NI cancer rates rising

Published Wednesday, 06 February 2013
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Around 8,000 men and women in Northern Ireland were diagnosed with cancer in 2011, new figures have shown.

NI cancer rates rising
The figures show more people are being diagnosed with cancer each year in NI. (© Getty)

Each year between 2007 and 2011, an average of 8,300 cancer cases were confirmed - a rise of almost a third from the 1993 to 1997 period.

An average of more than 3,000 people were also diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer each year during the same time.

The figures were released in a document by Queen's University's Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, where researchers claim the spike is primarily down to the ageing population.

Dr Anna Gavin said, "We all need to do what we can to raise awareness of this increased risk by talking to our older friends and family members and encouraging them to go to their GPs when they first become notice anything out of the ordinary."

More than half of patients are now living for a further five years after their diagnosis, a rise of 10% since the 1990s.

Although survival rates have increased, Dr Gavin said many of the diagnoses were lung cancer and cutting out smoking could save more lives.

The statistics also show clung cancer rates are almost three times higher in deprived areas with 80 diagnoses out of 100,000, as opposed to 30 out of 100,000 in non-deprived areas.

"Lung cancer is a preventable disease if tobacco use was reduced. The release has shown a fall in numbers among men but not among women.

"If the lung cancer incidence rates of the most deprived areas were the same as in the least deprived, there would be 180 fewer cases of lung cancer in women and 220 fewer cases in men diagnosed each year," she explained.

The research shows the most common cancer for women is breast cancer, with around 1,200 cases diagnosed each year. Just over 1,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, making it the most frequently occurring case for males.

© UTV News
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