Western Australian men are continuing to heed the anti-smoking message with new figures showing a ten per cent fall in the number of men diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006.
But while the rate continues to fall for men, lung cancer rates in women increased by three per cent over the same period.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Simon Towler said the Western Australian Cancer Registry report showed that for the third consecutive year, lung cancer killed more women than breast cancer.
“These figures are a concern and we will continue to do all we can to encourage more women to stop smoking and discourage teenage girls from taking up the habit,” he said.
“In addition to the new smoking regulations introduced last year, the State Government has allocated $4.46million for anti-smoking campaigns over the next three years, including the successful, WA ‘Make Smoking History’ campaign.”
The report also showed a five per cent increase in the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer during 2006.
Dr Towler said that while the increase had been noted, it was too early to comment on the significance.
“The rate of breast cancer in WA had fallen slightly in each of the three previous years, so this increase has gone against the trend,” he said.
“It may just be a statistical ‘blip’, but we will continue to carefully monitor the figures.”
Dr Towler said that while more women were being diagnosed with breast cancer, fewer were dying from the disease, presumably reflecting earlier detection and treatment.
Other findings in the report include:
- 9692 new cases of cancer were recorded in WA and 3570 people died from the disease
- The estimated risk of developing cancer by the age of 75 years was one in three for males and one in four for females
- Breast cancer was the most common cancer in women, followed by colorectal cancer, melanoma and lung cancer.
- Prostate cancer was the most common cancer in men, followed by melanoma, colorectal cancer and lung cancer
- Melanoma was the most common cancer in young men and breast cancer was the most common cancer in young women.