By: Chen Wei-ting and Elizabeth Hsu
Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) Two cancer-related societies in Taiwan are urging the government to
allow national health insurance to cover payment for immunotherapy for late-stage lung cancer patients without having such patients receive traditional chemotherapy first.
Immunotherapy, a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer, offers “a slim chance of survival” to late-stage lung cancer patients, said Taiwan Clinical Oncology Society President Kao Shang-jyh (高尚志) at a recent press conference in Taipei.
He pointed out that each year, more than 13,000 people in Taiwan are diagnosed with lung cancer.
Because lung cancer cannot be easily diagnosed in the early stage, but spreads quickly, over 70 percent of patients are already late stage when diagnosed, Kao said, noting that such cases can no longer be treated with surgery. [FULL STORY]