Cancer diagnoses rise by a third

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THE number of cancer cases diagnosed each year has risen by a third, the latest research by Queen’s University has revealed .

The research has also revealed that five-year survival rates have improved by almost 10 per cent.

More than 8,300 new cases of cancer - 4,250 in men and 4,100 in women - were diagnosed on average each year in Northern Ireland between 2007 and 2011, according to the latest release from the University’s Northern Ireland Cancer Registry.

Compared to the period between 1993 and 1997 when an average of 6,300 cases were diagnosed, the latest figures show a dramatic rise.

Cancer rates in men are higher with 448 cases were 100,000, compared to 375 per 100,000 females.

The most common cancer in women is breast cancer, followed by colorectal cancer. In men the most common type is prostate cancer followed by lung cancer, then colorectal cancer.

When researchers looked at the backgrounds of those diagnosed they found that female-breast cancer, prostate cancer and malignant melanoma rates were higher in the more affluent areas of Northern Ireland, while male-colorectal, cervical and lung cancer rates were higher in the most deprived areas.

According to Dr Anna Gavin, Director of Queen’s Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, an ageing population is the main reason for the increase, with the risk for most types of cancer being greater in older people.