Almost 260,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year, but despite the rates of incidence being on the rise, the good news is that less people are actually dying from cancer, thanks to advances in treatment and also early detection.
The trend is the same in both the USA and UK, with figures that trace incidence of and deaths caused by cancer over a period of 30 years from 1975 to 2005 showing that mortality rates for all cancers have decreased steadily over the last ten years, with stomach and prostate cancer displaying the most improvement in terms of people overcoming this deadly disease.
However, it’s not all good news on the mortality front. Deaths from cancers of the kidney, liver and uterus are on the rise, as is mortality from malignant melanoma, especially amongst males.
Education, increased funding and the acceptance from males to visit the doctor at the first sign of any health problems (rather than grinning and bearing it until it’s too late) are helping to decrease the mortality rate, especially with diseases such as prostate cancer.
However, lung cancer claims more female victims than any other cancer, including breast cancer, and the number of victims is rising. Deaths amongst women from lung cancer were recorded at 30 per 100,000 in 2005, compared to 18 per 100,000 women in 1971. Amongst men there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of deaths caused by lung cancer over the same period. In 1971 it accounted for 107 deaths per 100,000 but in 2005 was just less than half that figure at 53 deaths per 100,000 men in the population.
The overall drop in mortality amongst men is thought to be because of the reduction in tobacco consumption, as warnings about the links between smoking and lung
Although death rates from cancer are on the decline in general, there is a need for more education as people continue to put themselves at risk by indulging in excessive consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, even though both substances have been proved to increase the risk of contracting certain cancers. As well as extensive documentation available from the NHS and government sources, cancer charity organisations are also working hard to deliver messages about avoidance of cancer risks.
Adam Singleton writes on a number of topics on behalf of a digital marketing agency and a variety of clients. As such, this article is to be considered a professional piece with business interests in mind.