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Ireland set for 72 per cent surge in cancer cases by 2030

A UK-based study finds that Ireland’s cancer cases are likely to rise by 72 per cent in two decades, the highest in the EU.

Unhealthy lifestyles such as heavy drinking are likely to fuel a surge in new cancer cases, a study says.
Unhealthy lifestyles such as heavy drinking are likely to fuel a surge in new cancer cases, a study says.
Image: David Jones/PA Wire

THE NUMBER of people in Ireland being diagnosed with cancer is likely to rocket by over 70 per cent within two decades, a new UK study has predicted.

The study by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said Ireland’s cancer rates would surge by almost 72 per cent, predicting that over 33,000 people would be diagnosed with cancer each year by by 2030.

That increase is easily the highest of any EU member state, with Cyprus – the state with the next-highest increase – set to see its rate of diagnoses increase by 55 per cent.

In a report accompanying the figures, the WCRF said the increase in Ireland – like that of the UK, which is set to see a 30 per cent increase – was down to the ageing population.

Ireland currently has one of the youngest populations in Europe, but that statistic may change in the coming decades as families opt to have fewer children.

The WCRF’s Rachel Thompson said western Europeans were also more likely to lead unhealthy lifestyles and be overweight, drink a lot or be relatively inactive.

“Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers in the UK and other high income countries could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, being more physically active and eating more healthily,” she said.

The figures have been announced to mark World Cancer Day, which is today.

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Gavan Reilly

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