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Urologists decry Ko's prostate cancer metaphor for cross-strait ties

10/18/2023 11:05 AM
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TPP's presidential candidate Ko Wen-je is seen in this photo taken in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo Oct. 18, 2023
TPP's presidential candidate Ko Wen-je is seen in this photo taken in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo Oct. 18, 2023

Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) A Taiwanese urology association has criticized and rebutted recent remarks in which Taiwan People's Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) compared cross-Taiwan Strait relations to prostate cancer treatment.

Ko, a former physician, used the unexpected metaphor during a speech in Changhua on Saturday, saying that while patients with prostate cancer can often live for well over a decade, "insisting on removing [the prostate] can cause an even quicker death."

This example, he said, showed the importance of being able to "coexist with your enemies" and even find areas of unity, rather than encouraging hate and division.

The remarks largely echoed Ko's previous calls for a "pragmatic" approach to China, consisting of both increased military deterrence and improved communication with Beijing to reduce the risk of conflict.

In a statement responding to Ko on Tuesday, the Taiwan Urological Association clarified that surgery to remove the prostate, known as a prostatectomy, is a common and accepted treatment for some prostate cancer diagnoses.

The risks of the procedure and post-surgery prognosis all have extensive scientific backing, and it is not the case that it causes "an even quicker death," the association said.

The medical association also urged males to seek medical attention for possible symptoms of prostate cancer, such as the frequent need to pee, since cancer that is detected early has the best chance to be successfully treated.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Matthew Mazzetta)

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The statement released by Taiwan Urological Association. Photo courtesy of the association's website
The statement released by Taiwan Urological Association. Photo courtesy of the association's website
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