Lung cancer death rate over 80 per cent

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THE shocking toll of lung cancer is revealed in Wigan today, with the disease killing no fewer than 81 per cent of its sufferers.

New data released shows that of the 260 men and women who have been diagnosed with the illness each year, 210 deaths are recorded.

The figures, from Cancer Research UK, also shows that the survival rate in Wigan for all cancers is around 50 per cent, as of the 1,700 patients who are given the devastating news they have the illness, 830 do not survive it. After lung tumours, the next biggest killer is breast cancer. Around 240 women are diagnosed each year in the borough, whilst 50 die from the disease, despite receiving treatment. This is a death rate of 21 per cent.

And each year, around 190 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer of whom 75 die: a fatality rate of 39 per cent.

And these shocking statistics, based on figures between 2008 and 2011, show that people in Wigan are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer compared to the UK average, with rates of cases being 429.4 per 100,000 in the borough compared with the national average of 398.1.

The rate of incidence of lung cancer is significantly higher that the rest of the nation, with a rate of 61.7 per 100,000, compared with 47.7.

This is likely to be partly due smoking rates being around seven per cent higher than the national average.

Puffing on a cigarette causes more than eight in 10 lung cancer cases and overall two in 10 of all cancer cases.

Dr Paul Turner, consultant in public health at Wigan Council, said: “The good news is that the mortality rate for cancer locally is falling, but people can still do more to reduce both their risk of developing cancer and their risk of dying from cancer.

“Like most things prevention is easier than the cure when it comes to cancer.

“There are a number of things people can do to reduce their chances of getting cancer, including changing their lifestyle.

“Smoking is the single biggest cause of “preventable” death in Wigan borough.

“Stopping smoking, eating healthily and exercising can help to prevent cancer.

“I’d also encourage residents to take part in the breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening programmes – these tests identify cancer early making treatment more effective.

“Spot the symptoms – if you have a cough that lasts more than three weeks, have a lump in the breast, have noticed that you have blood in poo or pee, or have other persistent symptoms that cannot be explained then please see your doctor. In most cases, you will not have cancer. However, if you do then the earlier it is diagnosed and treated then the better the outcome.”

Meanwhile, Cancer Research UK has launched a new campaign - More Tomorrows - to raise the remaining £5m needed for the new research centre in Withington,

Nell Barrie, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “These figures are a stark reminder that we must do more to ensure no-one dies prematurely of cancer. It’s only through research that we will be able to beat cancer.

“We need to do more work to understand what drives the disease and how we can prevent it, as well as developing new treatments to reduce the number of people who die from it.”

For more information on the More Tomorrows fund-raising campaign and the Manchester Cancer Research Centre visit