Breast Cancer Death Rate Drops 33%

The number of people dying from breast cancer in Scotland has fallen by a third over the last 20 years, according to Cancer Research UK.

The death rate for breast cancer dropped 33% and bowel cancer deaths fell by 30%, the charity said.

Its figures showed the lung cancer death rate is down 23% and the prostate cancer rate down 11% on 20 years ago.

Cancer Research said the statistics highlight the impact advances in research have had on helping beat cancer.

Breast cancer scientists have improved detection through screening and developed more effective treatments. About 1,000 people now die of the disease in Scotland each year.

The recent introduction of bowel cancer screening is likely to further reduce deaths by ensuring more patients are diagnosed earlier, it said.

Research revealed the link between smoking and lung cancer 60 years ago, leading to falling smoking rates and an overall decline in mortality rates from the disease.

But as smoking rates began to fall later in women than in men, death rates have actually risen in women.

The mortality rates for liver, pancreatic, melanoma, oral and some digestive cancers have all increased.

Cancer Research UK spokeswoman Lisa Adams said: "The latest figures highlight the good news that research continues to save lives from cancer and offer hope that this progress will continue.

"But while the death rate for the four biggest cancer killers falls, it's vital to remember that we need to do more to help bring even better results over the coming years.

"There are more than 200 different forms of the disease. For some of these, the advances are less impressive, such as pancreatic, oesophageal and liver cancer. Far too many lives continue to be affected by the disease.

"That's why we're calling on people across Scotland to back our new campaign and join the fight against cancer.''

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