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Medical Officer of Health Releases the Channel Islands Cancer Registry Report 2013

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Tuesday 21 January 2014

The 2013 Channel Islands Cancer Registry Report for 2013 has been released today. This report, which includes rates of cancer diagnosis and cancer death, is prepared by the National Cancer Intelligence Network for the Guernsey and Jersey Medical Officers of Health. It compares incidence and mortality rates for cancer in the Bailiwick to figures for Jersey, the South West, and the whole of England. The latest report incorporates data up to 2011.

There are some tough messages in the report: Guernsey has higher-than-average incidence rates of bladder cancer and head and neck cancers. The main risk factors for these cancers are excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption. These figures highlight the importance of work to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption.

Skin cancer rates are also high, with an average of 27 cases a year of malignant melanoma being diagnosed in the Bailiwick. Skin cancer is the most common cancer among the under-40s. The major cause is Ultra-Violet light exposure, in particular from sunlight. The 'age-standardised' rate for Guernsey is 51 skin cancers per 100,000 population, which compares to a rate of 30 per 100,000 in South-West England.

On the other hand, Guernsey has a significantly lower rate of breast cancer mortality than in Jersey or South-West England, and a lower breast cancer mortality rate compared to any of the England regions. Around 8 women a year die from breast cancer.

Rates of prostate cancer are also lower than Jersey or South-West England, although this does not translate into a lower mortality rate. Around 15 men a year die from prostate cancer, which is higher than the UK average, and makes it the second-highest cause of cancer deaths in Guernsey.

Guernsey's colorectal (bowel) cancer rates do not differ significantly from those in Jersey, the South West, or England as a whole. On average, there were 13 deaths and 42 new diagnoses per year between 2007 and 2011 in Guernsey.

These are just a few of many cancers highlighted in the report. An average of 156 people a year died from cancer in Guernsey and Alderney between 2007 and 2011. The total cancer death rate in Guernsey is lower than the England average, and similar to the South West and Jersey.

The report shows that the top 10 causes of cancer and cancer deaths in the Bailiwick are:

Cancer Incidence

Cancer Deaths

1

Non-melanoma skin cancer

Lung cancer

2

Breast cancer

Prostate cancer

3

Prostate cancer

Upper gastrointestinal cancer

4

Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer

5

Lung cancer

Breast cancer

6

Malignant melanoma

Ovarian cancer

7

Upper gastrointestinal cancer

Cancer of the brain or central nervous system

8

Head and neck cancers

Kidney and ureter cancers

9

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer

10

Lymphoma

Head and neck cancers

The Channel Islands Cancer Registration Report gives a comprehensive picture of incidence and deaths from all cancers and specific cancer types which can be used, in consultation with clinicians, to help understand the consequences of the population's lifestyle and behaviour. Areas of concern can be identified and the information is used to support public health messages and health strategies.

Dr Stephen Bridgman, Medical Officer of Health for Guernsey, said:

"Choices about diet and lifestyle can significantly affect a person's risk of cancer. Between 2007 and 2011, we saw an average of 34 lung cancer deaths per year, the highest mortality rate for any type of cancer in the islands. It is estimated that around 90% of this disease is caused by tobacco smoking and is therefore preventable. There is also strong evidence to suggest that smoking can cause bladder, head and neck, and upper gastrointestinal cancers, which are also prevalent locally."

"Guernsey has existing strategies to tackle smoking, alcohol and obesity, all of which are known risk factors for cancer; as well as campaigns for safe sun exposure, to tackle the risk of skin cancer. The tobacco and alcohol strategies are being updated this year, to help make healthier choices easier and to focus on protecting young people. I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity of the New Year to start making healthier lifestyle choices to help reduce their risk of cancer."

Further information

The full report is available on the States website https://gov.gg/publichealth and further information on the prevention of cancers through healthy lifestyles is available from the Health Promotion Unit, Tel: 707311

Downloads

Channel Island Cancer Registry Report

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