Scots cancer deaths rise seven per cent over last 30 years
NEW figures show a seven per cent rise in the number of people dying from cancer in Scotland over the last 30 years.
Official figures released yesterday show the percentage of deaths caused by cancer in Scotland has risen from 22 per cent in 1980-1982 to 29 per cent in 2011.
Last year, 8,005 men and 7,452 women died of cancer in Scotland. This compares to 7,269 men and 6,634 women three decades ago.
Lung cancer is the number one killer, followed by breast, prostate and colon cancers.
Experts say one of the reasons for the increase is because people in Scotland are less likely to visit their GP if they have concerns about their health.
Other factors include the increase in the number of people who are overweight and eating unhealthy foods, as well as the country’s high level of smokers and drinkers.
The ageing population has also continued to the rise with many elderly people contracting cancer in their later years.
Public health minister Michael Matheson said: “We know one of the reasons cancer survival is poorer in Scotland is the fact that patients can neglect symptoms and, by the time they are diagnosed, their cancers are less likely to respond to the treatments available.
“We know more needs to be done to improve outcomes for these diseases and that future improvements also depend on people’s lifestyle choices – eating better, being more active, stopping smoking and drinking sensibly will all help to reduce the incidence of these diseases.
“We are taking firm action in all these areas to support people to live healthier lives and encourage more people to see GPs at early stages of illness.” Mr Matheson added: “By ensuring people get early and appropriate investigation and treatment at an early stage, cancer survival will be improved.”
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