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New figures for cancer patients

New figures for cancer patients

Improved treatments and advancements in screenings are causing a fall in the number of cancer cases. For instance, improved screenings for prostate cancer have resulted in earlier diagnosis. This has resulted in treatments like surgery and radiation. Hormone therapy has also been used as an option.

However, cancer experts warn that too much screening and treatment can have their own set of problems. Problems like sexual and urinary dysfunction and bowel problems are common in such cases. Moreover, as prostate cancer is a disease that develops slower, it is rarely diagnosed early and most often, men with the disease die of natural causes first.

The case is different with breast cancer. With this disease, there is evidence of a reduction in the use of mammograms and other diagnostics. Also, women on hormone therapy have discontinued it in many cases since it was found to be linked with breast cancer cases. An added development has been the increased use of the drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene. These drugs have succeeded in bringing down the incidence of breast cancer in patients.

Here are some significant statistics in the trends of these four cancers:

Lung cancer

  • An estimated 159390 people are expected to die this year due to cancer of the lungs and bronchus.
  • There has been a steady decline in the number of cancer cases among men, a rate of almost 2% has been reported since 1994
  • So far as women are concerned, a plateau was reported in the statistics. This showed that women began smoking later and also discontinued at a later age compared to men.

Colorectal cancer

  • Almost 49920 people are expected to die this year due to rectal and colon cancer.
  • Since 2002, there has been a steady decline in the mortality rates. Mortality has come down by about 4.3% and the rate of incidence is down to around 46.4 cases. This decline has been secured largely because of early detection and prompt removal of polyps diagnosed as precancerous.
  • 90% of the cases diagnosed are in people over the age of 50. The risk also increased with age. Factors like inactivity and obesity tends to increase the incidence of the disease. It also accompanied such habits as little consumption of vegetable and fruits.

Prostate cancer

The cases of prostate cancer diagnosis have risen by 4.4% since 2001. However, the numbers may be misleading. This is because the rate may have increased due to improved screening and diagnosis. As these were detected early, they had a 100% more chance of surviving the 5 year period.

Breast cancer

So far as breast cancer cases are concerned, around 40610 deaths are likely to occur due to this disease this year. It is estimated that around 192370 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. As in the others, the rate has come down for this cancer since 1999.


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