Scotland business

'Join cancer fight' call as death rates fall

Prostate cancer cells Image copyright SPL
Image caption Death rates for prostate cancer have fallen by 11% in Scotland over the last 20 years

Death rates for lung, breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined have fallen by 25% in Scotland over the past 20 years, according to Cancer Research UK.

In Scotland, death rates for breast cancer have fallen by 33%, bowel cancer by 30%, lung cancer by 23% and prostate cancer by 11%.

The figures come as the charity launches a new marketing campaign called We Will Beat Cancer Sooner.

It calls on everyone across Scotland to join the fight against the disease now.

Lung, breast, bowel and prostate cancers together account for almost half of all cancer deaths in the UK every year.

Cancer Research UK said breast cancer scientists had been responsible for improving detection through screening, developing more specialist care and more effective treatments such as improved surgery, radiotherapy and drugs.

In Scotland, about 1,300 people died of the disease per year 20 years ago, compared with 1,000 every year now.

The charity said research had also meant fewer bowel cancer patients were dying thanks to improved early detection and the development of better treatments.

Today almost 200 fewer Scots a year die from bowel cancer than 20 years ago.

Cancer Research UK said there had been little improvement in the outlook for those diagnosed with lung cancer, so it had made it a priority to stem lung cancer mortality through earlier diagnosis and trials for improved treatments.

Image copyright Cancer Research UK
Image caption Cancer Research UK's mortality figures cover a 20-year period

Improvements in treatment - including surgery, hormone therapy, and radiotherapy - as well as earlier diagnosis, are thought to have contributed to the trend of reduced prostate cancer death rates.

But not all cancer death rates have dropped.

Mortality rates in liver, pancreatic, melanoma, oral and some digestive cancers have all increased.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK's spokeswoman for Scotland, said: "The latest figures highlight the good news, that research continues to save lives from cancer and offer hope that this progress will continue.

"But while the death rate for the four biggest cancer killers falls, it's vital to remember that we need to do more to help bring even better results over the coming years.

"There are more than 200 different forms of the disease. For some of these, the advances are less impressive, such as pancreatic, oesophageal and liver cancer. Far too many lives continue to be affected by the disease.

"That's why we're calling on people across Scotland to back our new campaign and join the fight against cancer because, together, we will beat cancer."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites