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Australia has a lower cancer death rate than the US or the UK but there has been a 34% increase in cancer diagnosis from 1991 to 2001 (AIHW). It has one of the highest cancer incidence rates in the developed world. The low death rate is probably due to the lower incidence of smoking related cancer which is generally quite aggressive. The increase is probably due to the high rate of melanoma from sun exposure as well as better diagnosis. Also, rising obesity and declining physical activity may be contributing to the increase in bowel and breast cancer. Breast and colorectal cancer and melanoma generally have the highest incidence in Australia but lung cancer has a relatively low incidence. Low cervical and breast cancer death rates are probably due to the screening programs which allow early detection.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by The World Today
About: Australia's cancer death rate is low but incidence of new cancers is relatively high
Date: 15 December 2004
Source: The World Today
Author: Brigid Glanville
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