and found them knowledgeable and helpful, often more so than the bag o’pills Western variants. That doesn’t mean that a-Huang isn’t going to pop into his friendly neighbourhood TCM pharmacy once a week to buy a brew for his embarrassing little problem off-prescription.

While “you reckon” that it might be the air or the food supply, the reality is that those things are not radically different to, say, American air and food. Taiwan uses the same pesticides, the same packaging, the same processing equipment, and often the same basic ingredients. The vehicles and emission standards are pretty much the same as everywhere else. You may well be right, but unless you can pinpoint some specific difference that you have positively associated with cancer, what exactly are you going to “clean up?”. It’s a genuine mystery. Taiwan has a legacy of a whole bunch of stuff copied from the West and has very few of the known problems (eg., smoky indoor cooking) associated with cancer in other parts of Asia.

I find it incredible that nobody has - apparently - even attempted to find out why. You’d think one-in-three people dying of cancer would be a national priority, not least because of the strain on the health service.


Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol (two favorite things to do in Taiwan) is also a big factor.

Its all that overtime. Overtime causes cancer, why I refuse to do it.


smoking and drinking are both carcinogenic but that doesn’t explain why taiwan’s cancer rate are rated the highest. it’s not like that all taiwanese are chain smokers and heavy drinkers. compared to other countries, i would say that smoking might be a bit above average whereas drinking is well below it compared to western countries. i might be wrong but i don’t think that’s the major issue.

imo it’s a statistical thing like posts mentioned above previous times.
i know taiwan has a lot of food safety and environmental issues but other countries have the same problems and their doing even worse. like finley said, industrial food production is about the same in every country. why would those “evil” tw companies deliberately kill off their own customers by adding some “alien ingredient” no other country would use?

Just wondering.
The information we are looking at is a statistic derived from medical records.
Is it possible that Taiwan have a more complete medical record in comparison with other peers in the region?
With the NHI making health care accessible and affordable for general public, it is relatively easy to have detail medical record for the country’s population.

I am not saying that the facts we are looking at is false or over rated.
It is just comparing with all the records across Asia, some countries might not have as much data compared with Taiwan.

And countries in the region with maybe similar level of data, Japan, obviously have a much more healthier population.
Therefore, placing Taiwan in a less healthier position.

Just an idea.

i would say you’re on the right track with your idea here.

in the end, it just comes down to comparing medical data bases by country.
and to that matter, developed countries such as Japan and the Four Asian Tigers will put out more qualified and quantified information than less developed countries can do.

I still think that Taiwan could do much more to decrease some obvious health-damaging industrial practices and improve the overall standard of living but i don’t think it’s that much worse here than in other any other industrial area

@rantanplan, I agree Taiwan can do a lot more in making the island a safer and healthier place to be.
But knowing the challenge of striking a balance between health and economic success while factoring in political and bureaucratic factors, it will be a challenge.

But if ever successful, Taiwan will be a much better place. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Let me give you an example. You are too young to remember but there was a massicve chemical explosion in a Carbide plant in India. The effect was deadly but limited. Now, in Taiwan, there have been contained incidents, but the same pesticide amount accumuleted over the years, affecting not poor people around the plant but all over the island. In teh ol countrty, that explosion led to kicking Crabide out, which explains why teh Vietnamese trie dto kick Formosa Plastics after the deadly pollution they released on their rivers, follwoing practices learned in Taiwan no doubt. Problem is there the government is not so easily bribed with “we are leaving”. They have companies lining up to enter.

The thing is rich people in cebu, Fuilipinas, etc even China do not eat the same vegetables as poor peoplem drink the same water, live the same places/areas. Heck, most are not even in country most of the time.