The number of men dying from cancer in the Netherlands has gone down by one third since the 1990s, while deaths among women are down one third since the 1950s but has now leveled off, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.
The number of cancer-related deaths among men peaked in the 1980s, and since then many men have stopped smoking and started living in a more healthy way. Prevention has also played a part, Haiko Bloemendal, chairman of the Dutch cancer specialists association, told broadcaster NOS.
‘Society is much more focused [on the issue] and national screening programmes help us to identify cancer more quickly,’ he said. Improvement in treatment methods have also had a role, he said.
Survival rates for different forms of cancer have also improved. For example, in the 1950s, stomach cancer was responsible for 30% of male cancer deaths. This has now gone down to around 3%. The percentage of women dying of stomach cancer has dropped from 22% to 2%.
Cancer accounts for 34% of male deaths and lung cancer remains the biggest killer, accounting for one in four cancer-related deaths.
One in four women will die of cancer. Lung cancer has now outstripped breast cancer as the biggest killer of women, accounting for 21% of cancer deaths.
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