High rates of smoking and excessive drinking in Wales are increasing the incidence of cancer in men.
New figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that the overall incidence of cancer is 8 per cent higher in men in Wales than the UK average.
Wales also has the highest rates of prostate cancer in the UK- 14 per cent more than the average- and bladder cancer rates in women are 10 per cent higher than the UK average.
Dr Ian Lewis, associate director of research at Welsh cancer charity Tenovus, said: “The ONS figures show that even when the older population is taken into account the number of cases of cancer in men is still about 8% higher than in England and much of this will be due to high rates of smoking, excessive drinking and poor diet in some areas of Wales.”
The Office for National Statistic figures show that more than 17,700 people in Wales were diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2009. The three most common cancers in men were prostate, lung and colorectal, and breast, lung and colorectal cancer in women.
But despite the increased incidence mortality rates in Wales remain in line with the rest of the UK.
The World Cancer Research Fund predicts that cancer rates will increase by 30 per cent in the next 20 years thanks to unhealthy lifestyle choices like poor diet, smoking and excessive drinking.
Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science at the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “Many of these new cases could be prevented and lifestyle changes can make a real difference.
“In fact, scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers in the UK and other high income countries could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, being more physically active and eating more healthily.”
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