Fall in the number of deaths from cancer in the over 50′s

by admin on May 15, 2012

Some welcoming medical news emerged this week from the charity Cancer Research UK who say that the number of people in their 50s dying prematurely from cancer has fallen for the first time in 40 years. Back in 1971 the number of people dying from the disease was 21,300 but the last recorded number of deaths taken back in 2012 shows that this number fell to just 14,000. For the over 50′s age group, the figures show that in 1971 there were 310 deaths for every 100,000 people. This fell to just 185 in every 100,000 in 2010.

The research also found a drop in the number of people dying from Hodgkin’s lymphoma which has fallen by over 75% as well as a fall in the number of people dying from stomach cancer which is now less than 2 in every 100,000. The cancers that have dropped most prominently for men include testicular cacner, lung cancer as well as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. For women cervical and bowel cancer have shown a decrease since the early 1970′s.

The reason why cancer rates have fallen is down to a number of different factors. One of the main factors is that there has been a fall in the number of people who smoke. Back in the early 1970′s there was no ban on smoking in public places as well as less promotion of the dangers of smoking. You can see in Cancer Research’s own statistics that smoking rates have fallen heavily, with around 50% of all men still smoking in the mid 1970′s. Today that figure has dropped to just over 20%. Another reason why deaths have fallen is that there is better treatment for some cancers such as testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Screening has also improved, as have cancer drugs and the diagnosis and treatments offered.

Peter Johnson from Cancer Research acknowledged the part the smoking ban has played in reducing the number of cancer deaths and said the research his organisation did was vital to continue to reduce this number further.

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