Age standardized cancer incidences have been on the rise in the past decade in the United Kingdom. The increase in the incidence for both men and women has been reported to occur at varying rates. For men, the incidence increased by 14% and for women, the incidence rose by 32% from 1976-1977 to 2007-2010. Better cancer detection methods caused the higher rise in incidence rates before the late 1990s (Engholm 78).
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The rate has constantly stabilized in the years that followed. Cancer is a major cause of mortality in the country regardless of advancement in its detection and reatment methods. Cancer had a recorded death toll of about 160,000 deaths in 2008 (3, 18-20). According to Engholm, there are about two million people living with or beyond cancer in the United Kingdom. The number of cancer survivors was recorded to rise by about 4% every year.
Half of cancer cases get diagnosed in people aged 50-74 years old. Those aged 75 or older who suffer from cancer constitute about a third of the cancer diagnosed cases. The figure below shows the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in men and women in the United Kingdom, 2010 (Engholm 21).
Prostrate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer that affects men in the United Kingdom. In 2010, the age standardized incidence rate was estimated at 423 100,000 person years. On the other hand, breast cancer in women has a higher incidence rate of 370 deaths per 100,000 person years. Lung cancer and colorectal cancer are the second most common cancer that affects both men and women. Lung cancer frequently causes death in both sexes, and contributes to 14% and 11% of cancer deaths, in men and women respectively (1). Figure 2 shows the standardized incidence and mortality rate of cancer cases in the United Kingdom for both men and women in 2008.
Figure 2: Age-standardized rate of different cancer types in the United Kingdom, 2008 (1)
Descriptive Epidemiology of Cancer in Sweden
One of the major health problems in Sweden is cancer and there have been more than 44,000 new cancer cases every year between 2006 and 2010. Because of improved technology, the age standardized incidence rate of cancer cases in Sweden is almost twice the world record as shown in figure 3.
Cancer contributes to about 23,000 deaths per year. 2009 recorded a total of 380,000 people living with cancer. Sweden recorded a large proportion of elderly population diagnosed with cancer and more than half of the cases of cancer are diagnosed in 50-74 year old persons, whereas a third of all cancer cases are diagnosed in people aged about 77 years and above (24).
a) Age-standardized incidence rate of cancer for men
b) Age-standardized incidence rate of cancer for women in Sweden
Prostrate cancer is the most common cancer that affects men in Sweden, having an incidence rate of about 219 deaths per 100,000 person years as recorded in 2010. On the other hand, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women having an incidence rate of more than 141 deaths per 100,000 person years. In addition, breast cancer represented 30% of cancer cases in 2010. CancerStats Incidence 2008 showed that colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer that is diagnosed in both sexes.
Next type on the list is non melanoma skin cancer. In addition, the most frequent cause of deaths associated with cancer includes lung, bronchus, and trachea cancer. This is also the forth overall most common cause of death (24). Figure 4 indicates top ten cancers in men and women in Sweden in 2009.
a. Ten cancer cases in men
b. Ten cancer cases in women
- Ferlay J., Shin H. R., Bray F., Forman D., Mathers C., Parkin D. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC Cancer Base No. 10. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Web.
- Cancer Stats Incidence 2008 – UK. Cancer Research UK; 2011. Web.
- Death registrations by cause in England and Wales, 2009 – 2010. Web.
- High Level Summary of Statistics: Population and Migration 2011. Web.
- Registrar General Northern Ireland Annual Report 2009 – 2009. Web.
- Maddams J., Moller H., Devane C. Cancer Prevalence in the UK, 2008: National Cancer Intelligence Network; 2008.
- Engholm G., Ferlay J., Christensen N., Gjerstorff M., Johannesen T., Klint Å, et al. NORDCAN: Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Prevalence and Survival in the Nordic Countries, Version 4.0. Association of the Nordic Cancer Registries. Danish Cancer Society 2011. Web.
- World Health Organization Mortality Country Fact Sheet 2006: Sweden. 2006. Web.
- Cancer Incidence in Sweden 2009. Sweden: Official Statistics of Sweden; 2010. Web.
- Office for National Statistics. (2010). Cancer Statistics Registrations Diagnosed in England 2006. London: Palgrave Macmillan Limited.