A predicted fall in overall cancer death rates for men and women is expected across Europe in 2011. Data from the World Health Organisation states that the decrease could be by as much as 7 per cent in men and by 6 per cent in women compared with 2007 figures.
Cancers which have seen recent declines include stomach, colon, breast, womb, prostate and male lung cancers, and these should continue to fall. Lung cancer in women is rising in all major EU countries except the UK. Researchers say that the UK has the highest rates of lung cancer amongst women for the past decade and although these are not decreasing, they do appear to be levelling off.
Professor Carlo La Vecchi of the University of Milan, Italy and Professor Fabio Levi from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland have calculated the overall cancer rates in the EU as well as looking into the individual cancer rates for six major EU countries: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK. Their findings can be converted into rates per 100,000 of the population, meaning that there is an expected fall from 153.8 per 100,000 to 142.8 per 100,000 in men and from 90.7 to 85.3 in women. This relates to a 7 per cent decrease in men and 6 per cent decrease in women since 2007.
The downward trend in cancer deaths is mainly driven by the decrease in breast cancer mortalities. Although more women are being diagnosed with breast cancer, the screening process and survival rates are much more positive nowadays.
Mike Hobday, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support has stated that even though the death rates are set to decrease for 2011, importantly the number of people living with cancer in the UK is increasing by 3 per cent every year.