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These are the ten counties with the highest rates of bowel cancer

The Irish Cancer Society has highlighted these ‘hotspots’ as Bowel Cancer Awareness Month gets under-way.

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THE IRISH CANCER Society has revealed the ten counties with the highest rates of bowel cancer in Ireland.

Today marks the start of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, during which the charity is hoping to advise people on what lifestyle changes to make to reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

These include more exercise and a healthier diet, both factors that can reduce the risk by between 30 and 40 per cent.

Research has estimated that between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise can offer the “best protection” against bowel cancer.

BowelScreen is also advising those aged between 60 and 90 to be screened for the cancer.

Figures from the National Cancer Registery show that Cork has the highest rate at 57.90 cases per 100,000 people.

These are based on studies between 1994 and 2011.

A number of the counties with the highest rates are centred around the north-west of the country.

“The high levels of bowel cancer incidence in certain parts of the country could be due to lifestyle or genetic factors,” a statement from the Irish Cancer Society read.

Here’s the full list:

  • Cork – 57.90
  • Leitrim – 56.39
  • Louth – 54.97
  • Dublin North – 54.49
  • Westmeath – 54.23
  • Dublin South – 53.87
  • Cavan – 53.44
  • Mayo – 52.98
  • Waterford – 52.29
  • Sligo – 52.28

Read: Schoolgirl suspended after shaving head in support of friend with cancer >

More: Gerry Collins, who appeared in hard-hitting anti-smoking ads, has died >

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