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Health body gives subsidies for targeted cancer drug Pazopanib

The China Post news staff--According to a survey conducted by the Department of Health in 2009, since May 2005, nearly 1,000 people have been diagnosed with kidney cancer every year. Among all forms of tumors, malignant tumors were found to be the most common cause of kidney cancer, as more than 90 percent of the patients were diagnosed with metastatic renal cell carcinoma over the past seven years.

According to the same survey, treatments at early stages of cancer can lead to less invasive surgery and a higher survival rate. However, due to the fact that most types of kidney cancers show their symptoms in late stages, by the time renal cell cancers have been confirmed by authorities, the disease is determined to be at its late stage, with cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body.

Last month the Bureau of Health Promotion approved National Health Insurance payments for new oral targeted cancer drug Pazopanib, in order to help patients diagnosed with end-stage kidney cancer improve their quality of life during and after cancer treatments, and to help patients save millions of dollars of treatment fees a year.

The new oral targeted cancer drug Pazopanib is a potent inhibitor preventing tumor blood vessels from growing and therefore causing cancer cells to die. It can greatly lower the occurrence rate of side effects, such as hand-foot syndrome, swelling of limbs, skin irritation or stomatitis, allowing patients to have less pain during treatment, said Doctor Chang Yen-hua (張延驊) of the urological department at Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

Men aged 40 and over have twice the cancer rate of cancer. Because kidneys are located on either side of the body underneath the diaphragm near the lower back, it is hard to distinguish any unusual symptoms, unless the malignant tumor grows bigger, said Hsieh Jui-kun (謝瑞坤), president of Taiwan Total Cancer Care Foundation.

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