Cancer Rates in Belgium Alarming

7th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

7 February 2007, BRUSSELS — The number of cases of prostate, breast and lung cancer in Belgium is rising. The country scores highest in breast cancer, second in prostate cancer and fourth in lung cancer frequency in the whole of Europe, De Morgen reports.

7 February 2007

BRUSSELS —  The number of cases of prostate, breast and lung cancer in Belgium is rising. The country scores highest in breast cancer, second in prostate cancer and fourth in lung cancer frequency in the whole of Europe, De Morgen reports.

Mortality rates from the above types of cancer are also higher in Belgium than in other European countries, the report published Wednesday in the Annals of Oncology reads. The report covers statistics from different European countries.

The number of cancer cases has increased by 10 percent since 2004, the report said. However, experts say that one of the reasons for a higher number of cancer cases than before is the ongoing ageing of the population.

In Belgium, 137.8 in every 100,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer last year. The European average is 110.3 per 100,000 women.

The alarming numbers do not signal that life in our country is less healthy, said Karin Haustermans, professor of oncology in Leuven and head of the Cancer Register Association (Stichting Kankerregister).

The higher lung cancer rates do point to the popularity of smoking, but the higher breast cancer rates are most probably a sign of improved screening techniques in Belgium, Haustermans said.

Also the high mortality rate from cancer does not necessarily mean that more people die from cancer in Belgium than in other countries, but may imply that the cause of death is investigated at a more professional level here, Haustermans said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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