- Chris Morris
- Feb 6, 2016
- 3845 Views
As the battle against cancer continues, official figures have indicated that death rates from the debilitating condition are falling in the UK.
The latest figures indicate that cancer and death rates have declined by 10% in Britain over the past decade.
In 2013, 284 out of every 100,000 people died from cancer. Back in 2003, the same figure was 312.
Improvements in diagnosis and treatment are thought to central to this encouraging trend.
In addition, the gender gap related to cancer deaths also narrowed significantly.
The death rate for men fell by 12%, while the same rate for women was 8%, ensuring that the gulf of cancer deaths between the two genders became smaller.
However, although the figures are unquestionably encouraging, it is also important to emphasise that the actual total number of cancer deaths increased.
This is somewhat misleading considering the greying population of the UK, but he does nonetheless indicate that there is still a massive cancer battle to be fought.
The number of cancer deaths rose from 155,000 in 2003 to 162,000 in 2013, as more people live longer and develop the disease at an older age.
Reflecting on these figures, Cancer Research UK chief executive Sir Harpal Kumar spoke about some of the demographic issues which contributed to the identifiable trends.
“The population is growing, and more of us are living longer. Our scientists are developing new tests, surgical and radiotherapy techniques, and drugs, and it’s important to celebrate how much things have improved. But also to renew our commitment to saving the lives of more cancer patients.”
Figures acquired via official research also indicated that certain types of cancer are particularly deadly.
Nearly 50% of the total cancer deaths in 2013 can be attributed solely to lung, bowel, breast or prostate cancer.
However, it is encouraging to know that the death rate for these for cancer is has equally declined by around 11% over the past 10 years.
But there is no room for complacency, as some less common cancers, such as liver and pancreatic, experienced increased death rates over the decade surveyed.
Cancer Research UK compiled the cancer death rate data, which was taken from cancer registries in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
With this in mind, Cancer Research UK is focusing its work on achieving earlier diagnosis, as the understanding is prominent within the health service that catching cancers before they develop is an essential way of treating them.
There are nearly 162,000 deaths from cancer annually in the UK, and this figure is still projected to rise in the coming years.