Newry & Mourne area ‘highest’ for all cancer deaths
The Newry & Mourne area has the highest rate of cancer deaths in Northern Ireland according to recent data released on cancer diagnosis and deaths.
The statistics were revealed by Kathryn Torney and The Detail, who created an interactive map which shows the number of deaths and cancer diagnosis by postcodes.
From the period of 2001 to 2010 over 100,000 people in Northern Ireland were diagnosed with the deadly disease and throughout that period 38,139 people died.
The Detail accessed the information, which was held by the Northern Ireland Cancer Society, for the five main cancer types – colorectal, lung, breast (female only), prostate and non-melanoma skin cancer.
Kathryn Torney found that lung cancer was the main cancer resulting in deaths in Northern Ireland, with 8492 dying in the 2001-2010 period.
BT34 – which incorporates Newry City, Newry & Mourne, Warrenpoint and small neighbouring areas like Mayobridge, Rostrevor and Hilltown – was the postcode district recording the highest number of all cancer deaths, with 1150 people passing away as a direct result of cancer.
However, DUP South Down MLA Jim Wells believes the postcode areas and how many people live in each may be the key to finding out more accurate figures.
Speaking to Newry Times, Wells explained, “Very few people live in the Titanic Quarter area – it is almost entirely commercial and industrial. It is therefore bound to have far fewer cancer deaths than BT34 which has an extremely large population.”
He added, “I suspect that on the basis of population BT34 is one of the largest postcode areas in Northern Ireland. A more accurate way of assessing the geographical differences in the incidences of cancer is to calculate the number of deaths per thousand residents.
Newry Times also spoke to Ronan Carroll, Assistant Director Cancer & Clinical Services, Southern Health and Social Care Trust about the cancer rates in the Newry & Mourne region.
Carroll commented, “Whilst I am unable to comment on why the Newry & Mourne region appears to have the highest cancer rates, I can give a brief overview of what cancer care and treatment services are provided by the Southern Trust to people in Newry and Mourne and across the Southern Trust Area.”
“Craigavon Area Hospital is the designated Cancer Unit for the Southern Area. The Macmillan Building provides dedicated accommodation for Oncology and Haematology outpatient clinics and day procedures. Cancer services provided also include; laboratory Diagnostic and Allied Health Professional services.”
Mr Carroll continued, “Bowel Cancer screening in the Southern Trust Area began in January 2012. A new, 3 year Macmillan funded project, began recently, to support the development of better cancer information within Hospitals, GP surgeries and other community health venues in the Southern Trust area.
“We are currently developing a cancer services section on the Southern Trust website (www.southerntrust.hscni.net) which will include lots of information for cancer patients locally and links to other relevant websites.
He added, “The Transforming Cancer Follow-up and Survivorship Programme is a new 2 year initiative which began recently to empower patients with particular cancers to take control of their condition.”
To view the full investigation by The Detail and Kathryn Torney click HERE.
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