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Sunday 23 October 2016

'People are worried that they're living in Ireland's cancer capital'- Town calls for Government to take action

Catherine Devine

Published 14/07/2016 | 11:33

Cobh, Co Cork, Ireland. Photo:Getty
Cobh, Co Cork, Ireland. Photo:Getty

Residents of a town that has been dubbed "Ireland's cancer capital" have called for more cancer studies as they fear for their health and that of their children.

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The concened residents of Cobh in Cork held a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss a recent report which indicated that cancer rates in their town were above average in Ireland.

The study, conducted by the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI), found that the harbour town had the highest rate for cancers in Ireland.

The rate for prostate cancer is 71pc higher than the national average, while the rate for female breast cancer is 38pc above the norm.

In the town, which has 12,000 residents, the rate for colorectal cancer is 42pc higher, blood cancers are 42pc higher, and lung cancer is 19pc above the average.

Cobh councillor Kieran McCarthy said Tuesday's meeting was the fourth of its kind organised by the “Cobh Community for Change” group.

“People are worried without a doubt that the cancer rates for Cobh are higher than the national average,” he said.

People never realised that the place they were living in had the highest rate of cancer, he said.

"People will obviously leave if they’re concerned for their health."

“It’s time for a thorough health-based study now not just for Cobh."

He said the Government need to “wake-up” and that the people of Cobh will continue to speak out about the issue.

“No representative from the HSE or the Government came to the meeting despite being invited. We need results and we need them now.”

McCarthy said the community is calling for more health studies on the area because they “need results” as to what’s causing their higher levels of cancer.

“We’re sick of people in Dublin telling us it’s our lifestyles. We smoke and drink as much as any other county, why should we be any different?

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