Huge in­crease in breast can­cer rate

The Galloway News - - GALLOWAY VIEW -

MARC MCLEAN Women across Dum­fries and Gal­loway have been urged to seek health screen­ing after breast can­cer rates rock­eted by more than a quar­ter.

A shock new re­port shows that 164 women were given treat­ment by NHS Dum­fries and Gal­loway in 2017 after be­ing di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease.

The pre­vi­ous year the num­ber of breast can­cer pa­tients was 127 – which equates to a year-onyear in­crease of 29 per cent.

And while lung can­cer has af­fected more peo­ple in Scot­land than any other type of can­cer for the past 25 years, rates of breast can­cer are now higher in Dum­fries and Gal­loway.

With breast can­cer num­bers steadily climb­ing in the re­gion and na­tion­ally lead­ing char­i­ties have is­sued im­por­tant safety ad­vice.

Ash­leigh Simp­son, pol­icy and cam­paigns man­ager, Breast Can­cer Care and Breast Can­cer Now, said: “Breast can­cer re­mains the most com­mon can­cer among Scot­tish women, and with in­ci­dence con­tin­u­ing to rise we need to find ways to pre­vent more cases, de­tect the dis­ease ear­lier and treat it more ef­fec­tively at ev­ery stage.

“The num­ber of peo­ple di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly over the last two decades, and we need to do all we can to en­sure all women have ac­cess to the long-term care and sup­port ser­vices they need.

“The ear­lier the dis­ease is de­tected, the more likely treat­ment is to be suc­cess­ful.

“It is clear that the NHS Breast Screen­ing Pro­gramme re­mains ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal to early di­ag­no­sis in Scot­land.

“While screen­ing comes with some risks to be aware of, we’d encourage all women to at­tend their ap­point­ments when in­vited.

“It’s also vi­tal that all women check their breasts reg­u­larly and visit their GP if they no­tice any un­usual changes.”

The can­cer fig­ures were re­leased by ISD (In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices Divi­sion) Scot­land, which pro­vides sta­tis­tics and health in­tel­li­gence to the NHS.

A to­tal of 983 can­cer di­ag­noses were made in the Dum­fries and Gal­loway area in 2017, which was down 21 on the pre­vi­ous year.

Of the 39 dif­fer­ent types of can­cer listed, the 10 most com­mon in 2017 were: breast, 164; lung, 151; col­orec­tal, 120; prostate, 100; Non-Hodgkin lym­phoma, 40; head and neck, 36; kid­ney, 31; liver, 30; skin (ma­lig­nant melanoma), 29, and ovary, 29.

Gordon Mathe­son, of Can­cer Re­search UK, said: “While there are many rea­sons why we’re see­ing more peo­ple de­velop can­cer, in­clud­ing an age­ing pop­u­la­tion, there’s much that peo­ple can do to stack the odds in their favour.

“Smok­ing re­mains the num­ber one pre­ventable cause of can­cer, fol­lowed by car­ry­ing too much weight which is linked to 13 types of the dis­ease.”

He added: “Al­most a third of calo­ries in Scot­land are pur­chased via multi­buy offers such as three for two on mega-sized choco­late bars or fizzy drinks.

“In the fight against can­cer, it’s cru­cial the Scot­tish Govern­ment com­mits to new laws to re­strict su­per­mar­ket price pro­mo­tions on junk food as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Tak­ing ac­tion on obe­sity like this will make it eas­ier for peo­ple to do a health­ier shop and help turn the tide on obe­sity.”

In 2017, ap­prox­i­mately 32,200 peo­ple were di­ag­nosed with can­cer in Scot­land – 16,400 fe­males and around 15,900 males.

Over the last decade the num­ber of cases has in­creased by around 3,300.

Can­cer Re­search UK ex­pects that the num­ber of peo­ple di­ag­nosed with can­cer will con­tinue to rise.

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