A quarter of cancer deaths

A quarter of cancer deaths

Cancer causes a quarter of the deaths in Germany

Cancer is the cause of around 26 percent of deaths across Germany, according to the Federal Statistical Office's announcement on today's World Cancer Day. This means that "cancer remains the second leading cause of death after cardiovascular diseases, but the proportion of all deaths has increased by almost 25 percent in the past 30 years", while the "proportion of cardiovascular diseases declined almost as much during this period (- 23 Percent) ”, reports the Federal Office. Cancer is therefore on the way to becoming the number one cause of death.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, 852,328 people died of cancer in 2011. Cancer accounts for more than a quarter of deaths in Germany. The experts attribute the massive rise in cancer to a large extent to demographic change and increased life expectancy. Today, significantly more people are reaching "the critical age for cancer than a few decades ago". The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) explained that "within just two generations, life expectancy of just 60 years has increased by more than 14 (women) and more than 13 years (men)". Accordingly, the spread of cancer has increased significantly.

Cancer of the digestive organs most common cause of cancer death According to the Federal Statistical Office, cancer of the digestive organs was the most common cause of cancer death in both men and women. A total of 38,531 men succumbed to cancer of the digestive tract, which corresponds to 32 percent of all cancer-related deaths, reports the Federal Office. With 31,694 deaths, cancer of the digestive organs accounted for 30 percent of cancer deaths among women, the official announcement. The second most common fatal cancer in 2011 was lung and bronchial cancer among men with 31,293 deaths and a 26 percent share of cancer deaths. With 17,815 deaths and a share of almost 18 percent, breast cancer among women was the second largest cancer death.

Massive increase in liver cancer deaths among men According to the Federal Statistical Office, there is a particularly worrying development in the case of male liver cancer. These have increased the most in the past 30 years. The proportion of liver cancer deaths in cancer deaths overall has risen by almost 56 percent since the 1980s. There is no reason for this from the statistics. Alcohol consumption would be conceivable, but other aspects could also play a role here. For women, statisticians saw the most dramatic increase in cancer deaths in the area of ​​lung, bronchial, larynx and tracheal cancer. In 2011, women died more than twice as often (+ 124 percent) from cancer as 30 years ago, which can be linked to the consumption of tobacco products, reports the Federal Statistical Office.

Healthy lifestyle, early detection and prevention All in all, cancer is a much more common cause of death than it was just a few decades ago. However, the statistics also reveal an encouraging trend. The critical age for a fatal cancer is increasing. "The age of people who have died of cancer has increased by a total of 3.1 years to 73 years in the past 30 years," according to the Federal Statistical Office. Men today would average 72.1 years, women 74 years. While this slows the demographic rise in cancer deaths, it cannot reverse it. The experts continue to expect a significant increase in cancer-related deaths. Here, the advice of the German Cancer Research Center should be taken into account that "in addition to a health-promoting lifestyle, participation in early detection examinations can also help prevent cancer in old age." Even today, thanks to colon cancer screening, a decrease in the annual number of illnesses can be seen, "although an increase would actually be expected due to the demographic development, ”reports the DKFZ.

New law to improve early cancer detection On Friday in time for today's World Cancer Day, the Bundestag also passed "the law for the further development of early cancer detection and quality assurance through clinical cancer registries (cancer early detection and registry law)", the Federal Ministry of Health announced. The Federal Minister of Health Daniel Bahr explained that this was "an important day for the fight against cancer in Germany", because the law enables "on the basis of the preparatory work of the National Cancer Plan important structural measures to improve the early detection of cancer and the quality of oncological care." This will create the basis for recognizing cancer as early as possible and making treatment as successful as possible. (fp)

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Image: Rainer Sturm /

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