Screening and smarts beating cancer deaths
DEATH rates from cancer in South Australia are falling as cancer screening programs, new therapies and health campaigns such as to stop smoking, exercise, be SunSmart, eat well and drink alcohol in moderation, have an impact.
Latest figures show between 2011 and 2015 mortality rates for men decreased by 0.4 per cent a year, while female rates decreased by 0.3 per cent.
It is projected to fall slightly for both men and women in subsequent years.
The incidence rate for men also fell, by 1.3 a year, but rose by 0.9 per cent for women.
Cancers which have screening programs available such as breast, bowel and cervix remain among the most common cancers for both incidence and mortality in South Australia, the data from SA Health shows.
There were 3767 cancer deaths in 2015 – falling to a projected 3702 this year – with lung cancer accounting for 18.9 per cent of deaths among men and 19.3 per cent of female deaths.
The Cancer in South Australia 2015 report revealed 10,008 new cases of cancer diagnosed in SA that year, projected to rise to 10,543 this year.
For women, breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2015, accounting for 29.4 per cent of cases while for men, prostate cancer accounted for 26.2 per cent.
SA Health’s director of prevention and population health, Professor Katina D’Onise, said participation in cancer screening was crucial in the early detection and possible prevention.
“We know from this data that one in three men, and one in four women in South Australia will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime,” Prof D’Onise said.
“That’s why we encourage everyone who is eligible to participate in screening programs for bowel, breast and cervix cancers as early detection is incredibly important.
“These tests have been developed specifically to detect cancers well before any symptoms are present, which is why screenings are so important.
“Some cancers can be detected at an early stage, when treatment is likely to be more effective. As more people participate in screening, we can detect and begin treating cancers earlier and improve on current mortality rates.”
After lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among men was prostate at 11.7 per cent and colorectal at 11.6 per cent. For women, lung cancer was followed by breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death at 15.4 per cent and colorectal at 11.9 per cent.