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Fall in deaths for common cancers

20 August 2014 09:22

Breast cancer death rates have fallen by 38% since the early 1990s

Breast cancer death rates have fallen by 38% since the early 1990s

Death rates for four of the main cancers have fallen by almost a third over the course of the past two decades.

New figures from Cancer Research UK reveal the combined death rates for breast, bowel, lung and prostate cancer have fallen by 30% thanks in part to the "powerful impact" of research both at home and abroad.

The figures show that 146 people out of every 100,000 could have expected to die from breast, bowel, lung or prostate cancer between 1991 and 1993. By 2010 to 2012, however, this had dipped to 102 out of every 100,000.

There are more than 200 different types of cancer, each with its own methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Many people live with cancer during treatment and when in remission. Such people are reminded of the importance of arranging travel insurance for cancer patients when taking an overseas holiday.

The breast cancer death rate fell by 38% during the period, owing to routine screening, more specialist care and improved treatments, while bowel cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer dipped by 34%, 27% and 21% respectively.

Earlier diagnosis is believed to have contributed to the reduction in prostate cancer deaths, plus improvements in early detection and the development of treatments is thought to have aided the drop in bowel cancer deaths.

Cancer Research UK's chief executive Harpal Kumar said the figures offered "renewed encouragement" that research is helping fewer people die from cancer.

However, the spokesperson said that if even better progress is expected in the coming years then even more needs to be done.