7 Dec 2010

Cancers make up 20% of total illnesses

12:44 pm on 7 December 2010

A new study says cancers are responsible for a fifth of the total burden of disease in New Zealand.

Reports released by Otago University and the Health Ministry say cancers contribute 20% of the total disease burden, second only to cardiovascular disease, the incidence of which is falling.

Lung, breast and colorectal cancers each comprise about 15% of the cancer burden.

Lung cancer increased in the 25 years until 2004 for both Maori and European women, but decreased for men.

Overall, Maori lung cancer rates were two to three times European rates.

Extra testing is said to be behind increased prostate cancer rates, and screening has halved cervical cancer.