Rates of cancer in Lothians up by 11% in last ten years

There has been a 6.8 per cent increase in lung cancer in women over the period. Picture: PA
There has been a 6.8 per cent increase in lung cancer in women over the period. Picture: PA
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THE number of people in Lothians diagnosed with cancer has risen by 11 per cent in the last ten years.

Figures released by NHS Scotland yesterday showed that 4,687 people across the region were diagnosed with cancer, up from 4,151 in 2005. Overall, lung cancer remains the most common form in Scotland with 4,997 diagnosed nationwide in 2015 – with 725 from the Lothians.

While cases in males have fallen by 15.5 per cent over a decade, there has been a 6.8 per cent increase in lung cancer in women over the period.

Janice Preston, head of Macmillan Cancer Support in Scotland, said: “An ageing population means more of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime. Local authorities have a key role to play in supporting people with cancer, particularly now with the new health and social care partnerships, but this is often overlooked.”

Cases of cancer of the uterus – including endometrial cancer – in women were 32.1 per cent higher across Scotland in 2015 than a decade ago, with this possibly linked to women having fewer babies – as childbearing is thought to protect against endometrial cancer – and rising levels of obesity.

Kidney cancer diagnoses were up 25 per cent over the decade up to 2015 and while the reason for this was unclear, obesity and smoking are both risk factors.

Being overweight later in life and drinking too much are risk factors for breast cancer, which remains the most common cancer in women, with 4,738 diagnoses in 2015 – an increase of 5.7 per cent over the past ten years.

Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: “With people living longer and medical advances improving detection rates, the number of patients needing cancer treatment is increasing across the UK. Our patients already have access to excellent cancer services, but we want to make our services even better and ensure we can meet future demand – that’s why we are developing plans for a new cancer treatment and research centre at the Western General Hospital.”

Experts estimate two in five people in Scotland will be diagnosed with cancer at some point – with the risk for developing the disease unchanged.