Cancer fatalities should drop as fewer people smoke

Just one week ago, Medical Specialists realise we may have painted a fairly gloomy picture of what life could be like in eighteen years’ time, when we reported how some were predicting obesity levels to soar by 2030 in both the UK and U.S.

However, maybe we should turn that frown upside down after all! With the ‘Stoptober’ campaign set to get underway next Monday, Cancer Research UK have released a whole set of estimations for the same year (2030), and they predict that the rates of many different types of cancer are set to decrease by this point. The positive statistics are also for the charities’ ‘Stand Up To Cancer’, a fundraising partnership between Cancer Research UK and Channel 4. The campaign’s finale will be live TV entertainment show to be broadcast on Friday October 19.

They say that more efficient diagnosis for cancers and treatment will result in a reduction in cancer death rates by up to 17% by 2030. Smoking is the cause of many cancers such as throat, lung, mouth, etc., and this harmful lifestyle choice was obviously the basis of their research. A main reason for the predicted 17% drop is because there are now less people smoking than previous years, which could be down to certain adverts depicting images of blackened lungs after the damaging long-term effects of smoking.

In 2010 it was calculated that for every 100,000 of the general population in the UK, 170 people died from cancer. By 2030 this figure is estimated to have dropped by then to 142 for every 100,000. Breast cancer death rates are predicted to decrease by 28%, bowel cancer should drop by 23% and prostate cancer by 16%. However the largest decrease appears to be ovarian cancer, which is forecast to nosedive by an impressive 42.6%.

Interestingly, some cancers could increase by mortality rates. Liver cancer appears to look to be the worst, with death rates expected to rise by 39%. That means there is an incidence increase from 4.2 to 5.9 per 100,000 people. Next is oral cancer, which may rise by 22%.  This is an incidence rise from 2.9 to 3.5 per 100,000 people.

Professor Peter Sasieni, Cancer Research UK epidemiologist at Queen Mary, University of London, spoke on the forecasts for 2030 and said, “Our latest estimations show that for many cancers, adjusting for age, death rates are set to fall dramatically in the coming decades. And what’s really encouraging is that the biggest cancer killers, lung, breast, bowel, and prostate, are part of this falling trend. Because old age is the biggest risk factor for cancer and more people are living longer, they have a greater chance of developing and, unfortunately, dying from the disease. But overall the proportion, or rate, of those who die from cancer is falling.”

Adding to Professor Sasieni’s comments was Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, who said, “These new figures are encouraging and highlight the huge progress we’re making. Research across many areas is having real impact. But we know there’s still so much more to do if we are to reach a day when no one dies prematurely from cancer. We continue to rely on the publics’ generosity to drive progress. This helps us turn discoveries made in our science labs into new treatments and to carry out clinical trials to find the best ways to treat patients. There are more exciting opportunities now to make a step-change than at any other time in history and we must grasp these.”

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