DOCTORS WARN CANCER EPIDEMIC IS ON THE HORIZON

HeadLine: DOCTORS WARN CANCER EPIDEMIC IS ON THE HORIZON

Daily Record, 05/01/2000, p16
by SHAUN MILNE

RESEARCHERS have warned cancer will affect more Scots than ever before
in the next few years.
Predictions suggest as many as four people in 10 across the UK will
suffer some form of the disease, despite advances in medical research.
But the number of people actually surviving is predicted to rise too,
with one leading charity suggesting the disease will be beaten.
Director general of the Cancer Research Campaign, Professor Gordon
McVie, said cancer could soon be as controllable as diabetes thanks to
new drugs.
He said: “We are on the eve of a genetic revolution and although it may
not be cured by 2050 it will be as readily controlled as diabetes
today.
“In 50 years’ time the survival rate should have increased from the 40
per cent which it is now to 90 per cent.”
There are 150,000 people with cancer in Scotland which sees 35,000 new
cases registered every year.
Scots currently have a 25 per cent higher chance of suffering cancer of
some sort than their English counterparts.
Lung cancer remains the biggest killer of both men and women in
Scotland.
It caused 27,476 deaths in Scottish men and 14,738 in women over the
decade up to 1996, according to latest figures.
But statistics released yesterday by the charity show a decrease
UK-wide of men suffering lung cancer in the last 10 years. That has
been attributed to more and more people giving up or not starting
smoking.
Breast cancer accounted for the deaths of 12,741 Scottish women over a
10-year period, with one in 10 expected to develop the disease.
Professor McVie said: “A key reason for the breast cancer increase is
the breast screening programme which means more cases are being
detected.”
The most recent figures available show that in 1996 around 41 per cent
of men would develop cancer compared with a figure of 32 per cent back
in 1981.
That was mirrored in figures for women with a rise from 31 per cent in
1981 to 38 per cent in 1996.
Cancer accounted for the deaths of 76,214 men and 72,956 women in
Scotland – about a quarter of all deaths – between 1986 and 1995.
But male survival rates have risen from just 19 per cent between 1971
and 1975 to around 36 per cent in the period 1991 to 1995.
At the same time, women’s chances of survival increased from 32 per
cent to 47 per cent.

**

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