Breast cancer detection double UK rate as screening improves
THE rate of increase in breast cancer in Ireland is twice that of the UK, as more women are diagnosed with the disease here through screening programmes.
The increase in the rate of prostate cancer is also 1.5 times higher here than in the UK following the rise in PSA testing over the past 20 years.
The trends are revealed in the annual report of the National Cancer Registry, which shows than 19,000 invasive cancer cases were diagnosed on average each year in the period 2009-2011.
It means the lifetime risk of having the disease for men is one in three, while it is one in four for women.There were almost 9,000 deaths from cancer in 2011, making it second only to cardiovascular disease.
The report said that survival from all the common cancers improved in Ireland between the periods 1995-1999 and 2000-2007.
But there was little change in the ranking of Ireland relative to other European countries.
For most cancers, five-year survival rates in Ireland were similar to those observed in the UK.
The report said that estimates of lung cancer incidence in Ireland and the UK overall for 2012 were fairly similar, but male rates in Ireland and the UK were substantially lower, and female rates higher, than the EU average.
Rates for melanoma in 2012 were also fairly similar in Ireland and the UK and were higher than the EU average.
Since 1994, melanoma rates in Irish females have been higher than in the UK, but similar and significant increasing trends were observed over time in both sexes in all countries.
This trend has been blamed on more people taking foreign holidays and using sunbeds.
Meanwhile, in 2012, incidence of female breast cancer in Ireland was 5pc lower than in the UK but 13pc higher than the EU average.
Breast screening in both Ireland and UK has resulted in increasing incidence over time as more people are diagnosed. Cervical cancer trends also reflect the impact of screening programmes.
Lung cancer – which claimed the lives of 1,848 people – was the leading cause of cancer death in both sexes in 2011.
The report pointed out that 12pc of all cancers diagnosed in 2009-2011 were in people under 40. Death rates for all cancers in those under 40 have declined substantially since 1994, with an annual percentage fall of 2pc in both men and women aged 25-39.
Meanwhile, Irish breast cancer detection rates are set to be improved by up to 50pc thanks to a high-tech new '3D' digital screening system.
The system, known as Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), is being launched at the Bons Secours Hospital in Cork and is expected to become commonplace in Ireland.
DBT is now in widespread use in the US, UK and the EU where it has been found to be effective in helping diagnose early-stage breast cancers.
The '3D' imaging system allows for more effective diagnosis.