Friday 18 August 2017

Revealed: The town with the highest cancer rates in Ireland

Doctor's desk (stock photo)
Doctor's desk (stock photo)
Cobh harbour

Meadhbh McGrath

New research shows that people living in Cobh, Co Cork, are at a much greater risk for common cancers than anywhere else in the country.

The study, conducted by the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI), found that the harbour town has 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 harbour
Cobh harbour

A local GP told the Irish Sun that the town's industrialised past may explain the dramatic increase.

“These heavy industries have been associated with carcinogens, like ship building associated with asbestos.

"They have removed it but 30 or 40 years ago it was still being used,” said Colin Bradley, a professor of general practice at University College Cork.

He added that the age of cancer patients in the town is striking: “I’ve seen more cancers in surprisingly young people than I would in previous practices.”

The NCRI suggested that social deprivation may have contributed to the soaring cancer rates.

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