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Cancer death rate in the EU is falling - More women in Germany are dying from lung cancer
Life expectancy with cancer has increased across Europe in recent years. In addition, millions of deaths can be prevented through early detection and better therapies. But although the overall death rate is falling, experts are alarmed about individual types of cancer: Lung cancer cases in women are particularly worrying.
More cancer diagnoses in Germany
According to a report published at the end of last year, the number of new cancer diagnoses in Germany has almost doubled since 1970. At the same time, however, life expectancy with cancer has increased and the death rate has decreased. However, this does not apply equally to all types of cancer. Lung cancer deaths among women are increasing dramatically. This is also shown by a current study by an international team of scientists.
Early detection should be optimized
According to a study by researchers from Italy, Switzerland and the USA, the death rate for cancer in the European Union (EU) is falling overall, but less so for women than for men, reports the dpa news agency.
It is estimated that more than 1.3 million people will die from the disease in the EU in 2017. However, cancer death rates are very different in the EU countries, the scientists report in the journal "Annals of Oncology".
According to the authors, political decision-makers should optimize early detection across Europe in addition to controlling tobacco use.
Death rate among women does not decrease as much
Study leader Carlo La Vecchia from the University of Milan said, "Overall, fewer women than men will die of cancer."
But while the cancer death rate for men is expected to be eight percent lower this year than in 2012, it will decrease significantly less sharply for women with a minus of four percent in the period.
The researchers explain this by saying that smoking was different for both sexes in different generations and that lung cancer was increasing in women.
Earlier studies have shown that the late effects of smoking in particular are the reason why the number of deaths among women will increase in the future.
Lung cancer death rate among German women is increasing
According to the current forecast, the lung cancer death rate among women in Germany rose by almost nine percent in 2017 compared to 2012, while it decreased to a similar extent in men.
Breast cancer is still the most common oncological cause of death in women in the EU, but it will likely move second to lung cancer later this year.
"The predicted sustained increase in mortality among women with lung and pancreatic cancer highlights the need for efficient tobacco control for women in Europe," said co-author Fabio Levi of the University of Lausanne.
Scientists say that a total of 275,700 people in the EU will die from lung cancer this year. This corresponds to a share of 20 percent of all expected cancer deaths.
Avoided four million cancer deaths
However, the experts also see encouraging signs. For example, death rates from cervical, prostate, breast, stomach and colon cancer and leukemia will decrease.
The fact that the trend is different not only for lung cancer, but also for pancreatic disease is due to the fact that there is little progress in the detection, treatment and prevention of pancreatic cancer.
According to a report by “MedcialXpress”, Professor Carlo La Vecchia highlighted the positive development of the past decades. He said: "The fact that we have managed to avoid over four million cancer deaths in the past thirty years shows the effectiveness of strategies to prevent and detect and treat cancer when it develops."
Diseases can often be avoided
Around a third of all cancers worldwide are considered preventable. The risk of cancer can be significantly reduced. When it comes to cancer prevention measures, the fight against smoking is mentioned above all.
“Currently, more than 72,000 cancer cases are attributable to smoking in Germany every year. Tobacco consumption is not only a risk factor for lung cancer, tumors can also develop in the throat and larynx, esophagus, intestine or in the lower urinary tract, ”reported the Center for Cancer Registry Data (ZfKD) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) last year on his Website. "The stomach, kidney or pancreas can also be affected," it says.
Other ways to reduce personal cancer risk include exercising regularly, eating healthy, avoiding obesity, and reducing alcohol consumption. (ad)