NZ Cancer Rates Third Worst in World
New international research from IRAC show NZ men and women have the third highest cancer rates in the world. Male cancer rates are highest in the United States, Hungary and New Zealand, and lowest in Niger, Gambia and the Congo. The US also leads in female cancer rates, ahead of Israel and New Zealand, with Tunisia, Gambia and Oman at the bottom of the table of 2002 data. 6.7 million die from cancer each year globally. In New Zealand about 16,000 people a year develop cancer and there are 7500 cancer-related deaths. The IARC figures show of New Zealand’s cancers: 14 per cent are colon and rectum; 13 per cent are breast; 13 per cent are prostrate; and 10 per cent are skin melanomas. “These are bloody awful figures,” says NZ Cancer Society medical director Peter Dady. “Our rate of colon/rectum cancer is very high – we are the world leaders.” Colon/ rectum cancer was related to diet and could be avoided by eating more fruit and vegetables, he said. “It’s as simple as that.” Obesity played a far bigger role in cancer than previously thought. “We are a well-nourished people.” Reporting by Danya Levy (thanks www.stuff.co.nz).