Why is it an issue?Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs. This process is referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.
Knowledge about the causes of cancer, and interventions to prevent and manage the disease is extensive. Cancer can be reduced and controlled by implementing evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention, early detection of cancer and management of patients with cancer.
What’s the local picture and how do we compare?
How do we compare?
What do things look like locally?
- Cancer incidence and mortality for Wakefield is higher than Yorkshire & Humber, Manufacturing Towns and England. This differs between the tumour sites, with lung cancer having a much higher incidence and mortality (NCHOD… at a glance, 2010; Understanding Cancer in Wakefield, 2010).
- We lose a disproportionately large amount of life years to lung cancer, with a standardised local rate of 42.73 per 10,000 persons, compared to 31.24 per 10,000 persons nationally (NCHOD… at a glance, 2010).
- Breast cancer has a lower incidence and mortality than Yorkshire and Humber, Manufacturing towns and England, but is still a large proportion of the cancer incidences in Wakefield (Understanding Cancer in Wakefield, 2010).
- Colorectal cancer has a similar incidence rate but has a higher mortality rate than Yorkshire and Humber, Manufacturing towns and England (Understanding Cancer in Wakefield, 2010).
- Prostate cancer also has a slightly higher incidence and mortality rate (Understanding Cancer in Wakefield, 2010).
- Survival for breast and prostate cancers is relatively high when compared with colorectal and particularly lung cancer. Lung cancer survival after 1 year is 25-30% reduces to 5-10% after 5 years but is higher than the survival in Yorkshire and Humber and England (Understanding Cancer in Wakefield, 2010).
- Colorectal cancer survival is relatively high after 1 year of diagnosis but reduces to 50-55% after 5 years. Overall it appears that Wakefield has a slightly higher survival rate than Yorkshire & Humber and England, it does vary between males and females but there is not much of a difference (Understanding Cancer in Wakefield, 2010).
- In 2007/08 Wakefield had a lower spend on the cancer and tumours programme budget and prescription expenditure compared with Yorkshire and Humber and England (YHPHO SPOT Analysis, 2010).
- Malignant melanoma, in all ages and under 75s, per 100,000 population are broadly in line with national rates (15.1 compared to 15.6 and 13.7 compared to 14.0, respectively) (HPA Area Profiles, 2010).
What’s the trend and what can we predict?
- All-age lung cancer mortality rates have continued a slow descent, but are well above the national rate.
- All-age breast cancer mortality rates have declined.
- Unless smoking prevalence is reduced, deaths from lung cancer will continue to place a burden on the local health economy and continue to suppress our gains in life expectancy.