Incidence and survival of adult cancer patients in Taiwan, 2002–2012

Chun Ju Chiang, Wei Cheng Lo, Ya Wen Yang, San Lin You, Chien Jen Chen, Mei Shu Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose Little is known about the annual changes in cancer incidence and survival that occurred after the establishment of the long-form cancer registry database in Taiwan. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the updated incidence and stage-specific relative survival rates (RSRs) among adult cancer patients in Taiwan. Methods Cancer incidence data from 2002 to 2012 were collected using the Taiwan Cancer Registry Database. Age-standardized incidence rates, average annual percent changes (AAPCs), and sex ratios were calculated for adults. Five-year stage-specific RSRs were estimated for cases diagnosed between 2004 and 2008 and were followed up to 2013 for major cancers. Results The overall age-standardized incidence rates per 100,000 populations increased from 348.39 in 2002 to 401.18 in 2012, and the AAPC was 1.7% (p < 0.05), whereas the male:female ratio was approximately 1:3 during the entire period. Most cancer sites showed a trend of increasing incidence, with the exception of common cancers such as cervix uteri (AAPC = −6.2%, p < 0.05), bladder (AAPC = −2.5%, p < 0.05), stomach (AAPC = −2.4%, p < 0.05), nasopharynx (AAPC = −1.2%, p < 0.05), and liver (AAPC = −1.1%, p < 0.05). The 5-year RSRs for Stage I cancers were greater than 93% for the colon and rectum, female breast, and cervix uteri, whereas RSRs for patients with Stage IV cancers ranged from 2.9% to 38.9%, with patients with liver cancer and those with oral cancer showing the lowest and highest RSRs, respectively. Conclusion Our study showed increased incidence in most cancers and provided baseline estimates of stage-specific RSRs among the Taiwanese adult population. Continuous surveillance may help politicians to improve health policies and cancer care in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1088
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • average annual percentage change of incidence
  • cancer
  • population-based cancer registry
  • relative survival
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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