50% Rise In Irish Cancer Cases

The number of cancer cases in Ireland has increased by almost 50% since the mid 90s.

Despite this shocking jump in cases it has been stated that the survival rates are also improving. A survey carried out by the National Cancer Registry has revealed these new statistics.

The registry has attributed Ireland's ageing population to the rise in cancer cases. Therefore, it added, that the risk of developing cancer is increasing by just 1% a year. In addition the survival rate is up from 40% to 55%.

The same survey has also revealed that lung cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the cancer most likely to cause death in women, due to an increase in smoking among young women in particular. (The number of lung cancer cases today reflects smoking habits from 10-15 years ago.)

Doctor Harry Comber of the National Cancer Registry said: "Men have been quitting smoking, and lung cancer rates have been going down steadily for the last 20 years (among men), but women have been taking up smoking unfortunately, so the rates are going up in women."

While both the incidence of and mortality from lung cancer in men is falling, the incidence in women is rising and the largest increase, 4% per year, is in women under 55.

Survival rates for lung cancer for both men and women are low but improving.

The National Cancer Registry said the overall cancer incidence in Ireland is now the second highest in Europe, and where people live can contribute to risk. The survey shows that people from disadvantaged areas have poorer survival rates.

Cancers of the lung, head and neck are more common in less-well-off areas, while melanoma, prostate and breast cancer are more common in affluent areas.


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